I have only played a few JRPG’s before I was given The Lost Child. I was never a massive fan until I played Persona 5. I fell in love with that game and after that encounter, I have opened up to this particular genre and given them a really good go.
In The Lost Child, you start as a newbie journalist called Hayato. Being the newbie of the team, your chief editor is pretty hard on you and as it is just the two of you, you really don’t have a choice but to just take it on the chin and get on with it. Your first assignment is to investigate strange goings-on in the Tokyo subway system. A large amount of male deaths is taking place by a strange woman figure and she has yet to be caught. You head on down to investigate and this is where your story begins.
There is a lot going on at the start of the game that you need to take into consideration. If you miss key dialogue by needlessly skipping through, you will miss points to the story further on. The whole game is built on Angels and Demons, who are good, bad and a bit of both (you’ll see). You will need to assemble your own squad and to do that you must take on other demons in a Pokémon style battle.
Exploring is pretty simple. Think of it this way, if you take Persona 5, mix it with a dungeon crawler like an old school Doom, smash them about a bit, you get The Lost Child’s exploration paths. Don’t get me wrong, it does the job fine and makes it kind of retro which makes the theme of this game very cool. There are different zones around Tokyo’s region that you need to go to. These could be for errands that need completing, such as shopping, selling, upgrading etc. But when you enter an area, you are taken to a 1st person (old school) Doom like view. Using the D-pad, you move from square to square, with block-like turns to find your route/objective/enemy. When you do come across an enemy, it feels like a Pokémon red/blue encounter. The screen flashes and you are taken into battle.
Battling is fun and enjoyable, especially if you have played the Persona games. All demons come with their own techniques, special abilities and elemental capabilities. Your job is to either defeat your opponent and move on or weaken them and capture them. If you do decide to do the latter and are successful in capturing a demon, you will now need to convert them or ‘cleanse’ by using karma. Karma is acquired throughout the game by either dialogue choices, winning battles and finding chests. It comes in the form of good, mixed and evil karma and depending on the demon you have captured, depends on what karma you need to use.
When it comes to presentation The Lost Child is a bit of a mixed bag. The surround the audio and music can become repetitive, however on the flip side the voice acting is excellent and each character brings their personality to the table, making for more good point than bad.
When I was first given The Lost Child to review I had no idea what it was. I assumed by the artwork that it was just another JRPG with a farfetched story and crazy characters. What I got instead was a fantastic game which was unlike anything I expected. The Lost Child is a delight to play and I would recommend it to any JRPG lover.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*