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    dkirschner's Child of Light (PC)

    [December 26, 2015 10:45:03 AM]
    Really cool RPG! The first thing you notice is how beautiful the art is. I stopped for screenshots several times throughout when I was particularly impressed with some background or another. This is a fairy tale, sufficiently dark and light-hearted at the same time. A cast of interesting characters with good back stories that motivate them to fight alongside you make the game charming and thoughtful. For example, your first companion is a jester who was left by her brother and the circus she wants to be a part of. She's sad about being abandoned, but you promise to help her find the circus. Later on, you find her brother. You expect this to be a happy reunion, but her brother is perpetually sad about life, has lost the circus, but does get excited to put his jester skills toward your cause of saving the world.

    Everyone talks in rhyme. The entire game, it's all in rhyme...except the first jester you get, who humorously does not or cannot rhyme, and is always being corrected by another character. The rhymes aren't always clever or clear, but they work, and after getting used to this style of dialogue, the story becomes easier to follow.

    Gameplay wise, Child of Light is different than many RPGs. It's a 2d sidescrolling game, no different there necessarily, but you end up being able to fly around, which gives nice verticality to all the environments. Check high, check low. There are a lot of treasure chests and things to find, so item hunters will be happy there. A big mechanic is using light via a little elemental character whom you control with the mouse (while controlling Aurora with the keyboard). You're in this world with "dark creatures" who dislike light, so you can move the elemental over them and then touch them to get a surprise attack. I got surprise attacks on enemies probably 98% of the time. That just means you begin earlier on the timeline. You also use the elemental to shine light on objects to create shadows and solve some (easy) puzzles.

    So, engage an enemy and enter combat as normal in an RPG. You can have two characters out at any time, and the enemies can number up to three. There is a "timeline" and each character's portrait moves along it. When it reaches a certain point, you can input a command, then that character will take a specified amount of time (short, medium, long, etc.) to execute the command, then return to the beginning of the timeline. If a character is attacked while they are in this "casting" phase of the timeline, they get interrupted and bumped way back. If you defend, then an enemy won't knock you back and you'll go like 70% faster through the timeline until you act again. This becomes very strategic, trying to manipulate enemies on the timeline and interrupt their attacks while not being interrupted yourself. This is made easier by your elemental, whom, like outside of battle, you may use to blind enemies. Hover the elemental over enemies and hold down the left mouse, and they will slow down on the timeline. In this way, you can make enemies move slow or normal (in addition to all the spells you have to slow them down and speed you up), and can really master characters' movement across the timeline. It's fun.

    The rest of battle is fairly standard. You have spells, physical attacks, buffs, debuffs, items, defend, blah blah. Child of Light uses a rock-paper-scissors system for what elements are strong and weak against others (fire is strong against earth, weak against water; water is strong against fire, weak against lightning; etc.) One of your characters is an elemental magic user, and I used him and Aurora for the majority of the game to exploit magic weaknesses. Oh, and you can also refill some health and mana during battle by moving the elemental over these plants from time to time. All that said, combat is generally very easy and becomes routine, although I never got to the point of tedious. Some of the later boss battles were a little challenging. I'm not sure I ever died.

    There are standard skill trees. You go far through these because you level up constantly. There's also a nifty little crafting system. You get these things called oculi, little crystal fragments, and you mix and match them to create better ones, then equip those for various effects. I never really bothered equipping anyone with anything at all except diamonds, which increase experience gain. You find so many of these oculi fragments that it becomes a lot of management if you're equipping, unequipping, crafting, all the time. Just toss on +XP diamonds, craft diamonds, and go on your way.

    SO, I recommend. It's not long. Took me 11.5 hours, and you can play in short spurts. I'm glad Ubisoft has been making some neat little games aside from their mega-hits. I've got Grow Home in my library, which also promises to be an interesting little experiment!
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    dkirschner's Child of Light (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 21 December, 2015

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 24 December, 2015

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Wow, pretty. Neat rhyming dialogue, cool battle system. Hopefully doesn't begin dragging. ---------- Great game.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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