BEWARE THE NIGHT, CHILD OF LIGHT.
My time with Child of Light can only be described as magical. It was probably the best downloadable-only game I’ve played in a very long time.
It’s about a young girl named Aurora who gets spirited away to another world called Lemuria. She finds out that the Lemurians have had their Sun, Moon, and Stars taken away by an evil queen of night named Umbra and in order to return home to her ailing father, she must find them and defeat her. Along the way, Aurora meets a lot of characters on her journey such as Igniculus, a small firefly sprite, Rubella the acrobatic clown, and Finn the caster. Each character has his or her own back story and quest, can fight along side of Aurora, and have their own special attacks. Igniculus is a little different – he helps and guides Aurora. He can be tasked to gather objects in the environment or heal. The game is a 2D side scrolling game with 3D aspects. I found it very fun to control Aurora when flying all over the screen, which gave it a new and fast feel compared to the conventional running and jumping, You can go left, right, up and down. That being said, P1 can control both Aurora and Igniculus using the Right control stick and L2 to heal or P2 can simply control Igniculus using the Left control stick and R2. Having a second player can help simplify things during battle, healing you when you need it and slowing down enemies, but it can be very simplistic and boring, much like player two was in Super Mario Galaxy.
The battle system in Child of Light is turn-based with a little added flare. You only have two party members at a time with up to three enemies. Don’t worry if you don’t use every party member, they will still gain experience. If you’ve played Final Fantasy X, then you’ll remember the bar in the upper right that tells you in which order the turns go for each character. In Child of Light, there’s a bar on the bottom of the screen that each character has a little bubble on.Depending on if you get a ‘Surprise Attack,’ or ‘Ambushed,’ it will put you on the bar accordingly. (Enemies wander in different spots and if you hit them from behind you can get a ‘Surprise Attack’). When you get to the cast portion of the Attack Bar, you will be able to pick what move you want to carry out. It could be an attack, magic, potions, or change of character; everything runs on time of attack and speed. For example: If I choose a slash attack with Aurora (which has a charge speed of medium) and the enemy selects a magic attack with a charge speed of slow, I will hit them before they can attack. Attacking them in the casting zone can cause them to get ‘Interrupted,’ and have them fall back on the Attack Bar. That is where strategy comes into play and where you can have Igniculus slow down enemies so that they can’t attack. But beware, Igniculus can run out of power and you’ll have to wait until he can recharge before using him again. The battle system may sound confusing but once you play it for a bit, you’ll get a hang of it in no time.
The leveling system reminds me a lot of Borderlands or Far Cry 3 (the Far Cry 3 team did help make this game after all). You have a skill tree and every time you level you get one Skill Point to spend how you like on the skill tree. Unfortunately, you don’t get different weapons or gear but you can put different gemstones on them such as a Sapphire, Ruby, or Emerald. They all have their own properties and can add features to your attack or defense. You can also craft stones together using the Oculi to make stronger ones or different stones. I was able to craft a diamond which gave me extra experience points.
The art style in Child of Light is beautiful and looks hand painted but it can only support 720p sadly. (I played it on the PS3). But what struck me the most about this game was the music. The music in this game is so beautiful and captures the whimsical and melancholy feel of a girl in a strange new world. (The music captured my attention when I watched the trailer). It’s been such a long time since music in a video game has moved me and I applaud the composer Béatrice Martin (Cœur de pirate). Her wonderful composing has brought the entire world of Lemuria to life and gives it a lasting impression. She composed and played the piano for the entire soundtrack, (I haven’t been this excited about a video game soundtrack since Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X) Even if you’re unsure of the game, at least check out the music.
Overall, the game was solid and fun and was the best game I’ve bought in a long time (especially for 15 dollars), but there were some draw backs. The game was chugging along beautifully until the last portion. It seemed rushed after just eight hours of game-play. It could have just been me not wanting the game to end with the characters just beginning to ripen but I just wanted something more. Another turn-off when I started the game was the dialogue. It was choppy and foreign with all of it being in rhymes, but I got over it and played on through and eventually it grew on me. However, I do feel that it lost a little bit of it’s luster always having to be in rhymes. With all that being said, I really did enjoy playing Child of Light and playing through this coming of age story. I highly suggest to download the demo which gives you more then enough time to get a feel for the game and see what it has to offer.
Child of Light is available for all current platforms. You won’t be disappointed.
+Beautiful Art and Music
+Fun game play
-Not a lot of customizing
I’ll see you next time in my GoT Recap. P.S If you beat the game, you can still fly around as Aurora after the credits. And there’s a New Game + for those Lemuria addicts 🙂 Cheers!
Sam Sarvis is Geekiverse’s Game of Thrones expert.