We’ve looked at two titles from Zeboyd Games already, Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World. Unlike those, which are parodies, Cosmic Star Heroine was billed as a more serious, story-driven RPG in the style of old classics.
Cosmic Star Heroine, while not without humorous moments (including one side quest that’s just a massive shout-out to Resident Evil 2), definitely is more serious. It follows a secret agent named Alyssa L’Salle who goes rogue after discovering a sinister conspiracy.
The original story premise had her on the run from forces all across the galaxy once her former superiors revealed her identity, but the final game doesn’t really do too much with that. Instead, it focuses on Alyssa’s efforts to stop the conspiracy and restore peace.
In terms of gameplay, it draws inspiration from classic turn-based JRPGs and puts its own spin on them. You’ll visit a few different planets, each of which has a mini overworld like classic world maps. The combat system emphasizes strategy, and it ends up being pretty fun – a little easy, maybe, but there’s something satisfying about setting up buffs and waiting for the right turn to unleash a powerful move that will devastate the enemy.
You also eventually get to recruit characters that provide passive support, which reminded me a bit of recruiting characters for my base in Suikoden.
Combat is fun, the game is a great nostalgic throwback to classic JRPGs, and it has a beautiful presentation… but unfortunately, the story and characters don’t quite live up to the same standard. The main story is decent enough, though nothing particularly stands out about it, but the characters are just sort of bland.
They all have a few basic traits, but no one really gets much character development or meaningful scenes. It’s the sort of game where you think of the characters more for their roles in combat, and I doubt I’ll remember much about them at all once time passes.
This disappointed me, both because I love story-driven games and because the developers had said Cosmic Star Heroine would have a deeper story, optional conversations in between missions, and side quests that add more depth to the story and world. Aside from one optional area that adds a bit of depth to a certain character, this doesn’t really happen.
For what it is, Cosmic Star Heroine is a fun, fast-paced homage to classic JRPGs. It just wasn’t quite what I’d hoped it would be.---
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