A title heavily inspired by classic RPGs, such as Chrono TriggerZeboyd Games’ Cosmic Star Heroine is able to make a name for itself. By implementing no random battle encounters or separate battle screens, while also having an interesting story revolving around a government conspiracy, this is not an average turn-based title.

Cosmic Star Heroine Review

Inspired Battle System

Cosmic Star Heroine takes many cues from older turn-based games from the SNES-era but it’s able to adapt this for modern players. Combat never takes away from exploration because there are no separate battle screens. Every encounter starts as soon as the player approaches it. This aspect helps make gameplay quick and immersive without detracting from the overall experience. Since this is taking place on the same screen no random encounters occur. Enemies aren’t hiding or randomized, it’s all straightforward which helps gamers prepare a strategy before battles.

A unique feature introduced is the party system. Supporting characters can be swapped out on the fly no matter where the player may be. In addition to this, NPCs are able to join along the way because of a base-building feature. NPCs found help flourish the home spaceship to boost stats and provide support for the adventure that awaits. It’s a feature that makes exploration more enticing and rewards those that set out to discover the large world at hand.

Cosmic Star Heroine Review

Interesting Narrative

The overall narrative here has an interesting premise. Players are tasked with uncovering a government conspiracy while also dealing with being publically exposed as a spy. This journey spans multiple planets and locations which contain unique characters. Even though it has an engaging premise, certain plot points fall flat due to it being forgettable. As the game carries on, players will often try to remember how they got there, why they’re there, or what they were even supposed to do. Luckily, an insight system is there to assist but it’s sometimes not much help.

Alyssa L’Salle is a fun protagonist to take control of, but the side characters do not offer much else. Each one introduced has a backstory, yet it’s not rich enough to remember. Players will not become emotionally invested in this cast, including with L’Salle which holds the game back from being superb. Dialogue between the characters also feels as if they’re more coworkers than actual friends, even though they’ve known each other for a while.

Within the first few hours, a chunk of the game’s chapters are played through, yet once the travel system is introduced Cosmic Star Heroine slows down while opening up. At first, it feels like a very linear experience but later evolves into an open-world RPG with much to be discovered.

Cosmic Star Heroine Review

Atmospheric Experience

Since exploration is key, it makes sense that the world would provide an atmospheric experience. Firstly, HyperDuck SoundWorks (Dust: An Elysian Tale) has created a music selection that coincides with the looks and feels of the world. It’s fitting and helps to establish the science-fiction aspect of this release.

Each planet and area has varying aspects to them: futuristic cities stuffed with technologically advanced buildings, diverse alien lifeforms, and sprawling communities. By talking to NPCs, rewards may be earned in addition to learning more about the universe engulfing the player. Hidden chests also make an appearance. Chests contain a piece of weaponry or credits that come in handy during battle sequences.

Locations entered are large areas so it’s very easy to get lost. Unfortunately, there is no minimap to see where the next objective can be. Memorization of the layout is necessary and assists in the immersion factor even though it’s a bit more tedious.

Cosmic Star Heroine Review

Zeboyd Games has created a memorable RPG that gamers will come to grow fond of. The battle system is a true highlight and keeps players invested in its gameplay. Although the story falls flat at times, it’s enough to wonder what happens next. It’s a fun title that is made even better on the Nintendo Switch. Handheld mode and the ability to save anywhere help the game to shine. Cosmic Star Heroine is able to take influences from classic RPGs but it’s able to separate itself in order to create a unique experience.

Cosmic Star Heroine Review (Nintendo Switch)
Cosmic Star Heroine takes influences from classic RPGs but is able to separate itself to create a unique experience.
Overall Score8.7
  • Battle System
  • Suiting Music Selection
  • Futuristic Atmosphere
  • Forgettable Narrative
  • No Minimap
  • Weak Cast of Characters
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