With some awesome picks on Xbox’s ‘Games With Gold’ scheme it took me a while to choose which game would be worthy of a review here on Artistic Echoes. As the choices went, it was between two Ubisoft platformers, one based around a potato-headed dude with no connection to his arms or legs and the other based around a kid’s imagination, or a game of pool. The choice was a difficult one.
Child of Light probably has one of the most depressing beginnings to a story line in a game I have ever played. It starts with you, as the little girl, dying and your father mourning over it. As you play more of the game, it only gets worse as your town gets flooded and you realise your step-mother is the evil witch of the whole thing. Stereotypical right? You play a girl called Aurora, who is accompanied by her faithful companion Igniculus, a firefly created by The Lady of the forest to guide you towards finding your way out of the dream and back to your father. You are joined on the way by several more companions you decide to help out and who repay you by fighting by your side.
The gameplay to Child of Light is very different from any other I’ve played. It mixes role-playing, puzzle and fighting all into one simple platformer to make a interesting and quick game. The basics when playing Aurora in free-roam is just controlling her to move up and down, left and right through an amazingly drawn world with some stunning features. Using the left stick, or another controller if you want to play with a friend, you can control Igniculus and fly around, using your light source to activate buttons and open chests or blind enemies. There is also a combat element in the game as well, in a fast paced turn-based system. There is a bar at the bottom of the screen to which you will race to the end of and, determined on your speed, you will attack the enemy when you reach the end of the bar and have selected a move to use. There is a mix of physical and magical attacks to use as well as some support abilities due to how you skills your characters in the level up tree.
The RPG element of the game is in the leveling up and the quest lines you complete. After defeating enemies in battle, you earn experience points for your party, much like Final Fantasy, and you can level them up and choose what sort of abilities you want them to use. You can also buff your characters skills through the creation of special crystals called Oculi. Using a crafting system, you can merge different Oculi together to create stronger crystals to equip to your characters and buff them to hell. The quests can sometimes be quite puzzling and long, but most are fairly simple to follow and have decent story lines that fit into the quest, usually leading to someone joining your party or you getting a special item.
As much as I like this game for its artwork and ideas, there just isn’t a lot of content for it to work with though, many of the fights are the same and it feels like you are playing forever to complete just the first 10%. As you get further in the game it gets more interesting granted, it feels like an indie game and it is no surprise to see it floating free for this month’s Gold reward.