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Child of Light Review: Visual Poetry In Motion

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Good day to all my fellow gamers. Welcome back to my esteemed blog. I apologize for this insane delay in posting, but recently work and night classes have syphoned my personal time, but once again I have returned and with some very late—but nonetheless excellent and non-bias gaming reviews. The summer is finally here, and kids, teens, and the more paleolithic gamers like myself are always looking to invest countless hours in some gaming goodness. So, I have decided to start by reviewing one of four games on my platter that I am playing and very much enjoying. The first review will be Ubisoft’s RPG, Child of Light. This title has had a lot of expectations. Does it live up to all these expectations, or is it another disappointing letdown. Let’s take a look.

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Graphics: Elegance and beauty are understatements when it comes to describing the graphics of Child of Light. From the moment you turn on your console, even the “press start” screen draws you in like a spell. The colors and textures are beautifully drawn. The backgrounds are lush and vibrant with color and life, from the immense forests, to the dark and creepy caverns—It’s an eye-candy overload that fans will love. Ubisoft definitely proves to all of us that they poured their heart, sweat, and tears into providing us a product of pure visual delight. The characters of Child of Light are also brilliantly drawn in both story sequences and gameplay.

The creature designs are almost out of a child’s story, but not in a childish way. Each creature is well detailed and some can also be a bit fearsome. Being a person with a hummingbird attention span, I found myself constantly getting lost or distracted from my path, but I didn’t get frustrated with the game. I simply wanted to keep wandering and soak in the beautiful atmosphere of this amazing world. Score 10/10 

Sound: Canadian singer-songwriter Coeur de Pirate (Béatrice Martin) brings to Child of Light a musical score that is timeless and beautifully done. Every track seems to fit the environment of the game. From the soothing melody played in the forest, to the climactic boss battles, every piece of music is a joy to behold. Score 9.5/10

Gameplay: This game focuses on the heroine Aurora who, after falling victim to a physical ailment—wakes up in the world of Lemuria. She then begins her quest to save her father from the evil queen, Umbra. Thus, she journeys through mystical Lemuria, gathering very unique allies along the way. A bow-wielding mouse, a jester who can’t seem to complete one rhyme, a golem, and a wizard—yes these are some of the different varieties of characters that you will encounter through your 12-15 hour quest.

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While most heroes in video games tend to have a stereotypical look from an abnormally muscular hero, or a sexy seductive heroine—Child of Light has none of these stereotypes. It introduces pretty average characters that still make an impact without all the muscles and sexiness. The battle system is one that is familiar to many fans. It uses a turn based gaming engine similar to the Grandia series. Characters and monsters take turns while small icons in line on the screen races to the “action” button. This determines who gets to act first. This element provides a lot of strategic challenges, because your quick thinking will determine whether you can get the jump on your enemies before they can act, or fall victim to their onslaught. Aurora’s companion Igniculus also plays a vital role in your quest as a distraction blinding your enemies and slowing their progression on the action bar. It is a refreshing element and a fantastic tribute to the gaming franchises that introduced these engines. Score 9.5/10

Child of Light is a game that should be in everyone’s library. It is a beautiful tribute to past games, and it is a brilliant masterpiece to behold. If you have not downloaded this title yet, don’t wait another minute—download Child of Light today.

Final Score: 9.5/10

Knack Review: Building adventure from the ground up.

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Welcome back friends to my esteemed blog.  As many of you know, the Playstation 4 console has been released and I have been very busy enjoying all that it has to offer.  Look at the image below for the launch line.  

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I want to start off by reviewing one of it’s launch titles, the new adventure game Knack.  Like most new consoles, the launch titles are usually hit or miss.  So, does Knack make the cut as a good premiere title?  Read on to find out.  

Graphics:  Knack delivers a very Pixar Studios like world with colorful characters and vibrant worlds.  The enemy designs are very well done, and you can’t get over how cute Knack is in his tiny initial form.  It all blends in to bring a cute package.  Score: 9/10

 

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Sound:  The music in this particular title really makes a stand above the crowd.  Each scene has a musical track that is fitting in exploration, combat, and story sequences.  The voice cast is equally awesome.   I was very amazed at the quality of music that was in this title, and I can assure you that you will be too.  Score: 9/10   

Gameplay:  Knack’s story is unique in it’s own ways.  War is rampant on humans as a result of Goblins led by their ruthless and cunning leader,  Gundahar.  A scientist and his assistant, along with the assistant’s uncle try to stop the goblin’s reign of terror with the help of Knack, the three-foot tall protagonist who is blessed with a unique ability.  Knack can utilize pieces called relics to attach to his body, causing him to grow anywhere from eight feet to three stories tall.  At the same time, Knack’s story tends to divide into fighting the goblins and butting heads with another antagonist Victor, along with his partner in crime Katrina.  This is all combined with beat ’em up combat and platforming elements that bring together a fun-filled adventure.
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The battles in Knack can range from moderate to very difficult.  Some areas require Knack to combat very large enemies in his tiny form, which results in one-hit kills from most foes that attack him.  Of course, when Knack is giant-sized, he delivers the same one-hit kill style beat down to his now insect sized foes.  There are tanks and combat planes that can knock giant Knack on his big behind, so play your cards carefully.  Score: 9.5/10

There have been many critics who have given this game bad reviews, and I still can’t see anything wrong with this game.  Don’t be fooled by biased reviews, Knack is an adventure that is definitely worth checking out.  I believe critics were expecting too much from Knack, and decided to whine about it when they didn’t get what they wanted.  Even though writer Mark Cerny said initially that the game will be a blend of Crash Bandicoot, Katamari Damacy, and God of War.  In my opinion, Cerny delivered on his promise.  

Final Score: 9/10 

Thanks for reading and be sure to follow my blog, and spread the word about me.  This is going to be a busy week, but I will continue to keep the posts coming.  Tune in soon when I post my review for Contrast, ResoGun, and Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

Sony vs. Microsoft. The winner is?

Welcome back friends to my esteemed blog.  As many of you know, Sony and Microsoft just had their press conference at the 2013 E3.  Now as many of you know, there has been a long debate on which system would dominate at this year’s E3.  There was also talk about which company would own with their arsenal of upcoming titles for their next generation console systems.  

Well, let’s do a quick rundown of each company’s arsenal.  

XBOX One:

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Cost: $499.00

Game List:

Forza Motorsport 5
LocoCycle
Quantum Break
Ryse
Super T.I.M.E. Force
Titan Fall

PS4:

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Cost: $399.00

List of Games

Deep Down
Drive Club
Final Fantasy XV Versus
Kingdom Hearts III (Trailer only, still in development)
Destiny
Infamous: Second Son
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Knack
The Witness
The Order
Diablo 3 
Elder Scrolls Online

I apologize if I missed a few games, but I am literally trying to get this in before the end of the night.  The arsenal of games for XBOX One was somewhat impressive.  I drooled slightly at the Killer Instinct trailer, but the overall arsenal of titles was far from persuasive enough to make a $500 investment.  The Kingdom Hearts III Trailer was without a doubt a major drool fest for Kingdom Hearts fans.  Final Fantasy XV versus looks impressive thus far, but it is still too early to tell.  So now, the question is, who won?  Well…the winner is?

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PS4 is the winner for one reason: No DRM (Digital Rights Management)  The PS4 has no restrictions, supports used games, and does not require internet connection to play.  

Stay tuned tomorrow with me when I report on the Nintendo E3 press conference, and be sure to follow my blog to stay up to date with the latest and greatest gaming goodness.  

Lucas