Zeboyd Games is known for their quirky retro RPGs after the release of the tongue-in-cheek Cthulhu Saves the World, and JRPG Cosmic Star Heroine continues the tradition with the DRM-free release on GOG.
This time it’s not the horror fantasy genre the developer uses as inspiration, as the story about top secret agent Alyssa L’Salle who uncovers a conspiracy in her own agency and has to save her reputation and head as well as the galaxy focuses on sci-fi themes. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s any less humorous or unique with 3 exotic planets to explore that feature aliens, robots, magic, forbidden technology in addition to ruined worlds and ghosts.
Gameplay revolves around turn-based combat, although a bit of management is also required, because one can recruit new agents to help one’s own spaceship to grow. Despite the obvious influences of Japanese role-playing games, combat is different, as it takes place directly on the exploration maps without any separate battle screen. So no random battles ensue with everything being predetermined and some battles being optional, as they can be avoided if one sneaks past enemies. There’s also no MP (magic points) system, so that most abilities can only be used once until one uses a defend/recharge move to restore everything. With character style scores going up and abilities becoming more effective, this demands more strategic thinking and rewards different play-styles. 2D graphics as well as animated cutscenes are reminiscent of the 16-bit era and look great, while the soundtrack composed by HyperDuck SoundWorks who did the amazing Dust: An Elysian Tail adds to the nice atmosphere.
The game was already released in April this year on PC and PS4, but it’s now on GOG with a 33% launch discount that will last until July 24, 1PM UTC.
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