Game Review: Child of Light

A friend was kind enough to give me some Nintendo e-shop credit for my birthday, and now that I’m on break I decided to buy a new game instead of taking on my backlog like any logical person would *sigh*

Eliminating the need for me to get out my credit card or buy an actual card at Gamestop, I finally decided to buy Child of Light. I think I first heard about this game from a gif-set on tumblr, or it may have been E3 or a Nintendo direct. I don’t remember. But I do remember thinking it looked absolutely beautiful, and I learned from tumblr that the *entire* game rhymed. I knew I’d play it eventually.

child_of_light

The story takes place in the 1800s and revolves around Princess Aurora (of Austria presumably). She’s fallen ill and believed to be dead, soon after her father, the king falls ill as well. However, it seems that Aurora hasn’t died, but has woken up in the land of Lemuria. She wants to get back home to her father, knowing he’ll die without her, but finds out she’ll have to take care of some things in Lemuria first. As the game progresses other characters join the party in typical RPG fashion, and you find out more about how the land is suffering since an evil queen came into power. But that’s enough of a summary, now I’ll talk about what I liked most about this game before getting to why you shouldn’t like it.

The Art: This game is beautiful. Everything looks like a well illustrated fairy tale book, but slightly darker than the ones you may have had as a kid. I really loved the use of color. In a way it reminds me of romantic era work (color wise, not style wise) The screencaps really speak for themselves.

childoflight

This game is wallpaper material

Child of Light_20140501202317

really, if you want some wallpapers, just google image search “child of light”

child_of_light_close-up_header

I even love how the design of certain characters reflects who they are. Aurora is another word for sunrise, and Princess Aurora’s flaming red hair and bright golden gown capture that. I’d say the same about villains, and describe some more, but I’m not getting into spoiler territory now.

Strong Female Characters: I knew from the start that the main character was a small princess, but that didn’t really influence my purchase. I’m used to playing as a guy, but it was really fun to play a game that actually centers around a girl for once. There are even other female characters that join the party, and no one in the game is sexualized at all. I’d love to see more fantasy games like this. The narrator and all of the major villains are female, not just our heroine! It’s really only women calling the major shots in this game from the beginning. It would’ve been nice if there was some actual (human) racial diversity in this game too, but I’m still really happy with all of the girl power vibes I got from this game.  I know I would have loved playing this game as a kid.

The Gameplay: Usually I’m not into turn based RPGs and having to grind. But the way the timer works in this game is a little bit different from what I was used to with old Final Fantasies. Character move along the timer bar at the bottom, when you get to the red part you take time casting your attack, you can get interrupted if you’re not defending though. Different attacks have different speeds, as do characters, but I’m not so great at describing it so here’s another pretty screencap.

Even the battles make beautiful wallpaper

Even the battles make beautiful wallpaper

The Rhymes: The entire game rhymes. The entire game. If one character says a line that doesn’t rhyme on it’s own, someone else will chime in to make it rhyme. It’s wonderful.

The Music: I really liked it. You can listen to all of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93h-8MKG48s

And now….

Why You Shouldn’t Like This

  • The game could have been longer, or have had a bit more depth to the story. Even so it was nice for what it was.
  • There are certain times the game “forces” you to go into an area because a party member will leave and refuse to rejoin you until you go there. Or they’ll just straight up leave for a while when you wanted to go exploring for more hidden items. You do get to go back to every location eventually though.
  • This game would probably play more smoothly with a second player to control your firefly and illuminate dark areas, or aid you during battle. There’s a lot of stopping if you’re only playing on the wii u game pad.
  • I somehow missed a side quest and I don’t see how given it was impossible for me to miss the others with party members refusing to help me until I did them.

In conclusion, this is a beautiful game and everyone should play it. If Child of Light doesn’t win any awards for 2014, everything is wrong with the world, and EA is paying everyone off.

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