- Oct 25, 2017
Lemme tell you a tale
It takes place 360,000....
no.....14,000 years ago.
Well, to me, it seems like only Yesterday.
To you, it could be tomorrow.
In an abyss of infinite chaos,
God created light.
God then created a Ptolemaic system around the planet Ceta as well as Lucifel.
However, when God sensed the presence of ego,
the Metatron plan was introduced.
The plan was carried out by the righteous man, Enoch, and Ceta was destroyed.
After that, God created the planet Ryuta within a Heliocentric system.
This planet became what we now know as Earth.
Enoch, after fulfilling his duty, dispersed his remaining strength into 72 shards.
As Lucifel fell into a deep sleep, he dreamt of wandering the Earth.
This story is about one of the shards that fell to Earth.
Release Date: 6/19/2018 (NA-Out Now!), 6/22/2018 (EU), 7/06/2018 (ANZ), 08/24/2017 (JP-Out Now!)
Developer: Kadokawa Games
Publisher: Kadokawa Games (JP), NIS America (NA, EU, ANZ)
Genre: JRPG/Dungeon RPG
Platform(s): Switch, PS4, PSV (Digital Only)
Occult journalist Hayato Ibuki encounters a strange girl during his investigations into a series of mysterious suicides in Tokyo. She implores that Hayato must live, before bestowing upon him a mystical device that allows him to capture celestial and arcane creatures. He is now thrust into a world beyond our own, home to horrific monsters and celestial beings. In it, he must delve into dungeons called Layers and solve the mystery of the device. Where his journey leads him could decide the fate of our world...
The Lost Child is a dungeon crawling RPG with monster taiming in the vein of the Shin Megami Tensei series, specifically harkening to Soul Hackers with its modern day non-post apocalyptic setting. It is also a semi-sequel to the 2011 action game, El Shaddai. Hayato, the main character, is a journalist working for an occult magazine investigating all types of urban legends and myths. These investigations will bring you into the midst of a war between Heaven and a legion of demons led by a series of Lovecraftian horrors.
The Lost Child plays largely like a straight forward dungeon RPG. You have a hub menu representing Tokyo, with numerous locations and dungeons to visit from the menu. As you progress further into the story, more dungeons, each with their own gimmick, will become available as Hayato investigates various urban legends and myths spreading around Tokyo.
Dungeons, known in game as "Layers," themselves are traditional first person dungeons, often multi-leveled, and all having their own gimmick (eg: Akihabara, an early dungeon, features on-rails trolleys and rail switches, while Minakamiyama is based around magma tiles and pit traps). Within each Layer, you will encounter numerous "Astrals" (the game's equivalent of demons) in random encounters.
Combat in the Lost Child is standard for Dungeon RPGs, right down to maintaining the traditional first person view for combat as well as dungeon exploration. You, your angel companion, and your summoned astrals will take turns fighting with enemy astrals in a typical turn-based combat system. As with older-MegaTen games, your main character, Hayato, will not typically have access to magical spells himself, but will have the ability to manage the party's roster of summoned Astrals. Lua, your angel companion, and your summoned astrals will all have their own array of magic abilities that often correspond to a specific element.
Like MegaTen, the Lost Child features an elemental strengths and weakeness system that rewards you for exploiting enemy weaknesses through significantly increasing damage, while similarly punishing you for hitting enemy strengths.
The game also features a Special Attack system, called the Astral Burst, allowing Hayato, who typically does not have access to magic spells, to load up to three Astrals into his Gangour gun and shoot them for a specialized magic attack that utilizes the strengths and elements of the Astrals used. Hayato has access to this unique ability whenever you have filled the Astral Burst Gauge, making it a limited but powerful ability.
Finally, combat often results in the party finding treasure boxes with precious items. These chests lead to a brief lockpicking minigame where Hayato and his party can use various abilities to try and unlock the treasure chests without springing a trap.
Astrals are both your enemies and your recruitable allies. Almost any enemy you fight in battle can be captured through the usage of your Gangour tool, which also serves as your means through which you manage your Astrals (it is, in effect, the COMP/GUNP from the MegaTen games). Astrals can be used after they are captured, but must be Purified by spending Karma. Astrals who are knocked out in combat are reverted to an unpure form and must be purified again in order to be used again.
The Lost Child handles building up your Astrals similarly to older MegaTen games, wherein they can not indefinitely level up like the player character can. Each Astral has a limited number of levels they can reach before hitting a cap. Astrals who hit their cap can then have their level reset in exchange for starting over with better base stats and skills. Astrals level and evolve through spending karma points earned in combat. Astrals can also be EVILved into stronger forms upon reaching a certain level. Astrals can also randomly learn new abilities through combat based upon how and when you use them.
Finally, Astrals fall into three categories: Angels, Fallen Angels, and Demons, each of which all have their own motives and roles to play in the war between Heaven and Demons.
(more to be added)
Q: Wait, so this is a sequel to El Shaddai? The action game? The game that was most certainly not a JRPG?
A: Weirdly enough, yes.
Q: Really? These two games couldn't be remotely the same.
A: Yes, really. Not only is this story a semi-continuation of El Shaddai with Lucifel still present, Enoch is a recruitable party member.
Q: So, semi-retro MegaTen clone. Seems simple enough. Any other notable differences?
A: For starters, the biggest difference is that there is no fusion in this game. Also, while you can freely summon Astrals to and from standby, adding them to standby from storage is limited within dungeons. Once you use up your number of transfers within a dungeon, you are stuck with whatever you have active and on standby until you return to town.
Q: What about Karma? Does it function like Magicite? It sounds like Magicite.
A: Sort of. You do need to spend Karma to purify a freshly caught/revived Astral and make it available for use, but you don't need to spend it to actively summon them nor does your karma get sapped by moving around the map as it did in older MegaTen games. Karma's primary purpose, at any rate, is leveling up your astrals.
Q: I noticed multiple types of karma elsewhere. What's up with that?
A: Karma effectively comes in three separate types and is gained differently depending on how you act in combat and what you kill.
Q: How challenging/unforgiving is this game?
A: Current reviews and impressions have it sounding like it's on the easier side of MegaTen. Like modern MegaTen, it also has a moderately forgiving gameover system where you can spend money to restart a lost battle or spend karma to rewind to before the battle started and prevent the encounter from having happened entirely.
(more to be added)
The Lost Child is both a great game and a very frustrating one. It does a lot of things really well, the dungeon crawling, the story, the voice acting, the combat, and the puzzles themselves. Yet, it also has issues with the lack of tracking your investigations well, the difficulty spike at certain points, the too-frequent random battles, and the vagueness of some of the riddles. However, as a whole, the game was great to play through as it only got more interesting the more you got into it, and it was very satisfying to both solve the puzzles and unlock 100% of each floor. If you’re a fan of games like Etrian Odyssey or Demon Gaze and would like to play a great story with awesome music and voice acting whilst solving puzzles/riddles as you work your way through the dungeons – then check it out!
It would be an easy task to find faults simply by focusing in on individual aspects of The Lost Child. The vast majority of the game can be traced back to another JRPG that probably did it better, and if you can’t get passed that, than you probably aren’t going to enjoy it. But what I can’t deny is that when I just stopped caring about how much was borrowed from previous titles, I had a lot of fun, and that’s all that really matters.
I was disappointed that The Lost Child failed so completely to do something meaningful with the Lovecraftian concept. In fact, the game has so completely missed the mark on that that it’s almost insulting that the developers used names like “Hastor” and “Cthulhu” to describe your foes, rather than replace them with more original monster names. Once I settled past that disappointment, though, I discovered that The Lost Child is also a game that so cleanly represents everything good about the dungeon crawler genre that I found it hard to put down. The fact that it’s the perfect introduction to the dungeon crawler genre also makes it the perfect first example on the new hardware.
Even if the intricate and very traditional history could not capture your attention, the bestiary collection and its evolution could keep you glued to the screen for weeks.
The Lost Child isn't a game bereft of merit, and we're sure that there's a number of people who'll enjoy the visual novel slash first person dungeon crawler approach taken here. But it's certainly a game with limited appeal - even among the role playing game demographic - thanks to the lifeless battles and cumbrous dungeon design. It's a game that pays more than a passing nod to numerous other RPGs - Pokemon, Persona, and other Shin Megami Tensei titles - but sadly, never approaches the quality of any of them.
The Lost Child homepage