Review by Jack Bankhead
Game provided by publisher
The genre of JRPG is one of my all time favorites. There can never be enough of them! Or, maybe there can be. The Lost Child is incredibly promising at first, but then quickly falls short, especially considering the price. The game does have a nice length, but the old phrase of “quality over quantity” really is apparent with The Lost Child. Although it has an intriguing story, it can be considered offensive to some. The environments are boring, and a chore to explore. The Lost Child may look intriguing, but I’d reckon you stay off of it. There was so much potential in The Lost Child, and it saddens me to see it wasted.
The premise of the story: many myths and legends (and the Bible?) come together and tell a story of the war between God and demons. Using mythological, legendary, and religious figures to tell a story, it comes up short sometimes, especially with some characters. It was either the characters had annoying voice acting and okay dialogue, or I wanted to know a character but they were monsters to catch. Story is still intriguing, but to a certain extent, it fails.
You are a reporter for a paranormal themed magazine. Business is slow, as not that much “evidence” appears. However, after the main protagonist meets a girl in purple, his life changes with the Gangur. Now a girl calling herself an angel appears, calling him the Chosen One. Now, crazy things happen- perfect for your magazine.
The game’s characters are designed in the anime style. I actually quite like the main character’s design, but story wise he’s a silent protagonist. Not overly fond of those. Gameplay is a dungeon crawler with monster catching elements. As you explore dungeons, you can capture demons and “purify” them to join you. Combat is turn based, in which you will pick each character’s actions, then the game will execute said actions. Aside from special abilities and the Gangur abilities, nothing too special here. There is an aggro meter, which means you can’t spam attacks, but it often feels cheap as a powerful demon you may need, and it gets killed from aggro.
The dungeons are bland. Graphics and design wise. It looks dated, and I know it’s not stylized like that. Considering how big these dungeons are, (big) there’s not a lot of variety. Occasional mechanics shake up the formula, such as the first big dungeon’s mine carts, but exploring takes a long time, and there’s nothing too different as you explore.
The demon recruitment is probably one of the more interesting parts of The Lost Child. Using the Gangour to capture them, and finishing the battle, a demon will be in your possession. Using this form of currency (I forget the name, sorry) you can “purify” the demons, and have them join you. To level them up you use this same “currency” (again, I forget the name) until they’re leveled to where you’d like them.
A thoughtful touch to the exploring of the maps is the autopilot mode. Pick a square, and the game will automatically take your character there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make the maps super bearable, as they still are boring. The touch is thoughtful, however.
Overall, I did not enjoy The Lost Child like I hoped I would. Most mechanics needed work, or were SO close to being good. While a lengthy game, dungeon exploring got to be boring for me, and rarely shook things up. Interesting mechanics are in place, but not as well realized as I hoped they’d be. For $50, this is not worth it. $25 on sale sounds perfect for something like this. But at $50, there are much better games to buy. That’s not to say The Lost Child is all bad, it is decent. Glaring issues I had kept this from being something I truly enjoyed.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, provided by NISAmerica