The Daily Backlog 72

Battle Systems, the backbone of any good RPG. But how does Child of Light stack up??

What is a Battle System?

Good morrow backloggers! Today is a day that I like to call “Pat Friday”. It occurs every now and again and it happens the day before Friday. Some call it a Thursday. It is called Pat Friday because me and all the ancestral Patrick’s before me decided the weekend needed to be earlier this week…not just for Patricks, but for all. And on this special day, it behaves like a Friday because it’s the beginning of a three day weekend! A glorious phrase only topped by the coveted four day weekend. But we only speak of those in secret.

Anywhoozles, welcome back everyone and happy Thursday!! So, as you would expect, I was playing a whole bunch more Child of Light since the last time we spoke. I should probably slow down because before you know it I could have this game complete!! Then what would I talk about?? I mean, for some reason, this game is giving me inspiration to talk about things that are slightly related to it and if I move on I’ll be at a loss. I’ll have to stoop to conversing “on topic” or something!

This time around, I’ve been thinking a whole bunch about battle systems in RPGs. It’s one of those features that you’ll be spending a great deal of your time either loving or absolutely hating. It honestly can make the difference between sticking it through to the end or dropping the game like it’s an ill-nuked burrito, fresh out of the microwave…hot, yet cold in the middle?! And Child of Light kinda falls somewhere in the middle. It isn’t necessarily bad, but it has a few missing necessities that make me hesitate to enter battles if I don’t have to. Other than the drive to actually level up and get stronger, of course.

Give Me Variety!

In some of the best RPGs, the developers give you a wide berth of characters with a mixed bag of abilities that they can learn. It makes each encounter exciting and it makes you feel like your actually working toward something. The end result is that it leaves you feeling like a superhero with a huge arsenal of flashy and powerful magic! I think of Final Fantasy 7 and its materia system. It was diverse and even fed your completionist tendencies while you tried to track down each and every one. And when you finally got that little round red Knights of the Round orb it was cause for celebration!! Now I can sit back, pop some popcorn and enjoy the 7 minute show!

Having a varied cast of characters is also key. It gives you a chance to strategize so you can be more effective for each situation you’re thrown into. You’ll have your magic users to exploit elemental weaknesses of enemies, or your heavy hitting melee characters to bring on the pain! But being able to mix and match them to work together is really where it shines. That is if your given enough freedom to mix and match.

Child of Light on the other hand just seems so much more limited. I mean you still get a variety of characters that have their own unique sets of abilities, but the length of time between new or upgraded skills is way too long! And many of them are only useful in certain situations. You’ll be using the same skill set for many battles, even after they’ve become less effective. And the fact you’re only able to have two characters in active battle at a time kind of dampens how useful they can be! So for example, when you apply buffs to the entire party, it’s really only for two of them (the active party members). And that’s only if you don’t swap out one character for another. In which case your defenses are a little lopsided.  I mean I try to exploit my enemies weaknesses, but the game keeps fighting me on it! You’ll be swapping characters in and out based on their strength (or your needs) all the while the enemies are pummeling you. And this is even after I switched the difficulty back to “Casual” mode.

A Helping Hand

You do have the oculi (gems) to offset some of this since you can use them to add buffs to your characters, but you’ll have to switch them out constantly between battles as well. Just like your characters! It’s not really necessary unless you want to take full advantage of all the tools you’re given though. And if you want to upgrade the oculi you’ll have to unequip them from your characters! Believe me, it’s a whole thing.

I guess the one thing that I miss while playing Child of Light is being able to find cool equipment that gives be various buffs. The Oculi just don’t seem all that interesting and a bit tedious. They do have their uses though, so I can’t really complain too much. Also, I just wish the abilities you do eventually acquire were more interesting. I mean, you don’t even get a spell that can attack all the enemies on the screen for at least 20 levels!

What I’m hoping is that, because I’m still “early game” I just haven’t seen everything the Child of Light has to offer yet. But when I look at that skill tree for each of the characters, there really doesn’t seem to much exciting there. Only time will tell, but this is a relatively short game so I’m not sure how much more time it has! I am approaching the halfway mark after all!!

72, The Room Temperature of Numbers

Well my friends, I think that’ll be it for today!! I kinda felt like I was rambling a bit today, but battles systems are important in RPGs! And the most memorable games are the ones that do it right. Because it’s not just how and when you attack an enemy, it the combination of all the systems at play that make it feel good. And make you want to actually engage in combat instead of skipping it. Which we all know isn’t the best idea in an RPG.

Anyways, I’ll definitely be playing more Child of Light in the coming days and I’ll report back if all of a sudden it’s battle system throws me for a loop! I’m also curious about your opinions on RPG battles systems. What are some of your favorites and where do you think they can be improved??

Until next time folks, have a great “Pat Friday”!


Currently Playing

Child of Light (Xbox One)

Mario and Rabbids (Switch)

Total Backlogged Games: 732 …When’s the next battle phase starting!!

Total Completed Games: 18 …I need to level this up pronto!


Want to contribute to the website or the podcast? You can send your written or audio submissions to the below emails!

Written: [email protected]

Audio: [email protected]

Want to know what other shenanigans I’ve been up to? Then follow me on Twitter @BacklogOdyssey

And you can keep tabs on my backlog by checking out the Backlog Odyssey Backloggery game list!


The Backlog Odyssey is a proud member of the Humble Bundle Partner program! Support charity and The Backlog Odyssey all while building your backlog! Learn more about Humble Bundle Partners here.