Child of Light is a tribute to JRPG which has a beautiful presentation, lovely soundtrack but lacks a soul in many other aspects. I really wanted to like this game but the more I played, the more I discovered that something(s) were missing and was left hugely disappointed by the end of the game.
- The art style is top notch.
- The soundtrack is top notch and sets the mood with its melancholic undertones.
- Story is simple but cheerful and gloomy at times.
- Boss battles test how well you understand the combat.
- Requires Uplay, if you hate it, you'll still hate it.
- Rhyming gets tiresome midway through the game. It's not horrible but it'll grind your gears.
- The battle system is just a shallow copy of the Grandia system and can be easily 'cheesed' with little thought for tactics and gets repetitive fairly quickly.
- RNG is on the enemy's side as they get their 'chance' skills in regularity while you seldom get yours.
- Combat is a mixed bag. It's fun early on but get extremely repetitive in the latter half. Early on I found myself willing to get into fights however later on I found myself avoiding it. That's a major red flag for a JRPG.
- The platforming controls are just terrible, running feels clunky and flying feels extremely stiff. There's this cutscene where you learn how to fly, it looks wonderful however when you're given control your first reaction will be 'Urgh'.
- The characters 'classes' are too situational or down right useless. The most useful characters are Aurora (Light), Rubella (Damage dealer, health mage), Finn (Elemental mage), Trista (Damage dealer, protection mage) everyone else are just not good.
- Party line up is too limiting, it should've been a 3 man line-up which would've allowed for more combat depth and flexibility. As it stands it's tedious to switch out members because they don't fit the situation.
- Gems\Oculi are not a fully thought out idea, it's like a shallow copy of the Materia system from FF7 just not as good. It offers little to no benefit with it's 'chance' bonuses.
- Can't reorganise your party line up outside of combat. If you made a mistake and one of your favoured members dies and had to be swapped out there's no was y swap until your next battle...this is stupid.
- There are no stores in the game, all consumables are found scattered throughout the world. Why not implement a store system so the player could stock up on items.
- Aurora's model doesn't fit the game at all. While it looks good it just doesn't mesh well with the visuals as it looks too 3d almost as if it was made to stand out from the others and looks odd.
- Gems\Oculi are rarely given throughout the game and towards the end are generously dished out.
- Boss fights are not memorable especially the last boss.
I really thought I would love this game but it feels somewhat soulless. Ubisoft positioned this game as a tribute to JRPG of old but for some reason it doesn't feel like a JRPG to me at all. The combat system is not memorable or engaging, the story while simple doesn't really hold up by the end. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad game it's just not a good 'JRPG' as aspects which make a good JRPG are under developed or simply missing. Maybe next time...because, well it's Ubisoft, you know a sequel is coming.
Recommended for those interested in a simple rpg.
Not recommended for JRPG fans looking for a fresh take.
PS: Steam please give us a neutral recommendation option.