Critics Love Child of Light…But Are They Nostalgia Victims?

It's well-received but are some critics falling prey to the nostalgia bug?

It’s well-received but are some critics falling prey to the nostalgia bug?

The PlayStation 4 version currently holds an average Metacritic score of 86. Other versions are scoring slightly lower but for the most part, this is a very well-received game.

A small Ubisoft team has produced a beautiful, charming throwback of sorts, so perhaps it’s no surprise that most critics like it. These days, retro is in. As VGRHQ is comprised entirely of long-time veteran gamers, we’re all about Child of Light as well. A few of us can’t stop playing it.

That being said, we are aware of the common accusation when it comes to a game like this: “Critics are just rewarding the game for its nostalgic purposes; when compared to current games of the time, it’d get like a 2.”

Sure, it's pretty and cute, but how does it really compare to the modern heavy hitters?

Sure, it’s pretty and cute, but how does it really compare to the modern heavy hitters?

Yeah, we’ve heard this argument before. But you know, in reading the various reviews, it doesn’t seem like this is true at all. Take VideoGamer’s fantastic review, for instance; its informative and honest, without a trace of “I’m older and I like older games” syndrome. It also reflects the intricate, delicate beauty of the title in question.

Then there’s Eurogamer’s excellent analysis, which is deep and detailed, and the reader never once catches the scent of bias. These are what professional critics do. While you might find some reviews that bemoan the loss of the industry’s innocence, and therefore place Child of Light on a pedestal, they won’t be found at any reputable source.

Perhaps the bottom line is that this game can be honestly and accurately compared to today’s interactive offerings. No, it doesn’t have photorealistic graphics or a massive, incredibly detailed virtual world. What it does have, however, isn’t any less valuable just because it isn’t as big or as shiny. This is precisely what the majority of critics are attempting to impart to their readers. can get you when you're not looking...

Nostalgia…it can get you when you’re not looking…

However, perhaps it’s a matter of subjectivity. While we at VGRHQ can’t seem to find evidence of review scores being swayed by nostalgia, perhaps you are indeed noticing it. If so, where have you noticed it…? Furthermore, do you know people who have tried older-style games based on a critic’s recommendation, and were subsequently disappointed?

If all a teenager has ever played is the latest and greatest, and the current trend in the industry is bigger, flashier, and more mature, a game like Child of Light might come across as embarrassingly “kiddie” or slow and uninvolving.

At any rate, despite what anyone thinks, Child of Light seems well worth playing, even if you’re not a child of the ’80s.

11 thoughts on “Critics Love Child of Light…But Are They Nostalgia Victims?”

It’s not nostalgia that makes Child of Light great. It has a million little things that are just so beautiful, and NO other game has that.

It has charm, damnit. Hard to find in video games these days.

I agree. This is a perfect example of “greater than the sum of its parts.”

That doesn’t mean it’s about nostalgia. It just means the game has a different appeal.

Exactly. 🙂

Nostalgia isn’t a factor. At least, not in the reviews I’ve read.

Then again, I suppose I suffer from some nostalgia pangs myself. LOL

LOL We all do. Look at my avatar. 😛

Well, yeah, but Jak and Daxter isn’t THAT old. When I think of nostalgia, I think of Mario and Tecmo Bowl and all that.

Guess I’m just old. 😉

We all feel old sometimes. LOL

I still remember playing Jak and Daxter for the first time in high school. God, was it THAT long ago? 😛

Yup, sadly it WAS that long ago. I remember it well. ‘cries’

Critics can be and sometimes are victims of nostalgia.

With Child of Light, I think some reviewers got sucked into the fairytale world and old-school turn-based format, so they scored it a little higher than it deserved.

I think the game is a solid 8, though. Can’t understand those who give it 5s and 6s.

Playing it now and I have to agree. I’d probably give it an 8.5.

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