Child of Light Review: a work of art come to life
- Posted May 16th, 2014 at 19:37 EDT by Garri Bagdasarov
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Child of Light is a game that should not be missed, especially by RPG fans. If someone asked me to give them an example of why video games are considered art, Child of Light would be that game. Child of Light is easily an early contender for Game of the Year.
- Outstanding art design.
- Breathtaking orchestral soundtrack.
- Fun, challenging battle system.
- The verse-and-rhyme storytelling may not be for everyone.
- Unforgiving combat before the end.
During combat, I constantly had the urge to attack like I do in most turn-based RPG games, but Child of Light made me utilize all the strengths of its combat system. Allowing me to switch party members during my cast phase to adapt to the situation at hand saved me from the dreaded "Game Over" screen. Enemies will strike with elemental attacks as well as cast buffs and debuffs, making themselves stronger and faster while your party wilters. Battles were difficult enough to demand using enemies' tactics against them, and I'd often quicken my parties and slow the enemy before proceeding with attacks.
Finn, my magic-casting ally whose spells were a frequent boon for exploiting enemy weaknesses, was used similarly often. Interestingly, the enemy AI reacts to the situation and goes after Finn before he is able to use his magic. I would counter this by throwing in the party's heavy-hitter to get everyone's attention with Taunt. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, just like the enemies you encounter. Oengus, for example, has great physical strength but will fall quickly to magic attacks. I was always kept on my toes, and my strategies changed to suit every encounter. One boss, in particular, had multiple attack points, with each one having a different weakness, forcing me to constantly change characters to adapt to the situation. It's as if I was playing a constant game of rock, paper, scissors throughout the 12-hour adventure. Although some players my get frustrated with some of the encounters, especially toward the later half of the game, I found the challenge refreshing.
The game also packs a simple upgrade system that can greatly change the tide of battle. When players level up, they get one skill point to use to acquire new skills or add stat boosts for extra strength or defense. Each character has three different categories. One focuses on physical skills and stats, another focuses on magic abilities, and the third on speed and critical hits. Players have the freedom to upgrade their characters as they see fit.
Another important aspect is the game's crafting system. As is the case with combat, this system is easy to grasp but hard to master. Players acquire gems throughout their journey--namely, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald variants--and can equip them to weapon, armor, and accessories. As the game doesn't have shops to buy new gear, these stones become vital to your progression. Each stone adds a different effect depending on where it's placed. For example, if a player sockets a Ruby stone into their weapon, it will add an 8-percent fire damage bonus to physical attacks, while equipping it on one's armor will add 12-percent fire resistance.