Zeboyd Games isn’t a new name in the video game business. They have several successful titles under their belts already, including titles like Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death VII. Both titles borrowed the style and trappings of classic RPGs, resulting in something both totally new and completely nostalgic. Now, the two man team is continuing on with that trend with their newest title, Cosmic Star Heroine.
The heroine mentioned in the title is none other than a woman named Alyssa L’Salle. Don’t know her name yet? You might be the only one. Once a covert government agent, Alyssa is now on the run from her former employers. Turns out she uncovered just a little too much information regarding a conspiracy for them to feel comfortable letting her live. The government has revealed Alyssa’s identity as an agent to the world, leaving her at the mercy of every villainous group she’s ever crossed. On the flip side though, she’s also gained a ton of fans among the general public. Popularity really is such a double-edged sword.
The 2D 16-bit graphics are very obviously inspired by the games of days gone by. On their Kickstarter page, Zeboyd Games lists Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star, and Suikoden among their major inspirations for Cosmic Star Heroine. The battle will be turn-based and will feature multi-character combo attacks that utilize multiple members of your four person party. Basically, it’s got all the trappings of a good ol’ fashioned RPG.
The setting also boasts a variety of planets to explore, which is fitting for a sci-fi title. My personal favorite is Nuluup, a jungle planet that’s home to an alien race called the Ghast. It sounds like a fun step away from the industrialized future landscape.
The most interesting part of Cosmic Star Heroine though, in this writer’s opinion, are the cast members. Alyssa alone looks interesting (a confident, kick-butt heroine? Yes please!), but the descriptions of all the other characters listed on the Kickstarter page are what really have my attention. For example, there’s Dave, a hacker who fights with a tablet and is described as: “Thinks he’s cool but really isn’t. Incredibly paranoid. Supports the team while impairing the enemy with his mad skillz.” I feel you Dave, I really do. Then there’s Chahn Kaneko, master of gunmancy, which is “the art of summoning & controlling guns with your mind” and Lauren Gambino, who sings in an indie band when she’s not too busy using her position as an informant to mess with the government and criminal organizations alike. A good story is nothing without great characters, and I’m liking what I see so far.
Zeboyd Games is a group with a deep love for games from the 16-bit and 32-bit era, and it’s clear that they are striving to bring everything they love about those titles into their work while also improving upon things that gamers weren’t so fond of. Cosmic Star Heroine allows players to save anywhere, for instance, and battles take place right on the map where you’re exploring, which sounds like it will help keep the pace of the game from slowing down. There’s always something to be said for nostalgia, sure; but on the other hand, nostalgia in modern works is nothing without innovation. Zeboyd is taking both sides of the coin and bringing them together for Cosmic Star Heroine, and I’m looking forward to seeing the final result.
If fully funded, the game will be available via PSN for the PlayStation 4 and Vita (North America only, though they are working on PSN codes for Europe as well), PC and Mac (via Steam; you can also purchase a DRM-free option). Everyone who donates a dollar or more will have the ability to vote in upcoming polls regarding the game’s development, so every dollar really does pull its weight.