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Viewing Topic: Child of Light - Page 1
#0: 06-25-2015 @ 08:59:55 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=10506#10506

DominionDominion

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  • Real Name:Mark
  • Joined:2010-01-22

I finished Child of Light awhile ago and wrote up a review of it but never got around to posting it. Kept meaning to go back and edit it and got super lazy. Time to un-lazy my review!

For those who are not aware of the game, Child of Light is a RPG from Ubisoft Montreal about an Austrian Princess named Aurora who has come down with a sickness and believed to be on her deathbed. Her father, discovering about her sickness, becomes heartbroken and ill as well and is bedridden. However Aurora wakes up in a fantastical land known as Lemuria. She discovers her father is sick because of her apparent death and sets off on a journey to find a way back to the real world.

Child of Light is an RPG but comes with some platforming like puzzle solving. It has a similar approach to such elements as the Paper Mario series. Similarly to it, it takes combat and gives it a unique twist. How combat goes is there is a bar at the bottom of the screen that represents everyone’s attack timeline. There’s a “waiting” phase that is about 80% of the bar and then there’s a “casting” phase that takes up the last 20%. When one of your characters hits the “casting” phase, you can choose an ability (normal attack, heal, etc) and then you have to wait for your ability to go it’s casting time before it fires. If someone hits you while you’re casting, you are interrupted and damaged like normal and knocked back on the timeline. Same thing applies to your enemies of course. Some abilities will cast faster or slower than others and can easily be a different speed than what your speed was when “waiting”. What assists on this is your friend Igniculus, a magic firefly who essentially replaces your mouse on the in game screens. He doesn’t attack but while in combat you can hover him over enemies and slow them down on the timeline though you can only do this to one enemy at a time. He can also be hovered over allies and heal them but I rarely used this since it felt super slow compared to damage enemies can deal and the slow effect was far more helpful.

The gameplay itself is fairly simple with combat and puzzle solving but it’s done well throughout. The game’s charm comes from it’s cast of characters, story, and artwork. The art of the game is just phenomenal. If you haven’t seen it, just google the game and take a look at some of the trailers or in game screen shots. It’s just so beautifully well done throughout. The story is a pretty simple “good vs evil” trope with a few plot twists but, again, it’s done well. It’s a cute little tale with characters that fill out their roles well. Aurora is a fun protagonist who almost seems like your normal smart young girl and acts like one when thrown in a situation that seems bizarre and out of the ordinary. It’s also nice to see someone taking the princess role and have her take up a sword and go swordmage on enemies. She’s a great example for what one can do with the normal princess trope. She’s not some frightened little girl waiting for someone to come help her, she takes the lead and bravely sets out on her own and often requests people not refer to her as princess.

Another thing that makes the game stand out is the dialogue. Everyone in the game speaks in rhyme. You’d think this is something that would get annoying after awhile but it’s done so well that it’s a delight whenever dialogue pops up. There’s not too much of it so you’re not getting annoyed with it for going on and on for way too long (some other triple A RPG’s could take a hint from this). There’s even a character that sorta plays off the rhyming structure by accidentally saying a non-rhyming word at the end of her dialogue and then having some other character correct her with the appropriate rhyming word. It’s amusing whenever she pops into a conversation to say the least. I’ve heard the translators for the game had a fun time getting dialogue changed to other languages since they really wanted to keep the rhyming dialogue since it’s a large part of the charm of the game. I hadn’t heard any issues about the translations so big props to the folks taking care of that.

There’s only a few issues with the game. One, something I didn’t explain but while they don’t have equipment upgrades they do add these crystals you find in the world that can be slotted into weapon, armor, and utility slots for each character that augments their stats, usually adding elemental damage or increasing casting speed or giving defensive buffs etc. I personally didn’t care much for it and got kinda annoyed whenever I got overstocked on them and had to combine them to give bigger buffs and what not or swap them out cause some level had more enemies that were now resistant to my weapons crystal buff. It’s not a big deal but I just wish it was thrown out or done differently since I didn’t want to deal with it half the time. The second is a bit spoilerish so I will spoiler tag it and even then not give specifics if you accidentally read it. You gain a party member early-ish in the game that I loved for their gameplay kit. I loved it so much that I essentially was able to just use Aurora and this other member for most battles without hardly ever needing to swap for other member. About at the, I wanta say, 70% mark of the game you permanently lose the character. I was thoroughly annoyed by this since, as stated, I loved the character and their kit. What mostly bugged me was that you have some other party members that have similar abilities to her but I didn’t bother going down their skill tree to get them or buff them up on them since I had this one character do it for the team. Eventually I was able to get them leveled accordingly but I certainly felt hurt at this lose. Thirdly, near the end of the game, I feel like the difficulty suddenly spikes without warning. Enemies hit way harder then what you’re used to and you have to more efficiently time your attacks so you’re not hurt as much and when it’s time to heal. Everyone has access to a defend ability which reduces damage and boosts your speed on your next waiting period but up until this point I didn’t use it much. At the later part, you have to basically rely on this and I spent a much larger chunk of time defending and healing. You do get back to a point where damage and combat is just simply challenging but there was about an hour or so of game time where I was wondering what the fuck was going on as I got party members downed in only two to three hits and got thoroughly enraged by it. Maybe I just leveled wrong or equipped the wrong crystals but don’t be surprised if it happens if you play it. Lastly, if you want this game on PC you have to use UPlay, Ubisoft’s gameplay service thing. I’ll be honest, I had no idea this was needed and I nearly asked Steam for a refund on the game. After it installed the game popped up a screen that asked me to login or create an account. I tried making an account and it always timed out. I was annoyed but figured servers were wonky (yay singleplayer games needing online bs) and it was late so I went to bed. Next day, same issue, wouldn’t let me make an account. I eventually went to their website and did it there but jebus is that stupid. Once I got it working whenever I launched Child of Light UPlay had to start and always required admin rights to start. What the fuck does it need that for? I’ve heard some bad stories of UPlay also fucking up other people's games, either deleting files or just not letting them play at all due to aforementioned server bullshit. I personally didn’t have any issues once I got the game started but it’s something to watch out for. If you get it on consoles I hear you can bypass UPlay.

These issues aside, I really loved Child of Light. The gameplay is fairly straight forward but well done and the dialogue and story are a bunch of fun. It almost feels like you’re playing through a bit of a fairy tale due to this and the story book like art work. At $15 it’s a great deal that took me about 15 hours I believe to complete. I’m starting to like more single player games that hit this time mark. It’s not so short that you can beat it in one sitting but not so long that it overstays it’s welcome. It’s also at a good enough length that you can replay it without feeling like you’ll be in for another super long game, something that you’d think would be normal for an RPG. It’s a great value for money to gameplay and I wish more developers and publishers would try to hit that mark. This is a game I feel like they could’ve been assholes and charged something like $40+ just to get more money and ruined it. Thankfully they didn’t. If you’re looking for an enjoyable little RPG, Child of Light fits the bill perfectly.


"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock and roll." Shigeru Miyamoto

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