A year or so ago I downloaded Child of Light for the Xbox One using a Games for Gold deal, however the policy behind Games for Gold was altered around this time making it so you could not play any game you downloaded through the program unless you were still a member. Pretty bullshit if you ask me, since Xbox 360 users didn't have to worry about this issue at the time, but whatever the case I had to put off playing the game until I had a reason to go Gold again. Well since Battleborn is an online only game I had my reason, and in the past weeks I played through and beaten all of Child of Light.
I was a bit hesitant since the game looked like the kind of indie title I typically avoid, but I heard that the producer was actually Ubisoft and that it was a turn-based RPG. Color me interested. And so I began my journey into the rhyme filled story that Child of Light encompasses, a story about a little girl's fight to be reunited with her father after awakening in a strange land. The girl's name is Aurora, and after being joined by a fire elemental and some brief platforming she gets a sword and meets and old lady. The lady sets her path, explaining that the queen of night has taken over and now Aurora must defeat the queen's subjects to get home.
Along the way you encounter other characters, like a circus jester looking for her brother, a golem searching for a missing piece, a magic using dwarf, and several others. These characters join Aurora in her fight for their own reasons, but eventually they all come together to take on the evil queen. Story-wise there's really not that many surprises, as you can tell who the queen is as soon as the old lady talks about her. Heck, you can ever tell who the old lady is too. It's a simple story, but one that can get a bit exhausting as all the dialogue is spoken in rhymes. Terrible terrible rhymes.
When it comes to game play I mentioned platforming, but after your first meeting with the old lady you gain the ability of flight and you'll likely be flying around 80% of the time you aren't fighting enemies. It's a kind of floaty flight and takes some getting use to, especially since you need to get good at controlling Aurora's boosting for some of the over-world puzzles and mazes. You could also just fly directly to where you need to go, but exploration of the maps will bag you lots of upgrades for your party's stats and gem slots. Stardust is what you'll use to upgrade stats, which can be very useful in making a party member faster and stronger in battle. Gems are use to augment your attack, defense, or give you a special ability. As the maps usually have a theme to them like fire, water, or wind, you can almost always prepare for new enemies by equipping the right gems. Pretty standard stuff in terms of RPG mechanics.
The only big caveat to the battling is the casting time, in that a greater emphasis is placed on the last 10% of the turn timeline. Get hit while you are preparing your attack or using an item, and you'll be set back in the turn timeline and lose out on what you were trying to do. This means paying extra special attention to how quickly enemies progress on the timeline, using speed boosters on your team, speed dampeners on the enemies, and controlling that fire elemental to shine light on the enemies that causes them to cower and slow down. Making enemies lose out on their turn is vital to winning, as many enemies hit for huge damage that can drop your team in a few hits. And since you can only use two party members at a time, you'll need to be extra keen on creating a symbiotic relationship between the two. For instance the main two I used had a tank and glass cannon relationship, with one casting taunt to hold the enemies attention while the other would hit for big damage. This did come back to bit me in the ass with the final boss, but I consider it a win that it worked 99% of the time.
While the game's rhyming got old really quick, the visuals were absolutely beautiful. A kind of water color feel to the whole world really grabs your attention, even the designs on some of the enemies were really cool. Although I must say that whoever designed Aurora, her sisters, and her mother had a big fetish for hair that floated around like they are underwater.
Now while I have given some pretty solid praise for the game, I must say that it is also rather short. Took me about around 30 hours to get through the entire game, which included finding all of the collectables and completing all the side quests. Since I got the game free at the time I wasn't that bothered, but anyone paying for this game should wait till it is on sale.
Child of Light gets a 8.0 out of 10