Gunmancy and Hackitude

Cosmic Star Heroine – Since I’ve been playing this recently, I thought I should probably say a bit about it. It’s made by an independent developer and is largely a homage to 16-bit role-playing games. I think it was a favorable comparison to Chrono Trigger that I found online that made me interested. As suggested by the title, it has a science fiction setting, although that doesn’t stop it from mixing in some other genres along the way. Alyssa L’Salle (her first name is sort of like a rearrangement of her first name) is a martial artist who serves as an agent for the Agency of Peace and Intelligence. With a name like that, you can pretty much tell that they’re hiding something, and it soon becomes clear that the director wants to use a mind control device to bring his own idea of order to the galaxy. Alyssa and a few other agents defect from the API and join forces with a group of rebels, stealing the Agency’s flagship to travel between worlds. I believe there are three different planets to explore, although I’ve only been able to access two so far. There are several playable characters, and in most of what I’ve played they switch in and out of the party for story reasons, although once you get the spaceship you can choose which ones to use. Battles are turn-based, and as in Chrono Trigger, you fight wherever you run into enemies instead of on a separate battle screen.

Each character has several different abilities, most of which you can only use once unless you take a turn to recharge, so you can’t just use the best ones over and over again. I’m not entirely sure what all of the statistics and status effects mean, but I know gaining style can make attacks more powerful. The characters each have their own specialties. Chahn Keneko is a Gunmancer who can summon and control guns with her mind, Dave is a hacker, Lauren a pop star and informant who has music-based attacks, and Sue (short for Borisusovsky; he’s a Russian dude) is a fist-fighting bruiser.

She not only clings to her guns and religion, but has combined the two.The most recent character who joined up, Clarke, whom you meet when escaping an underground prison, is a dancing robot whose abilities include sacrificing himself to achieve some end.

After a battle, the party is automatically healed, and you can restart a battle if everyone is killed. So far, the game hasn’t been too difficult, but there was one battle I had to try three times before winning. Enemies’ remaining hit points are displayed on screen when you’re deciding which one to attack. You’re also able to save at pretty much any time. I’ve seen a few reviews that mentioned how the plot seems a little shallow and rushed, like how Alyssa and company’s decision to quit the API is kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing. And the characters, while all unique, seem to have only basic personality traits. But hey, I’ve played RPGs where there’s hardly any plot or character development. The game even kind of lampshades the hurried pace when an alien bounty hunter who’s trying to kill Alyssa suddenly decides to join her, which the other characters comment on.

One area where the game shines is in its humor, with some amusing lines, and entertaining descriptions for the enemies you fight.

In addition to the CT influence I’ve already mentioned, there’s a perpetual festival on the planet Araenu, similar to the Millennial Fair.

Phantasy Star is another obvious inspiration, and I can’t help but wonder if Alyssa was named after Alis Landale from PS1.

This entry was posted in Chrono Trigger, Humor, Names, Phantasy Star, Technology, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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