Western Developed, Eastern Inspired: Child of Light

I Had Expected Different

Growing up, I played almost strictly JRPGs. When news came out about this game and how the developers had considered it an ode to that nostalgic enterprise, I immediately boycotted the game. The look was dissimilar, it was western (forbid), and the movement was side scroller. Eventually I watched my boyfriend play the game and his little foray into it enlightened me quite a bit. The game was not entirely what the developers described but it looked fun and at least worth a try.

So I tried it.

And I was highly impressed. The story was lacking but the art was beautiful and the aspirations for the game were clearly high. The score is orchestrated and the dialogue is all in rhyme. All of the game’s poetry is not as great as it could be, but it is easy for a child to understand and I think that may have been the intention on the writer’s part.

What to Expect

If you were like me and had few desires to try the game out, I would suggest taking a look through the screen capture gallery below. There are plenty of reasons to give it a go and I think just looking at what kind of stuff can come out of the story may surprise even the most wary of players.

The battle system is probably the only thing that can be credited to the old school RPGs that the developers were referencing when the game was released. Turn order and status buffs play integral roles in this game. You are only allowed two party members out at a time but there are many to choose from with many different abilities to turn the tide of battle.

There is treasure abound: from permanent stat increases to elixirs that help in battle. Movement out of battle is easy to get the hang of and many of the puzzles in the game are based on quick reflexes. The main character, Aurora, can fly and her little friend can be moved around with the other aspect of control (the mouse, in my case). This tear-dropped companion is actually a huge help both in and out of battle. It is the only means of phasing through enemies, opening node-boxes and collecting dust and treasure in blocked off areas. In battle, it is the means to collect hp and mp orbs and helps with slowing opponents and healing characters.

Clichés for Success

Nearly everything about this game is cliché. Thankfully that does not take away from how fun it is. The story is of a princess battling her way to her throne (this time with a sword instead of through wits) and her companions are all different and serve particularly different purposes, conveniently. There is one twist in the game and it serves as character development for the main character. Don’t expect a broad and compelling story or characters that are beyond the scope of Jungian archetypes and this might become one of your favourite games.

- Katie Hanson