Child of Light

Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genre: Strategy RPG
Developer: Ubisoft
Review by: kittykuma

This game catch my attention when dragjae55 introduced it to me just one week before its release. I was impressed by its visual presentation. It's kind of a mixture of watercolour painting style with Asian calligraphy painting style.

At first I thought it's a puzzle platformer, but it turns out to be a strategical RPG.

Story-wise , I didn't pay much attention to it. I skipped most of the dialogue. I feel I'm quite reluctant to read a game's story if it is too much like a 'lecture'. In the recent years, the only game I read the whole story from beginning to finish is a vita game called "Zero Escape: virtue's last reward". That game has a story plot continuously filled with suspense. One of the most epic story among all games I've played.

Beautiful color palette and water-color painting style

Landscape just looks so gorgeous in this game

Anyway if you wonder what's the story about. I copied something from wiki.
Child of Light centers around Aurora, a girl from 1895 Austria who contracts a physical ailment that causes her to fall asleep. Upon waking up, Aurora finds herself in the mythical world of Lemuria which has had its sun, moon and stars stolen by the Black Queen. Aurora is tasked with recovering the celestial bodies and ultimately reuniting with her father, who is a duke. Helped by her playable companion Igniculus the firefly and several unlikely allies, Aurora will face her darkest fears in this modern take on a coming-of-age story.

The battle system is a action-bar strategy. You wait for your action bar to get filled to take actions. For those type of game, speed is important, you better have a character who can cast 'haste' on allies and 'slow' on enemies.

  • Regular attack: your basic attack, which is consider physical type.
  • Special attack: depends on your char, mage char can cast different type of magic. Some char's special attack can hit multiple enemies.
  • Defend: can help you take less damage from enemies, and improve your action charge speed by 60% next turn. So if you see enemies is about to attack and you are slower than them, it's the best time to pick 'Defend' option.
  • Potion: it'll took a turn to use potion.
  • Change Active Character: it's kinda weird that they only offer the active team member swap option in battle screen. It took me awhile to figure out how to change characters. Since swapping char won't consume turn, so feel free to swap them to your heart content.
Battle screen

Enemies have different type of weakness. Only the 'fire' type enemies are easy to spot since they glow red in color. Some 'water' type enemy has blue color, but not all water type enemies are in blue. As for the rest of the enemies you need to try out different attacks on them to spot their weakness. There is a 'Oculi' section, which is similar to diablo's Gem system. You can apply modifiers to weapons using Oculi.
Here is some list of different enemy type and their weakness:

  • Fire type enemy: weak to Water type attack (weapon enchanted with Sapphire)
  • Water type enemy: weak to Lightning type attack (weapon enchanted with Emerald)
  • Earth type enemy: weak to Fire type attack (weapon enchanted with Ruby)
  • Dark type enemy: weak to light attack ( only main character Aurora has the light magic, or you can mix Ruby + Emerald to make Citrine )

Oculi crafting system and Skill tree

Here comes the part I have to complain. Child of Light is kinda open world in design. But it doesn't have any quest mark on the map to help player with navigation. I found myself often get lost about what to do and where to go. They could improve the user experience by adding a highlight mark for current/selected quest on the map to avoid confusing. And first playthrough of the whole story mode, my game crashed more than 10 times. One crash even corrupted my save file( which happened after Aurora reaches the sky temple near the stepmother meeting.) and lost 5 hours gameplay. I strongly recommend that you frequently save your game and back it up to an usb driver or cloud server to avoid this to happen.

There are too many locked doors at the beginning of the game but there aren't any description on them about what's needed to open them. This is a bad feeling for gamers like me. It just feel overwhelmingly out of control.

I have to admit I'm lost again during the exploring lol
Good thing is at least I'm lost in such a beautiful world

Same thing happen to the Dark Souls 2 game design. Too many locked doors and branches and secret holes on walls or on ground. They drive me crazy. lol I still remember back then in Resident Evil 1 era. Game designer kindly put some description on locked doors, they serve as hints to help player navigate and explore. Nowadays, designer so easily overlook those little details on design, which hurt the user experience in my opinion.

Overall score: 8 /10

  • Graphic: 9/10
  • Level design: 7/10
  • battle system: 8/10
  • story: 8/10
  • music: 9/10
  • User Experience Design: 6/10



May 10th 2014


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