If you think your job is stressful, try being the ambassador of an entire planet. Citizens of Space, the sequel to Citizens of Earth developed by Eden Industries and published by SEGA, is a turn-based RPG game that puts player one in the shoes of the Ambassador of Earth.
Our planet has finally been invited to join the Galactic Federation, and you’ve been selected as its first Ambassador! It’s your first day on the job and you’ve just arrived in Space to deliver your inaugural speech to fellow Ambassadors in the Galactic Federation Assembly Hall. You’re about to show the audience your home when you realize the Earth is missing…. Not a good look, but don’t panic. It’s time to ambass.
Citizens of Space takes you on a mission to find out what happened to your beloved planet and bring it back safely. Along the way, you meet a ton of friends to help you out — 16 partner characters, 12 battle characters, and 12 summons characters, to be exact. This aspect of the game is a bit Pokemon-like in that you can find and name your pals whatever you’d like. They also offer a ton of variety to battles since you can call on every character to contribute a special skill.
I can’t help but think of Paper Mario as well when I play this witty cartoon game. Much like the Nintendo classic, Citizens of Space offers up hilarious commentary and banter, especially between the happy-go-lucky (and a little numbskulled) main character and his sarcastic, cynical Assistant. Each character has a distinctive and memorable look, voice, and personality, which adds great entertainment value.
Of course, turn-based RPGs can become a bit repetitive. Unlike Paper Mario, the enemies in Citizens of Space aren’t visible on-screen. The only indication that an enemy is near is with a small blinking radar in the corner of the screen, but even then, enemies are unavoidable. You can try to flee when you come across enemies, but I’d say more than half of the time this option doesn’t even work.
Enemies are usually unavoidable, but there is one somewhat saving grace from their repetitive nature. Your Assistant has the ability to reduce your “encounter rate” at any given time. If you’re a sadist, you can also bump the encounter rate up to 400 percent once it’s unlocked and focus on taking as many enemies down as possible. I opted to keep my encounter rate low so I could move through the story quickly. There is also a “story mode” option in which players will win every battle to focus on the story, but this is non-reversible.
The battles, which consist of several mini-games, are a bit tricky to get the hang of at first if you don’t have flawless reflexes. But, you do get used to them over time.
As far as navigation goes, the sheer size of the maps can be… overwhelming. There’s so much ground to cover that I found myself easily getting lost. While there is a compass to help you out, it often switches direction on you. I once went back and forth between two rooms for three minutes before giving up and trying to find my way myself.
Collectible items respawn each time you leave a room, so you can never truly collect everything. This is both a pro and a con, because you’ll never be short on money or battle items, but again, it can be a bit overwhelming.
In fact, while I did enjoy Citizens of Space, I think “overwhelming” is a pretty good word to describe it overall. Each time you meet a potential recruit for your team, you gain a new objective that you have to complete before they come on board. All of these objectives are activated at the same time. Combined with the actual story objectives (which are also stacked on top of each other), it’s a lot.
But, at least you’ll never be bored. Citizens of Space offers hours upon hours of gameplay with its unique storyline, seemingly endless dialogue, and ever-changing combat.