Cosmic Star Heroine

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Cosmic Star Heroine
Cosmic star heroine cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Zeboyd Games
Publisher(s)Zeboyd Games
Composer(s)HyperDuck SoundWorks
EngineUnity
Platform(s)Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch
ReleasePlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
  • WW: April 11, 2017
PlayStation Vita
  • EU: April 24, 2018
  • NA: May 2018
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: August 14, 2018
Genre(s)Role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player

Cosmic Star Heroine is a science fiction role-playing video game by Zeboyd Games. The game's development was funded partially through a Kickstarter campaign. Cosmic Star Heroine was released in April 2017 for the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows platforms; it was later ported to the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch in 2018.

Gameplay[edit]

Cosmic Star Heroine is a role-playing game where the player recruits up to 11 playable characters, and chooses a party of four to go into combat with enemies. There are no random battles; combat takes place on the field like in Chrono Trigger, with visible enemies and bosses. These encounters do not respawn, but if a player desires to "grind" for more levels and money, they can start additional battles at any time with as a VR battle, somewhat similar to the ability in Cthulhu Saves the World to force an encounter. Rather than using traditional MP, a unique charge-based system is used. In battle, each character sets up to 7 abilities and a rest/defend type ability; in general, once an ability is used, it cannot be used again until the defend ability is used, which recharges all spent abilities. Additionally, each character has a specific pattern for gaining "Hyper" turns wherein their abilities are drastically more effective. This makes it so that "spamming" the most powerful ability is less effective due to needing to spend a turn resting to recharge it; the gameplay is based around setting up buffs and debuffs, then using powerful abilities on Hyper turns. Status effects also operate on a "reliable" basis, rather than having a percentage chance of success, but enemies also increase status ailment resistance after being inflicted with an ailment. Characters, both PCs and enemies, also have a Style gauge that starts at 100% and increases with most actions. Style acts as a multiplier increasing damage done. Style can be lost via near-death and death, as well as certain powerful "Burst" moves that reset Style to 100%. This acts similar to mechanics in earlier games made by Zeboyd that increase the tension and damage dealt the longer a fight persists. The game has four difficulty settings which can freely be changed between in-game; enemies are tougher and deal more damage on the higher difficult settings.

The party can explore 3 planets, which contain both towns and dangerous combat-focused areas. Araenu has a cyberpunk theme, with megacorporations, slums, clubs, and secret bases; Rhomu has a wild-west theme, with saloons, casinos, gunslinging, all underground after war devastated the surface; and Nuluup is a green and verdant planet with mysterious astral powers and a large population of reanimated souls of the dead. There is a base upgrading system similar to the one from the Suikoden series, in which NPCs can be recruited to join the starship flagship of Alyssa's force. Some of these NPCs can also offer bonuses and indirect support to the player's party in battle. There are a variety of sidequests as well, optional content the party can pursue for additional plot scenes and equipment.

Plot[edit]

The adventure follows Alyssa L'Salle, an agent of the Agency of Peace & Intelligence (API). An API mission to an abandoned research lab on Rhomu leads to two revelations: the rival terrorist organization Astrea also arrives at the same time, and the incomplete remnants of a "Project Lumina" research project guarded by berserk beasts. Alyssa's allies discover that Project Lumina seems to be the foundation for a mind control device. Director Steele, the head of the API, plans on using Lumina to impose order across the galaxy. Alyssa and her friends defect from the API and seek out the aid of Astrea and its leader, Arete. Steele's faction of the API attempts to perfect Lumina, while Alyssa and Astrea attempt to gain allies and build a counter-device to protect against Lumina's influence. Alyssa also steals the API's flagship and makes it her own mobile base to investigate a spate of recent incidents: dark energy monsters roaming loose, kidnappings, and mysterious attacks. Eventually, Alyssa's force defeats Steele, himself driven mad by Lumina's dark influence. The victory is short-lived; Arete is revealed to also have been under the influence of Lumina's true master the whole time, having subtly influenced her followers to join Astrea, and she combines her own essence of the Lumina device with the Lumina device recovered from Rhomu to resurrect an ancient evil god. Alyssa and her party defeat both Arete and the awoken dark god at its alien starship before they can overwhelm the galaxy.

Development and release[edit]

Zeboyd Games officially announced their new upcoming title as Cosmic Star Heroine in June 2013. The game was part funded through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, raising $132,689 towards its development in October 2013.[1] Zeboyd credited the crowdfunding success to the timing of the campaign and the careful selection of the backer rewards.[2] The game was inspired by titles such as Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star IV, Final Fantasy VII, and Mass Effect among others.[3][4] The game was featured at PlayStation Experience 2015, where the PlayStation Vita version was also playable for the first time.[5]

Cosmic Star Heroine was released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 on April 11, 2017. The game was largely released via digital distribution, such as PlayStation Network (PSN) and Steam. Limited Run Games made a physical edition of the game for the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita.[6] In response to bug reports on the initial launch version and in preparation for the Vita version, several patches were released for the PC & PS4 versions. The PlayStation Vita port was released in May 2018,[7] and a Nintendo Switch port was released in August 2018.[8]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings77.17%[11]
MetacriticPS4: 76/100 (8 reviews)[9]
PC: 77/100 (8 reviews)[10]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7.5/10[12]
GameSpot6/10 (PS4)[13]
RPGFan83/100 (PS4)[14]
RPGSite8.5/10 (PC)[15]

Cosmic Star Heroine received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic,[10][9] while on Gamerankings it has 77.17%.[11] Critics praised the combat system, retro graphics, and the soundtrack. However, the found the story rushed, the characters underdeveloped, and the game still containing various unfixed technical issues at launch.

The game was nominated for "Game, Original Role Playing" at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards.[16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zeboyd Games (2013-10-01). "Cosmic Star Heroine (Sci-Fi/Spy RPG) for PC/Mac/PS4/Vita". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
  2. ^ Ben Kuchera (2013-10-08). "The perfect Kickstarter: Zeboyd describes the crowdfunding science behind effective campaigns". The Penny Arcade Report. Archived from the original on 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
  3. ^ Joel Couture (2017-05-09). "7 classic RPGs that inspired Cosmic Star Heroine". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
  4. ^ Cosmic Star Heroine Is Like A Cross Between Phantasy Star And Chrono Trigger
  5. ^ Robert Boyd (2015-11-30). "Cosmic Star Heroine on PS4, PS Vita Playable at PS Experience". PlayStation Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  6. ^ Chris Priestman (2015-10-27). "Cosmic Star Heroine To Get A Physical Release on PS4, PS Vita". Siliconera. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  7. ^ Cosmic Star Heroine is finally coming to Vita soon, and if you own a PS4 copy you get it for free
  8. ^ Robert Boyd (2018-06-16). "Cosmic Star Heroine for Switch is only $13.49 if you pre-order it before its launch on August 14! :)". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  9. ^ a b "Cosmic Star Heroine for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  10. ^ a b "Cosmic Star Heroine for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  11. ^ a b "Gamerankingsreview". Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  12. ^ Kevin McClusky (2017-04-24). "Review: Cosmic Star Heroine (PC)". Destructoid. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  13. ^ Janine Hawkins (2017-04-25). "Cosmic Star Heroine Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  14. ^ Rob Rogan (2017-05-23). "Cosmic Star Heroine". RPGFan. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  15. ^ Kyle Campbell (2017-06-05). "Cosmis Star Heroine Review". RPGSite. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  16. ^ "Nominee List for 2017". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. 2018-02-09. Archived from the original on 2018-02-15. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  17. ^ "Horizon wins 7; Mario GOTY". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. 2018-03-13. Archived from the original on 2018-03-14. Retrieved 2018-03-15.