Child of Light Review


It’s hard to call Child of Light a Japanese RPG, when it was developed in Canada by Ubisoft Montreal, but that’s still probably the best way to describe it. Despite this minor identity crisis, Child of Light is every bit as good as any recent JRPG to hit the market.

The game sets out with a story about how a fire takes the life of a young girl named Aurora. Post-death she finds herself waking up in a strange new world and is just desperately trying to find her way home. The story is told between a combination of dialog and cut-scenes, but it works well for it. The only thing gets a bit old after a while, is the seemingly forced rhyming scheme the game tries to adopt.

Visually, the game looks absolutely stunning, like a piece of fine artwork in motion. And the setting really makes this art direction come alive. And while amount of video settings to toggle on the PC build is very limited, it could be attributed to this art style, so it’s one of the few times I’ll let it go. The game runs at an incredibly smooth 60 fps and looks great the whole time you play.

What I’m most impressed with, is the game’s combat system. The system takes a hybrid approach to combat, combining both turn-based and active time battle elements, though nothing seemed to be compromised in combining the two. Each character in battle, moves along a wait bar, which is the time between each move, and once the end of that bar is reached, you can attack, but each attack takes a certain amount of time to cast. By performing techniques with quicker cast times, you can perform your move first and interrupt the enemy from attacking, but they can also do the same to you. But since defending doesn’t have any cast time, it makes taking a defensive stance actually practical, which is incredibly rare to see in a RPG of this nature. What results, is one of the freshest combat systems I have come across in any RPG in recent memory. And while I may have made the system sound a bit more complex, it’s actually surprisingly simple to grasp, though the time it takes to master it, is what makes it feel truly rewarding.

While being being somewhat linear, Child of Light is simply a visceral experience, there are many different paths to take and places to explore, though it’s one of the very few instances where I really wouldn’t mind if I got “lost.” There is a good amount of collectables to keep the game going and pretty large overworld to explore. At the end of the day, the game will run you about 10 to 15 hours, but at a budget price of $15, it is worth every last penny and is one of the finest RPGs to come out this year.

9 out of 10

Let’s Play 龍が如く 維新! (Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin!) – PS4 Gameplay (English Commentary)

Long story short, I made a Japanese PSN account and wanted to see what games they have been hiding from us in the land of the rising sun…. I found this.

Trials Fusion Review

Trials. What started as browser based Java game in 2000, has evolved into something much greater than it originally set out to be and with this newest edition to the series now available, just how far has this series come? Here’s my review of Trials Fusion available now for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

For those unfamiliar Trials has always been a game of trial and error. Clear a course, earn medals, race on the next one. That’s the Trials way. Eventually you’ll be gated with a message saying you need X amount of medals to continue on and this is the game’s greatest strength and also its greatest weakness. See, to get enough medals to progress you need to replay stages you have already played over and over and over again until you finish a run in under a certain amount of time, sometimes not allowing any messups either.

The stages themselves for the most part are incredible short, but you will still find yourself replaying the same stage dozens of times to get that perfect score. It’s easy to get the thought in your head, “I already got the gold medal, but I still think I could do this run quicker.” The gated levels seem to act as a catalyst for this kind of mentality, which is great, but unfortunately it also means you’ll be gated from later levels for a while while you work on your previous runs. To remedy this a bit, there is track central. Track central is a huge collection of thousands of user-made tracks that you can download and take for a spin at any time, which definitely helps extend the game’s longevity, past the few hours worth of pre-installed tracks.

The game is just very addictive by its nature. For those unfamiliar, ultimately, Trials is a game about balance. Think Excitebike. It’s a game that’s very easy, play for just a few minutes and still feel like you got something done. This of course, makes it a perfect candidate for mobile devices, though sadly the only way to experience this iteration of Trials on mobile is through PS4 Remote Play. The game handles very well on Vita with one exception. The game maps the retry button to the left side of the touch pad, which is mapped to the left side of the Vita touch screen, which is very close to the left analog stick, causing a LOT of accidental retries. And sadly there is no option to remap these controls as of yet.

One of the biggest new additions to Trials Fusion is the inclusion of the FMX system. So, now during your rides you can pull off a number of tricks while doing jumps in mid-air. However these aren’t really implemented all that much past a few stages where a score is calculated based on the tricks you perform. Everywhere else, it’s purely aesthetic, but a nice touch all the same.

The game’s multiplayer mode allows you to face off with your friends on a point based system. Points are calculated by who finishes in which place, with the number of crashes you have taking deductions from your acquired points. It’s a fun and competitive mode, though strangely only supports local multiplayer at the moment, with online multiplayer is seemingly going to be patched in later.

The game also features a season pass for the same cost as the game itself. It is comprised of 6 DLCs, which is said to feature new tracks, new bike parts, rider gear, and new items for the track editor, and each DLC will have a new Career Mode Event. Though I’d hold off from buying the season pass at the moment until more info about the DLCs is revealed.

All and all, if you’ve played past iterations of Trials, you know what you’re getting yourself into here. The game is just as fun as ever, with absolutely stunning settings and locales to ride on. The game runs smoothly at 60 fps and never ceases to look great. The level designs themselves are incredibly unique and innovative for the most part, though tend to get a bit more bland in the later levels. The only bits I found annoying are the rider’s yelling and the constantly replaying announcer tracks when doing repeated runs on tracks, though fortunately both of these two things can be disabled, so it’s a non-issue. And aside from the odd mapping of the Vita controls mentioned earlier, the game is an incredibly fun experience. The game seems to take the safe track though, not branching out too much from previous iterations, but that doesn’t stop the experience from being any less fun. If you’ve enjoyed what Trials has offered you so far, then Trials Fusion is a definite recommendation.

8 out of 10

What’s been happening lately…

Whenever I see a really well made video on YouTube (regardless of its subject matter) it always tends to make me take a step back and reconsider what I’ve been doing online this whole time. I’m not talking about generic viral videos, I mean, very well produced, well thought out, well executed, and well scripted videos. Whether it be an analysis on a topic or piece of media, or a superb short film, it always makes me feel like, my channel is shit.

But for the most part, I cover video games, how in-depth can I really get on that subject matter? So, I’ve been thinking about it, and I think I’m going to relaunch the MattWatchesChalk channel. I have a few ideas and things I want to try out and I think that channel would make the perfect platform.

As far as the main gaming channel, I kind of want to make videos with more substance there as well. So, there’s a few videos I have planned that I’m going to sit back and take a couple of weeks to make. Really in-depth, well-detailed videos.

Of course, right now, finals are right around the corner and that is the absolute priority at the moment, so if you’re wondering why there has been a lack of videos, that’s why. My channel at one point, used to appear to be a possible viable form of primary income, but with the recent changes YouTube has made, that is an impossibility and I need to realize this channel is merely a hobby and something that’s fun to do with my free time. So, if you’re wondering about the recent inconsistency of my uploads, that’s why.

So, in short. Less videos. More detailed videos with longer production times.

Yeah, I still do LPs from time to time, but I’ve also made it really clear how I feel about that format in general and to repeat that point in a post that has gone on for far too long would just be a redundancy at this point. But to be brief, in case you’re new, I think there is some value to those types of videos, but it is incredibly limited and not what I want to be known for making.

Sorry for the rambling, but those were just some thoughts I wanted to get off my chest and put somewhere. And the internet seems as good a place as any to store them.

Subscribe to in case you haven’t already, because once those new videos come out, I am going to want some user-feedback and genuine criticism, something that is really precious and hard to come by on YouTube nowadays.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Walkthrough (Hard Mode – ft. Pat!)

South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

Written Review Transcript

Licensed video games don’t tend to do very well. But when Obsidian says they’re going to tackle a project, the same studio responsible for Fallout: New Vegas, it’s enough to pique someone’s interest. Now that the studio has gotten their hands on the South Park license, was this twice delayed game worth the wait? Here’s my review of South Park: The Stick of Truth.

South Park: The Stick of Truth opens up with a new kid moving into South Park, Colorado. You are that new kid. And you are essentially thrust right into what genuinely feels like an episode of South Park. The art style and cutscenes truly make it feel just like part of the TV show. And the plot is exactly is what you would expect from an episode of the show, just a bit longer. So, you could consider it a secondary South Park movie if wanted.

The game ultimately is an open world turn-based RPG. The combat system is very similar to that of the Mario & Luigi RPG series. It’s a turn based system with timed button presses to get the best results. Typically each battle pits yourself and a partner against a group of enemies. Your character is equipped with a melee attack, long range attack, and ability alongside some defense, counters, and summons. A summon is an unlockable move that can only be used once a day against a non-boss opponent and they typically result in a one-hit KO against your enemies. Overall, the combat system is solid and very satisfying. As you progress, you will be able to upgrade your character via level ups, new equipment, perks, and ability upgrades.

Outside of the combat, the game is completely open world, so you can explore all of South Park, Colorado and some surrounding areas to your leisure. Apart from the main story, there is a lot of collectibles to find and side quests to unlock. The main campaign itself will run you around 10 hours or so, while completionists will find themselves playing for a bit more than double that time. However, the level cap is a bit low so you may find yourself hitting the cap a decent time before the main story comes to a close.

However, my main gripe with the game is that it’s definitely on the easy side. Outside of combat, your character will automatically regenerate HP and potions and items can be used before each turn. Luckily, there is a difficulty slider. If you are experienced at all with RPGs, I’d definitely recommend turning the difficulty up. If you’re not much of a RPG kind of person, playing on standard difficulty will do you just fine. On the PC end of things, there is no UPlay DRM which appreciated but the game has also hard capped the frame rate at 30fps, which is a bit annoying, but considering it’s a turn based game of paper cut out characters, it isn’t really bothersome.

Overall, if you enjoy the TV show, you will absolutely enjoy the game. If you’re not a fan, this game won’t make you think any differently of the series. But for those who are, the game has a fantastic script, setting, and writing. The combat is very solid and you may find yourself hooked and coming back right up until it ends, which admittedly happens a bit too quickly for my taste. Though with the promise of DLC looming, we may be headed back to South Park soon. But it’s a hilarious adventure from beginning to end.

FINAL SCORE: 8.5 out of 10

South Park: The Stick of Truth Walkthrough

I decided to put up a full walkthrough of South Park: The Stick of Truth. I figured since I was capturing the whole game while taking footage for my review, might as well upload it. So, for that reason, there is no commentary track. Not to mention, the game is so story driven and cut-scene heavy it wouldn’t make for a very good My review will be online this afternoon.

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot Preview

Full Disclosure: The preceding video was a paid endorsement.

Week in Preview – 3/2/14

Alright, so I decided that from now on, the previous Week in Preview posts will be removed once the new one comes up, to avoid cluttering the homepage of the website. Anyway, without further adue…
Here it is! Every video that is currently in planning! First, here’s some new additions that have been made to the list over the course of the past week:

South Park: The Stick of Truth Review – So, the guys who brought you Alpha Protocol and Fallout: New Vegas are back with a licensed game.  After being thrice delayed, how does Obsidian’s latest RPG hold up?

And here’s the repeat offenders. For whatever reason, I couldn’t finish these videos last week and appeared in the previous post. But in case you missed them, here they are:

Let’s Play Pokemon Fire Red - A lot of people really liked my Pokemon Red Walkthrough. I did too. That was probably the most painful project for me to drop. So, I decided to bring it back in a way! That’s right Let’s Play some Pokemon Fire Red! All praise the Helix Fossil! (Since this one is a Let’s Play, it’s going to stay on the list until the series is either completed or dropped.)

Probably Archery Review – I got sent a review code for this one, so it’s coming. It’s a bit different from the usual games I play, but it’s definitely interesting…

Top 5 Games of 2013 – Okay, the first draft of this video was done in late November and 2013 was such a tight year for games that I constantly re-wrote and re-worked the entire list! Assassin’s Creed must have stumbled its way on and off this list more times than an actual pirate in a pub in summertime. Point is, I put a lot of effort into making this list and I stand by my results.

3rd Annual Mario Party Marathon – This is a big maybe. Thing is, since I used a stream key for the marathon, XSplit didn’t save a local copy on my drive. So, I had to go onto Twitch’s servers a rip the whole marathon piece by piece. Then, I had to convert each of those pieces into a format Adobe Premiere would take (it doesn’t play ball with FLVs) and now after all that, I have to render the entire thing out as one giant 17 hour long video. I basically need to set aside a full day for my computer to be used for nothing but rendering. Then, who knows how big the upload will be after that? And with processing times involved, this could take a while to get up. BUT rest assured that I am working on it as best as I can!

Catchup Corner: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – The Legend of Zelda is by far my favorite game franchise of all-time. However, this game may very well end up being my favorite of the entire series and could be one of my favorites of all-time! You will not want to miss this one.

The Terrifying Future of Digital Distribution

Yesterday the news broke that Nintendo was discontinuing support for their Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection online service. The service itself wasn’t even a full nine years old, but the servers are shutting down. So, all online Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii titles, will no longer support online functionality. In all honesty, the underlying reason for this is most likely because the matchmaking service was powered by GameSpy, which shut down last year. Not too many people are reaction much about this, because in all honesty, the service was very lacking when it came down to the list of titles it supported. Super Smash Bros Brawl, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii are among the most notable titles affected by the shutdown. But if you have ever tried playing those games online, you probably aren’t all that shaken up about the change.

However, it appears the Wii Shop Channel will remain online. Now, this is an important factor to consider. When Microsoft shut down their original Xbox servers, a last ditch effort of people logged on to Xbox Live for one final two week long gaming session of Halo 2. While we may simply be losing functionality in our games now, the next server shutdown is what we should seriously be concerned about. Ten years from now, do you think Sony will continue to support the PS3′s PlayStation Store? How about the PSP Store? What happens to your digital titles once the time comes to shutdown those servers? How will you be able to access the games that you paid for? This is the biggest reason I am hesitant to buy digital copies of games. In every digital terms of service, it basically says that you do not own the games themselves, but rather a license to play them, so it is fully within a company’s power to shutdown their servers and stop supporting the games you have purchased. You could lose your entire digital library. As someone who still continues to get good usage out of all my old systems, the prospect of this terrifies me.

So, you may think to yourself, what if I just download all of my games before that happens, if it is to happen? Well, this is where the other cons of the digital model begin to rear their head. Hard disk space is a precious commodity when it comes to the digital world. You are limited by how much can feasibly hold. Now, while PlayStation’s are a bit more flexible in this regard than Xbox (since PS3/PS4 will generally accept any basic laptop hard drive) what happens when those hard disks eventually fail? A drive can only be accessed so many times before it dies. And on the Xbox front, good luck finding an affordable Xbox 360 hard drive that’s big enough to hold all your games ten years from now. You can delay the inevitable, but it seems likely there will be a point when you will not be able to access your games. I’m a little less concerned about this in regard to Steam, simply because the PC platform isn’t separated by distinct generation gaps, so the odds of it shutting down and losing your games is much less likely (but still could happen).

At this rate it will a chore to preserve your games, and will most likely not be the most user friendly process. Yes, emulators may exist that can efficiently run this generation’s hardware in the future, but it’s something that you shouldn’t have to resort to. Piracy should never be used to access things you already own, even though I even see trace’s of this happening now. One of the major pros of the digital model is the easy of use and it quickly could become a con over the course of a decade!

Right now, it’s unclear how console manufacturer’s will deal with this. The digital distribution model is becoming increasingly more popular, but definitely needs some refinement before I back it fully. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea and concept of a fully digital model, but the kinks need to still be ironed out for it to be a practical system.