Friday, March 18, 2016

Child of Light Review

So essentially, if you've ever read a review about this game you already know it's amazing. I've heard nothing but glowing feedback since the game came out. I was ignoring the buzz until Steam put it on sale for less than $4. You can't really lose at that price point.

This magical side scroller has the BEST animation I've seen in years. The artwork is beyond incredible. It's a little... awkward to call a video game "elegant" but when the shoe fits.. 

With earthy, hand-painted art style and charming character designs, it deftly sidesteps the tropey land mines that have littered the RPG landscape for the better part of a decade. Yet it still pays loving homage to what's come before it with enjoyable exploration and puzzle solving, and a combat system that's second to none. The intelligent simplicity with which it's been crafted makes it both easy to grasp, and rewarding to master in a way that very few RPGs can match.

The game focuses on a young girl named Aurora who’s trying to save her father rather than the other way around. There’s also a travelling jester who can’t figure out how rhyming works, a love-sick mouse archer. None of them adhere to the overly worn, widely accepted conventions of powerful men and sexualized women, and the motley cast is all the more memorable for it. Aurora’s transformation from a frightened child to the hero of her own story is framed relatably by filial strife, making her journey feel deeply personal despite the broad strokes it’s painted with.

Aurora learns that it is her destiny to recover the sun, moon, and stars from the evil queen who has stolen the light from the land. At first, she is understandably reluctant and even petulant about having this responsibility thrust upon her shoulders when all she wants to do is wake up back in Austria and hurry to her heartsick father's side. It's the way that she grows over the course of the game that makes her journey meaningful. She befriends a diverse group of characters who all have struggles of their own and who find their strength in each other, and her journey is empowering, but not altogether joyous. Child of Light is a richer game for the ways in which it acknowledges the hard decisions and the inevitable sadness that are part and parcel of leaving childhood behind.

You travel through Lemuria from a two-dimensional side-view perspective, and though you're bound to the ground like an ordinary girl when the game begins, early on you gain the power of flight. There are plenty of treasure chests for you to discover and optional side quests to complete, giving you an incentive to venture off the beaten path, soar up into the skies and explore every nook and cranny of these lands. Many areas also have environmental hazards and traps for you to avoid, and though these never pose too much of a challenge, they make navigating the world a bit trickier and more involving than it would be if it didn't have any dangers.

The only negative I can come up with for this game is that the story arc can get a bit tedious at times. The Shakesperean Iambic Pentameter can be a bit... offputting to say the least 

As one of the only turn based RPG's on the market I just HAVE to give this one a 4.5/5

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