The latest title from Kadokowa and published by NIS America is soon to be available on PlayStation 4, PSVita and Nintendo switch with the EU release date of 22nd of June 2018. Does it transcend their previous works or rot in purgatory? let’s take a deeper look.
The story of lost child uses the visual novel style of story telling with a handful of animated short scenes to portray its narrative as you take up the role of Hayato a blue haired reporter of a occult magazine LOST as he investigates his latest lead. The appearance of the purple women is when things suddenly take a turn for the sinister, resulting in your attempted murder and a mysterious gift – thus resulting in the ultimate scoop.
For the most part the story of lost child had to do a little bit of growing on me, with the first few hours feeling little more than a real used trope with little substance. Thankfully this eased up a little as you progress into the investigation as it steadily adds more depth while building on the games main narrative. With that said I just could not shake the constant use of “chosen one”, and the image of Kung Pow it drew from the back of my mind, as its was called out every 10-20 minuets as if less to infirm itself as part of the story and more to push the trope so far down your ears it makes you wish you could reach into the screen and shake the latest person to say it while screaming “we get it” in there face. Despite the wobbly start I had and the fact no one can use poor Hayato’s name, I have to admit to enjoying the story thanks to its multiple perspectives and characters that you come across.
Graphically however there’s a point I can’t understand at all, but before I do I have to stress I am yet to fully finish the title so it may yet explain. At what seems to be endgame I’m doubting it will come about, and that point is the fact that around half of the cast, maybe closer to 3/4, are seemingly covered in blood for no reason at all. This appears at all times with no explanation or even acknowledgement of it in the slightest. It’s just utterly bizarre and 100% out of place without any context. Now as I say I could have missed something or it may be explained after end game, but it seems unlikely and left somewhat a sour taste. A shame really as the backdrops and dungeons have some truly nice and detailed designs.
Audio wise we have both English and Japanese audio that is available for change from the games menus, something that’s always a nice touch with these titles. The games score and sound effects also do a good job at setting the tone for exploration and high tension battles.
Gameplay in Lost Child seemingly draws on elements of your classic dungeon crawler, as well as inspiration from multiple Shin Megami Tensei titles. You use your gangour a Divine weapon with the ability to capture souls using special “bullets” and utilising said souls in your fight against heaven hell and all things between.
Lost child also has many other typical RPG elements that one would expect if you played a dungeon crawler before, but takes a bit of a different path with its level up system for Hayato and his partner. Its your typical affair of fight, earn exp and level up. When it comes down to the demons however, you can accumulate 3 types of exp into a “pot”, regardless of who you use in battle. You may then distribute it as you see fit, a feature I personally love due to the fact it allows you to raise who you need when you need, to saving massive amounts of time training new demons up
Gameplay overall is enjoyable and its different from the normal systems that only benefit the player. If however you find this to makes things too easy, you can switch it up to hard mode from the menus as well as turning it down to easy for a casual stroll through the game.
Overall I have to say I’m enjoying lost child’s story and wish to see it through to its conclusion as soon as possible, and thankfully due to the lack of grinding required even a casual gamer should be able to do so with relative ease. Honestly if you like kadokawa’s other titles, dungeon crawlers or SMT, this game should be a wonderful fit for you.
The Lost Child (PlayStation 4) - 6/10
- Little to no grinding start to end
- Interesting story once it gets going
- Some interesting gameplay elements
- Blood seemingly the latest fashion item
- A bit tropey at the start
- “Chosen one” x 5000000
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