Throughout recent years, we have received some great JRPGs. From Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch to Xenoblade Chronicles, these are some of the best games of the last decade. Despite these titles, nothing has broken the mold like the classic JRPGs we admire so dearly. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, and Phantasy Star II are not only a paragon of their genre but are reputed as some of the best games of all time. Zeboyd Games attempts to create their rendition of these classics in their JRPG style game, Cosmic Star Heroine. While not necessarily breaking the mold, they have certainly created something special here that will have you reminiscing on all of the JRPG classics you know and love.
The first thing I noticed immediately as I began my demo of Cosmic Star Heroine is its familiar art style. Clearly inspired by Chrono Trigger, the sci-fi flair gives it its own identity while also being steeped in nostalgia. The sprite based character models and pixelated environments are wonderfully crafted, producing a world that is both intriguing and alluring. Just on aesthetic alone the game will have you recall all the memories you had while playing those classic PlayStation JRPGs. Its amalgamation with its gameplay is what allows it to stand out on its own.
Cosmic Star Heroine has a turn-based combat system that is simple, but contains minor intricacies that gives it enough depth to be strategic. Each character has their own set of attacks and abilities. Most attacks can only be used once and then have to be recharged by yourself or your allies. This is especially important when setting up hyper mode attacks.
Each character has a specific amount of hyper boxes indicated under their health bar; after each turn, a hyper box is filled. Once all boxes are filled, hyper mode is initiated which grants double damage to attacks and a higher success rating for ailments. It is important to have abilities that hit an enemies weakness at this point so you can deal the most damage. There were numerous times I was disappointed an ability wasn’t available during hyper mode due to my careless planning. When I did plan correctly, however, hitting an enemy during hyper mode was tremendously gratifying.
Prolonging battles may benefit your team as well. Each ability used will grant you a certain amount of style; your total amount of style is indicated above the character’s health bar. The more style you attain, the better each ability performs. However, enemies also collect more style as they attack as well. Figuring out how effective an enemy is against you will determine how long you may want to delay their demise.
Cosmic Star Heroine is everything you love about JRPGs. Likeable characters, fun yet intricate combat mechanics, and an enthralling world are all present as you reminisce over your favorite games of old. While I only played a little over forty minutes during my demo session, the small team at Zeboyd Games has created something special that PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita users shouldn’t miss when it (hopefully) releases next year.