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PS Vita Review: Child of Light

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Child of Light for the PS Vita.

Rating:
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Child of Light is a seemingly dark and tragic fairy tale. Princess Aurora dies in bed one night, leaving her to awaken in a kingdom of darkness. In order to go home she must take a legendary sword, band together with a group of misfits, and vanquish the night as the Child of Light. As with this writer’s clever wit, every conversation in CoL has a rhyming scheme, giving the narrative a poetic breadth. Charming, dramatic, and heart warming, CoL will keep players guessing with quite a few twits and turns.

Part platformer, part RPG: Child of Light is a unique breed. The world is filled with monsters, treasure, and simple puzzles to solve. In a land populated by evil creatures, the aura around the game is haunting, giving it a Limbo like feel. Battles themselves are fought in turn-based encounters. Aurora, her party, and the monsters follow a combat timeline. Actions have wait times from instantaneous, like when using an item, or extremely long, like when casting a powerful spell. If someone is attacked during the casting period, they will get knocked back in the timeline. While it may sound complex, the mechanics are a breeze to latch onto and the difficulty is never too intense. It’s simple, but fun nonetheless.

The selling point of CoL is its use of Ubisoft's Ubi Art engine, which was previously used in both Rayman games. Needless to say the design is as gorgeous as a painting come to life. The music binds the fairy tale motif together with its swift orchestral tunes. Unfortunately, there are a few blemishes in its artful approach. The game has a weird sense of pacing at times especially with the somewhat abrupt ending. And while a good cast of characters is great for a RPG party, most of them feel tagged on and unimportant. All in all, it could have used some trimming even as short as it is.

Child of Light is, above all else, a work of art. The story isn’t the most original and the battle system, while good, isn’t breaking any molds. Still, by the aid of it’s unique engine, CoL stands out as a must play RPG. What was great for consoles is even better on the PS Vita. This is where the game belongs.

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