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Child of Light Review

With the JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Games) season in full swing, turn based action titles from the usual developers are coming thick and fast with the likes of NIS, Atlus and Square Enix filling up the otherwise baron release schedule. This year though there is a surprise release from an equally unexpected studio, Ubisoft.

Though not their usual area of expertise it is clearly an Ubisoft game, taking plenty of ideas from some of their other more popular titles, most notably the visual direction from the recent Rayman games.

The overall feel of Child of Light is that of a digital fairy tale, the beautiful water coloured and dreamy visuals matched perfectly with the rhythmic prose of the characters as they talk, it is almost like something read to you as a child. It all starts off with a young princess who is placed in a sort of magical coma, unresponsive to the real world but is whisked away to the dream world of Lemuria where an evil Dark Queen has stolen the sun, moon and stars. Wandering around this strange land and taking the lead from some strange voices in the wind Aurora is soon joined by a speck of light called Igniculus. Aurora is then deep into a magical adventure, helping the remaining few inhabitants and teaming up with other strange characters, some will assist in your quest whilst others will stop at nothing to get in your way.

Child of Light takes a few strong elements from an assortment of genres and manages to mix them up without feeling out of place. For the exploration side its classic platforming, with Aurora jumping, pulling levers and solving puzzles, though this soon evolves when she is granted a pair of wings, allowing her to fly to previously unreachable areas, unearthing all manner of treasures and monsters. Auroras main companion Igniculus is always present on screen, with the right stick used to move him around, collecting items to regain health and powers and also using his light to shine into the faces of enemies which is very handy when disorienting enemies when trying to gain a surprise attack or just avoid them overall. As and when you do decide to tackle the many monsters, the game then falls onto its strong, if a little light JPRG roots, with battles taking place in an active time battle system.

What is essentially a turn based approach, the fighting is quite easy to follow with a bar at the bottom of the screen having each characters avatar work along the gauge until a casting point is reached, with the game then pausing allowing you time to pick your moves, be it a general attack, use of magic or some potion use and defence. The game manages to avoid all of the clutter that many JRPGs have built up over the years, keeping everything simple to follow and understand as well as notifying you when you have found specific enemies weaknesses. As Aurora and her friends battle it out on the screen you are still able to control Igniculus, moving him around the screen to gather items hidden in the battle zone and also use his light skills to shine brightly in the enemies eyes, causing their time gauge to build up slower and in turn granting you a great edge in the battles.

To add a little more depth to the proceedings there is also an automatic levelling system that grants skill points to spend on a branching skill tree, with each character in your team able to boost certain aspects like potion use and increased attacks.

Child of Light is a letter of love to the JRPG world; it is not laden down with overlong cinematic cut scenes or the usual stereotype characters and in turn manages to appeal to a wider audience with its easy accessibility and beautiful presentation. For people who have always been interested by the JRPG scene but been put off by the over familiar aspects, this is ideal, however due to the bare bones feel to it and the short playtime of around 13 hours, JRPG fans will find little here other than a great looking game.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PC)


+ Beautiful to watch and listen to.
+ Fun to play turn based mechanics.


- A bit short for your usual JRPG fare.

Edited On 07 May, 2014

( 17 )
Darkassassin 1 year ago
may pick this up next month too many games out in may i do not normally play turn based games though might take a punt looks beautiful and colourful
Bindiana 1 year ago
I played this for a couple hours last night and enjoyed it. I am old school and like the turn based combat dont really get on with the new battle systems in RPGs these days.
jay.hamilton 1 year ago
im well enjoying it, im level 33 and all my companions are 30+, so guessing if its a little short im not far from the end
JoeToots 1 year ago
Loving this game nearly at the end, i'm pretty much similar to you Jay. I'm level 37 with all companions 35+
Darkassassin 1 year ago
How many hours guys do you think its took thinking of picking it up now
RTLF 1 year ago
Go for it mate, an amazing game for the price
Dave 'BubbaJai' Aston 1 year ago
Still unsure about this one, although I really enjoyed playing Ni No Kuni
Bindiana 1 year ago
The general consensus is that it takes between 10-15 hours assassin.
RTLF 1 year ago
If you're going for the trophies it'll take a fair bit longer than that, now I think of it though it doesn't have a platinum and knowing you that might be a deal-breaker :)
JoeToots 1 year ago
it's class. I though it wouldn't be my cup of tea heck some people on here though i wouldn't like it but i love it..
Zombieflamingo 1 year ago
I just wished they had kept it to platforming or held back the flying to later. I enjoy the fights and the game looks great so I will keep playing through it.
PrometheusFan 1 year ago
I thought it was a bit too easy and repetitive personally. The combat is completely shallow and requires virtually nothing in the way of proper strategy in order to win. I managed to get through the whole thing using the same two characters the entire time, with the rest of the party characters being unused and frankly unneeded. It looks great and has a really good soundtrack at least though.
JoeToots 1 year ago
Prometheus you should of played it on hard then.
PrometheusFan 1 year ago
You might be right there, but I've already done with the game on normal, so it's a bit late to worry about it now :)
JoeToots 1 year ago
at least you'll know for next time.
Doom Of Shadow 1 year ago
Great game, Still have no idea what the story was about?
Loli-Nox-Tan 1 year ago
I'm playing it on Hard and you need to be very smart with your use of Igniculus

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