With any new game, there is hype. Instead of jumping on the hype train like I did with Twilight (why did I ever read three out of the four books…), I wanted more information on story and gameplay of Child of Light. Luckily, there was a Youtube video with someone’s impressions on playing the first hour of the game without too much spoilers. And with that video, I was sold. I got the game on the PS3 for $14.99 so my review is based on that version of the game.
Child of Light revolves around a young girl named Aurora from 1895 Austria who develops a physical illness causing her to fall asleep. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a land called Lemuria. A place where the stars, sun and moon has been taken by the Dark Queen Umbra. Aurora’s quest is to find the stars, sun and moon in order to be reunited with her father, the Duke.
First thing first, I was deeply confused by the story. I got an illness and now I’m in Lemuria? I thought I died! Am I dead? Or am I still alive? It wasn’t made clear that Aurora developed an illness. From the game: “That night Aurora went to sleep, The fire burned down low. She caught a chill that spread, Her skin was cold as snow. At dawn they found her, Vacant, Aurora’s light gone out. Her father wept and pleaded, But there could be no doubt. For all intents and purposes, Aurora was dead.”
Even the game tells me that I am dead but other sites tell me that I fell asleep. Either way, I am on a mission to save Lemuria and get back to my dad.
The game’s field is that of a 2D platform side-scroller. I haven’t played many, if not at all, 2D role play games so this was quite an experience for me. Getting into combat is very reminiscent of Chrono Trigger. You can either avoid them or fight them if you wish. Depending on how you run into them, you can get the Surprise Attack, Ambushed, or regular encounter with enemies. Combat is just like the combat system in Grandia 2. You have a bar at the bottom of the screen with Wait and Cast with your party at top and enemies at bottom.
In the beginning of the game you get a firefly friend Igulnicus (who I can never pronounce) who is useful inside and out of battles. In battle, Igulnicus can either heal you or stun enemies on the Wait/Cast bar. All Igulnicus needs to do is hover over the intended recipient and hold down the L2 button. He won’t be able to stun or heal for long. He’ll run out of power and you’ll need to collect wishes (this also applies on the field as well). Wishes are found in a bright blue light in battle and on the field. Run over those and Igulnicus’s power bar in the top left of the screen is refilled. His power is also needed to solve puzzles in the game. He can either be controlled with the right analog stick or by the second player.
You get to meet and join up with a cast of characters in your party. You meet about seven party members but one leaves part way through the game and becomes part of the plot. You can switch them out during battle. I tended to use Rubella and Finn the most since you get those two earlier in the game and I found their skills to be the most useful. Gen is a character you get at the end of the game whom I only used in battle once unfortunately.
To buff up your characters, you have a skill tree and equip Oculi. The skill tree reminds me of the Sphere Grid in Final Fantasy X except every character has their own skill tree. Oculi are gems that you find in chests and Coffers that only Igulnicus can open. You can equip Oculi in the weapon, shield, or special bonus slot of your party members for added effects. You can craft Oculi for better gems for better effects.
The music is beautiful and can get you in the right mood. The dialogue is pretty unique. Everyone rhymes except for Rubella. She can’t rhyme to save her life.
I found the game to be too short. I could have beaten it in a few days but I ended up not playing it for a week due to being sick. Though there is a New Game+ option and the enemies are tougher. So if you want to play Child of Light again and with more of a challenge, New Game+ is the way to go.
Overall I enjoyed the game but I felt that it could have been longer and I would had more time with the characters I got later in the game.
Child of Light score