Review: Cosmic Star Heroine (PS4)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PC

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Cosmic Star Heroine
Format: PSN (6.4 GB)
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Zeboyd Games
Developer: Zeboyd Games
Original MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Cosmic Star Heroine is a 16-bit RPG developed by Zeboyd Games with a turn-based battle system. The game stars Agent Alyssa L’Salle, a secret agent who unravels a huge conspiracy within the government that she works for. This leads her to team up with fellow rebels on a long quest to save the universe.

Your team varies between aliens, gun-wielding warriors, a pop-star, hackers, and robots. While Alyssa is a badass, her team really stands out with all of their differences and personalities, creating cheesy but comical dialogue between them all.

But the most unique aspect of the game is that you’re only allowed to use an ability once in battle, and in order to get it back you have to recharge for a turn. This allows players to plan ahead accordingly, as certain moves can stack with one another for more damage to the enemy.

Style points go up the more abilities you pick in battle. Once they reach full percentage, your character goes into hyper mode where they’re able to do extra damage output. This also forces you to make sure you have an attack available when you go into hyper mode, or it would be a complete waste to only have the recharge ability.

The party can be changed to other characters to suit the environments best. Certain enemies are weaker to fire or water elementals, like Alyssa who has the “Drown” ability which forces a large wave of water over the enemies.

… I wish the game could’ve focused more on character interaction or world-building …
Characters also have party buffing abilities, like healing, putting up defenses, or the “Inspire” ability which ups a character’s damage. Some characters are more supports than attackers and can prove to be highly useful in a close fight.

You can travel to other planets with the use of a spaceship for the next mission, or just for exploration. It’s generally open world and you’re able to go to other areas before heading to the huge boss fight. There are mini bosses that guard treasure or powerful equipment for your characters, so make sure to take some time to explore every corner of the map to gain those extra items.

There were some minor bugs that seemed consistent throughout my gameplay, like endless NPC dialogue loops where you would be stuck in a text box, and if you entered an area before an event or quest, you would be stuck there unless you had a previous save. An update since launch resolved some of these issues, but there are still some instability issues within the game.

The plot can sometimes feel rushed as it moves from a crazy scenario to a crazier scenario, focusing on placing players in action heavy instances, like a giant robot fight after having an alien bounty hunter trying to kill you. Because of this, I didn’t get attached to the characters, as cool as they are. There were times I wish the game could’ve focused more on character interaction or world-building, rather than the fast and random storylines.

… that classic RPG feel that’s both memorable and fun …
Just like any turn-based RPG, fighting can feel repetitive, especially once you find your strategies and a set team. Enemies do not respawn, allowing you to just rush to the boss battle, killing the temptation to fully explore the areas. There isn’t much level grinding because of this, and it made me want to just rush past the dungeon and into the next chapter.

Despite its minor flaws, Cosmic Star Heroine still retains that classic RPG feel that’s both memorable and fun.

Visuals:
The graphics are retro 16-bit with pixelated cut-scenes. While the plot may not be as memorable, the scenes are definitely striking at the interludes between points in the story or when introducing a new character.

Cutscenes are more cinematic and detailed, but still fit within the world’s aesthetic. I only wish that the scenes were more frequent as they had potential to add a focused narrative.

The game has some of the best character designs. One character, who is blind but has a robotic drone flying around that acts as her eyes, is just one of the many examples of solid creative design.

… approachable for both fans of turn-based RPGs and newcomers …
Audio:
The soundtrack is a jazzy-rock that fits those espionage missions and robotic space fights. It changes as much as the story does, but blends well with the gameplay. With no other voice acting, the fast-paced music does a great job of setting the tone and mood.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
Cosmic Star Heroine accomplishes its goal of creating the old-school RPG gameplay, with only a few minor setbacks. The plot might be all over the place, but it never ceases to be entertaining with its character dynamics and exploration possibilities.

The game has the right amount of depth and isn’t too complicated, making it approachable for both fans of turn-based RPGs and newcomers.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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