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Child of Light is Ubisoft's whimsical ode to JRPGs


Child of Light has its roots in Japanese role-playing games, which creative director Patrick Plourde hopes to honor in his whimsical dream come true.

Coming to Xbox 360, Wii U, PS3, PC, Xbox One and PS4, Child of Light focuses on a young princess named Aurora who is whisked away to the kingdom of Lemuria, only to find its inhabitants turned into crows. The girl, along with her mystical blue orb companion, called Igniculus , must discover what has taken the land down a strange path.

Gallery: Child of Light | 10 Photos

I was able to play a brief demo of Child of Light during the Ubisoft Digital Day event in San Francisco last week. The demo, which included a few encounters culminating in a boss fight, was understandably brief, but didn't diminish the game's beauty. While navigating potent vistas ripped from a watercolor painting, and foreboding caves inspired by old fairy tales, a pleasant and steady tickling of the ivories heralded my arrival to each new map.

There are no random encounters in Child of Light; rather, you see every enemy within the environment and, upon touching them, are thrust into battle. Child of Light's battle system is a variant of the Active Time Battle system employed in the Final Fantasy series. At the bottom of the screen, a bar shows how long it will take for enemy actions (and those of your own) to initiate; casting big spells or employing special moves will increase or decrease your attack timing, so planning is paramount.

It's a direct and simple system to grasp, especially if you've played the JRPGs from which Child of Light draws inspiration. Of course, those same systems take an entire game to develop and show you their intricacies, so this is just scratching the surface.

I was only able to play around 20 minutes of Child of Light, but it was enough to impart the game's intriguing and nostalgic hues.

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