The Lost Child
Reviewed by Brett
Publisher – NIS America
Developer – KADOKAWA GAMES
Category – RPG
Release Date – June 19, 2018
Lost and found in Akihabara
The Lost Child borrows from many games, some Atlus fans will recognize and then there is the obvious similarities to the Pokemon Franchise. What is amazing is the fact the even while not every element of The Lost Child is perfect, they all blend together to make an incredibly fun and cohesive game.
Welcome to the adult Pokemon dungeon crawler rpg experience.
You are Hayato Ibuki, a journalist for an occult magazine, you are investigating mysterious suicides that have been happening at the Shinjuku subway Station. While investigating, a black shadow pushes him onto the subway tracks. At the last moment, a beautiful girl named Balucia come out of nowhere and saves him from being splattered by a train and hands him a case. The case, like Pandora’s box, should not be opened.
The day after, an angel named Lua appears before him, claiming that he is the Chosen One. While walking around and investigating the Shinjuku area with Lua, he is attacked by a hooded figure who turns out to be a demon called a “Deep One.” Hayato powers up the Gangour, captures, and then uses the demon. Lua, while supporting Hayato, tries to look for her missing sister, Balucia. Hayato and Lua head to Akihabara to investigate a mysterious rumor.
Inside the case, you find the demon gun Gangour, a tool used to capture and use demons and fallen angels. Hayato uses it to turn a demon into a team member. With the Gangour in hand, Hayato, accompanied by the self proclaimed angel, Lua, investigate mysteries around the country while looking for that Balucia. Little does he realize that he is caught between the ambitions of dark deities, fallen angels and the expectations of the kingdom of heaven.
The Lost Child is part investigation, part creature collector and part classic rpg dungeon crawling. You work for an occult magazine call LOST, the headquarters of which serve as your base of operations in game. This is where you will get new missions and a turn in ones you have successfully investigated. Each new area you go to there will be several people you can question about rumors and strange occurrences in the region all of which tie in some way into the main story and often require going into the dungeon or layer as they are called, in the area. Finishing an investigation usually leads to some item rewards and unlocking new investigations which in turn unlock new areas to go to.
Combat in The Lost Child is classic turn based combat but with several twists on the tried and true formula. During combat you can capture enemies using the Astral Burst function of your Gangour gun, capturing enemies is essential as you will use them a part of your team.Enemies called “Astrals” come in many forms but are separated into a few specific categories, angels, fallen angels and demons. Killing enemies nets you karma which is used to upgrade the Astrals you have captured. There are three types of karma to be collected. Red comes from killing demons, Purple comes from killing fallen angels and Blue comes from conversation bonuses. You use the corresponding colored karma to upgrade Astrals you have captured as they do not receive exp from regular combat. Making up three member of your party, it is extremely important to make the best use of the astrals you have at hand.
From my experience it’s best to play around a little with different Astrals and then make a selection of the three your really want to use and stick with them. Even getting lost in and completely clearing maps for dungeons and accidentally farming exp and karma i still did not manage to get anywhere near enough karma to level up more than a couple of Astrals. During combat you can use the Gangour to swap out Astrals on the fly for a cost. Now, being able to do this is good in a pinch but also means you need to have a decent line up of sub party Astrals, which can contain up to five more of them and as i said it’s hard to get that much karma saved up, so what i wound up with was an extremely strong main party and a very weak sub party. This has its disadvantages obviously but rarely did I even have to use my sub party because my main was so beefed up. I do not know if that was the best way to go about it and I am sure that players will have different opinions of how to best level up their parties.
Beyond your first time leveling up an Astral you can use special items when visiting a specific npc that will allow you to evolve your favorites two more times allowing them to level up further. This however takes quite a bit of karma and money to achieve which is why i said to focus on your favorites. I was able to due this with my three main Astrals, i could do it with more but would require much karma farming.
Gear in The Lost Child can only be applied to the main character Hayato and his angel companion Lua. Some equipment can be found in treasure chests and some can be obtained from monster drops after battle. Some items or in fact lots of them will require you to take them to another npc to have them identified before you can use them. At this same npc you can combine items to make them stronger. I don’t know if I just got unlucky with this but many items I got were always weaker then what I had currently equipped so I would spend quite a bit of money to just upgrade what I already had. Maybe for better maybe for worse but in the end i was pretty unstoppable.
The package as a whole in The Lost Child is pretty slick. Beautiful anime style visuals in the dialogue/investigation portions, wonderful and diverse enemy art( each evolution being different) very good looking and intuitive menu system. The only part of the game that could of used some sort of upgrade is the dungeons. It was either a budget or design choice but the dungeons in The Lost Child are super basic. They could quite easily pass for PS2 generation graphics and i imagine this also may have something to do with it being on the ps vita also. It quite possibility started life on sony’s handheld and that would explain the aging graphics.
Though some flaws are present and each individual aspect of The Lost Child may not perfect, together they come together to make an undeniably fun game. Besides the dungeons being a little too old school, everything else was presented in a modern and slick style. Good music, an entertaining story and fun creature collecting make The Lost Child a solid option for rpg and Pokemon fans on the switch.
- Engaging story of fallen angels and demons
- Fun creature collecting
- Great for bit sized play on the go
- Great art
- Old looking dungeons
- Pokemon for adults
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