mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Child of Light

Holy crap! I totally forgot about the July 1st release of Child of Light on the Vita until it flew right by me. After finally playing it, I’m happy to report that it’s a surprisingly unique and amazing JRPG! Here’s a list of what makes Child of Light truly shine.

Such beauty. Much impress. Wow.

  • Art - Damn, this game is freaking gorgeous. I am no connoisseur of art, but the “watercolor magic art stuff” they used for this game is so pleasant on the eyes. The wide array of environments (e.g. forest, desert, seaside village) and diversity of characters (more on that soon) all contribute to an aesthetically beautiful game.

Grandia fans will feel right at home.

  • Battle system - The system inherits A LOT from Grandia’s awesome battle system. You basically have a timeline that everyone travels along. During the “wait” period you can’t do anything; you wait. At the junction between “wait” and “cast” you pick your action. Then you begin casting the action. The key here is that actions do not happen instantaneously. If you are attacked while casting, you will be interrupted and your action will be cancelled. The same tactic can be used to keep enemies interrupted. The key to dominating battles is to interrupt enemy attacks and avoid getting your actions interrupted. Unlike some JRPGs where you can grind and brute force your way through battles, this system greatly rewards tactical play.

Yes, the world needs saving.

  • Story - Yes, like your typical JRPG you’re going to have to save the world, but the story has a very dark fairy tale feel to it. It’s so much a fairy tale that there is even rhyming! The story isn’t very engrossing, but fortunately, it also didn’t detract from the enjoyable gameplay. The plot was simple and character motivations were simple, which ended up being a good thing.

Little skits give characters some more... character.

  • Characters - The ragtag cast of characters in this game is truly delightful. The main character might be your typical young damsel in distress, but everyone who tags along for the ride is unique in all senses of the word. You have a jester (healer), a golem (melee), a gnome-man-thing (mage), a mouse-merchant (archer), and a fish-person (time mage). There isn’t huge character development, but there are short skits between two characters. Swapping characters out in battle is straightforward and encouraged since certain characters fair better against certain enemies.

Gen, Golem, Óengus, and Robert

  • Music - Man, I love the music from this game. Composed by the Canadian singer-songwriter Cœur de Pirate, the music perfectly compliments the game’s atmosphere. Just give it a listen.

Child of Light is available on pretty much everything (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, Vita) so if you’re craving a JRPG to play, I highly recommend this gem.