Cosmic Star Heroine is a Role Playing Game developed by Zeboyd Games. The game originally started out as a Kickstarter project back in October 1st 2013 and was successfully funded by October 31st. The game has been developed for PC, Windows, Playstation 4 and will soon be released on Playstation Vita.
The Kickstarter originally asked $100,000 to help continue with the development of Cosmic Star Heroine but smashed their target brining in $132,689. The game was finally released on 11th April 2017.
Read below to see my thoughts and opinions on the game; In short I’ve loved the game and offers hits all the right notes when it comes to nostalgia porn.
You play as Alyssa, a legendary spy who uncovers a conspiracy which sets her on a journey across the galaxy to save it.
The story itself feels rather minimal but you find enough to sink your teeth into and to motivate you into progressing through. What’s fantastic is pieces of comical dialogue and callbacks to other Zeboyd titles and old school Role Playing Games.
The narrative is displayed in traditional Japanese Role Playing Game fashion, there is plenty of text to read through and short cutscenes brought together in fantastic retro fashion. Cosmic Star Heroine really does wear some of its inspirations on it’s sleeve.
At face value, Cosmic Star Heroine is your standard Japanese Role Playing Game where you run around talking to NPCs, defeating enemies and progressing the story. The flip side to this that, if you’re like me, you’ll look at all of the trailers and believe the game will play like Chrono Trigger; An amazing JRPG from Square released back in 1995 on the Super Nintendo.
Cosmic Star Heroine takes a lot from what made past JRPG titles great and then adds to it’s own distinct flair.
The combat is turn based and plays a little like Chrono Trigger, where the battle happens at the location where you bump into enemies. This is where the game starts to become a little more interesting and separates from its influences; there’s a lot of depth here, more than just mashing the attack button to get through combat.
After a few rounds your character can go into a hyper state and will do a lot more damage throughout that round. Each attack you pull off has a certain amount of style which will build up to you using a burst attack – increasing the amount of damage you deal or the amount that you will heal for.
During battle you can have four members on the field at once, all of which can have up to eight abilities which can be swapped around outside of battle. Most of your abilities can be used once per battle but you can use your Refresh ability which will allow you to use these again but you will sacrifice your turn. So you can see straight away where the strategy element comes into play, this is especially critical as you don’t have any Mana Points / Special Points in this game.
The aesthetics are a beautiful mashup of some of the early Japanese Role Playing Games including Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star and Suikoden; The quality that the developers have set themselves is consistent throughout the 15 hours plus the game has to offer.
The sprite work throughout the whole game is amazing, each of the characters look unique and distinct as do the enemies, you’re not going to find a lot of palette swapping throughout this adventure. There are three distinctly different planets that you’re going to be visiting, all with their own eco system.
Final Thoughts / Opinions
This game for me, is outstanding. It’s an amazing throwback to traditional Japanese Role Playing Games, it’s well written, there isn’t an amazingly long grind to level up and the combat is brilliant – it’s an amazing piece of nostalgia porn. For me, this is game hits all the right notes and brings back so many memories of some amazing titles while building upon the areas that made those great.
However throughout my time with the game, It felt like the narrative would build up but not pay off and the same can be said with the mechanics which are introduced throughout the journey.
During your adventure you’re given the opportunity to captain your own ship and build up an army which when it’s first introduced to you, you believe this is going to be such an open feature which is going to have a massive impact on your playthrough. However, the characters which you recruit only really have an impact on the combat abilities you gain from them, over the individual characters personalities leaving their influence feeling half-baked.
Since launch there have been a lot of reports of technical issues throughout individuals playthroughs. Throughout my playthrough, I had experienced a few freezes and the only way I was able to resolve the issue was closing the game down and reopening. However, given time I’m more than confident that these issues will be patched out.
Overall, I’m giving this game a 7/10 because it does hit all the right notes in regards to that nostalgia porn factor. The combat system is brilliant, the game looks and sounds brilliant and the whole experience is well paced. If you’re looking for a JRPG game to fill your time or have grown up playing some classic RPGs then you’re going to love this title from start to end; Just for the time being, don’t forget to save your game often.