Talking of which, I’ve been playing as Navi… sorry Igniticulous(?)
Child of Light looks so beautiful. The painterly art style, the animation, the big stompy beasts in the background mist behind the trees.
I remember reading a John Walker review of it a long while back, where he praised the art, but said the rhyming writing was terrible. I wrote it off as him being grumpy, because it did sound and look so lovely. I should have had more faith in John.
The writing is so bad it almost ruins the game. It’s not just bad in that most of the rhymes are incredibly forced. It’s bad in that it actively fails at doing what writing should do… telling a story. The straightjacket of rhyming couplets means spending half your time going ‘what does that mean… oh, er, i think I see’.
The incredibly dumb thing about it is that it’s so clearly a dad game designed to be played with your daughter (or son). Yet they’ve taken a very standard fantasy fairy tale story and made it almost incomprehensible to kids by forcing themselves to use complex obscure vocabulary and phrasing to fit the rhymes. You know how Shakespeare was incomprehensible and dull in school? This is a kids book written as if by Shakespeare.
The basic idea of the game is great, one person controlling Zelda/Merida and one controlling Navi. Navi is the mouse cursor, so you can point out where to go or just help out by illuminating things, blinding enemies or picking up health etc… The asymmetric co-op 2d platforming and crate dragging seems great.
Battles are a bit more iffy. I mean, the Final Fantasy turn based battle system has always been horrible, but they actually do a decent job with it here by using a timeline which allows for a bunch of more interesting tactics. It might actually be quite good as far as these things go.
The problem is I’m not sure it’s a great fit for a dad-and-daughter game. It’s probably too complex and confusing for the kids, and the dad in the navi role doesn’t actually have a lot to do. We’ll see though.
It’s weird. It’s like they set out to make the perfect game to play with kids, and got part way there, but were stymied by never actually having met a kid and therefore actively choosing the best things to sabotage their goal. If there was a mod to change the dialogue to normal storytelling, it’d be so much better.
I will say, having the jester repeatedly fail to choose rhyming words is kinda clever and funny, but again it’s just kinda confusing for the kids.