Review by thumpin_termis
Just about as basic a Japanese RPG can get:
The sequel to this game, Cosmic Fantasy 2, was the only English Cosmic Fantasy release. I played part 2 back more than 10 years ago, and even then I wondered why they didn't start out by translating part one first. After playing this game, I can see why -- it's a rather crude RPG. However, that's not to say that this game isn't enjoyable. Actually, quite the contrary.
*** Story [7/10]
You play as Yu, a boy that is out to save planet Nog from evil baddies. You meet various friends and foes along your journey, though you can only control one other party member - Saya. Saya is the typical magic caster to accompany the more traditional fighter-like Yu.
There is good mixture of comedy, tragedy, mischief and suspense in the story, though not anything is particularly moving. I also really like the sci-fi theme of the whole series. I've had/seen enough fantasy worlds in RPGs.
And as a plus, there are some rudimentary, but still nice, anime cut scenes to move the story along between important points in the story.
*** Gameplay [6/10]
Typical J-RPG controls. Fight/magic/item/run, raise levels, buy items, learn spells, etc. etc.
This is an easy game to break you into J-RPGs as the game is very linear and is difficult for you to get lost. I can only think of one spot where you might have real trouble in the game due to not understanding Japanese (a part where you need to use the "search" command to find something.
I grumbled a bit about why games like Dragon Slayer would even need an SCD card with its own crummy graphics, but after playing this game, I can now clearly see how it helped. Cosmic Fantasy 1 runs on the old System 1.0/2.0 cards with minimal (64k?) RAM, and it accesses the CD for just about every damn thing you do -- battles, entering shops, going into status screen, or even accessing your magic command in the overworld. It's pretty tiring at times.
*** Graphics [3/10]
One doesn't usually play RPGs for eye-candy, but this is actually really bad, even for its time. I seriously thought that the game loaded corrupted sprites in the RAM when it first started the game with you in the spaceship. The overworld, monster, and general graphics are really crummy.
However, the cut-scenes are pretty nice. That's the only thing that saves this game from achieving lower scores in this department.
*** Sound [5/10]
Unfortuntely, CF doesn't really take advantage of the CD medium in this case. I think ALL the music was done off the PSG. The only time it used red-book audio was for speech sections in the game and for cut-scenes.
But the PSG music still isn't too bad. Pretty typical stuff you'd hear in RPGs for those days.
*** Play Time/Replayability [5/10]
The game doesn't keep track of your play time, but I'd guesstimate that it took me somewhere around 15-18 hours of playtime to finish this one. It's not a long RPG at all, and there is only one spot where you need to do some heavy-duty level-building (a couple hours worth).
Since it's a linear game, I can't imagine many people would come back to have another go for it, as once you finish the game, you pretty much saw whatever it had to offer.
*** Final Recommendation [6/10]
It can be had for cheap, so it's not a bad value for the money. Definitely not an a-class RPG, but if you've been wanting to try out a Japanese RPG, this is an easy one to start you out.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
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