Enter the world where you are a journalist who must join the ongoing battle between demons, angels, and fallen angels. You are Hayato Ibuki and you are chosen by God in Shinjuku station to solve what is behind the mysterious suicides that have been happening there. While you are investigating you are pushed onto the tracks by a black shadow. Fortunately, a beautiful girl named Balucia saves you and hands you a case in the process. You are told that she doesn’t really want you to use it, but she wants you to live. Welcome to the insane world of The Lost Child.
Inside the case you find the demon gun Gangour. It is a tool used to capture and use fallen angels and demons that attack you. At this moment you are also befriended by an angel named Lua. She aids you in searching around the country for Balucia. Hayato does not realize that he has been caught between the ambitions of dark rulers and the expectations of angels. Lua informs you that you are the Chosen One. But what does that mean? Do you even want to be the Chosen One? Why is there always a Chosen One in stories like this? So many questions that need answers that you must find. Belucia turns out to be Lua’s sister so she is most insistent that Hayato research numerous areas and the residents there to help find her. When you do, it is a much different Balucia than who gave you the case. What happened to her?
As you play through this game you will be interrogating interesting characters as a reporter for a sort of paranormal news organization. The battles you enter will afford you new allies in captured demons along with Lua fighting alongside you and instructing you as you go. Each demon you capture (gotta catch’em all?) will have different abilities and you can always use Gangour to capture new allies as you go.
There isn’t much for animation in The Lost Child. The battle system is a little confusing at first so there is a bit of a learning curve. Walking through the world I was immediately transported back to a PC game I used to play around 1995 called Stonekeep. It resembles the pre-rendered environments presented in first person as a series of joined square blocks that represent areas like a street or dungeon. When you move forward you will move one square ahead. You must then turn left or right to move into the adjoining squares. Random battles with demons or fallen angels will happen during this exploration. It also maps the areas as you explore them, so you can see where you’ve been and where you may need to go.
The graphics are nothing to write home about even though the characters are drawn very well in the Japanese anime style. The female characters are drawn as they usually are with large breasts and revealing clothing; nothing new here. The dungeons and streets aren’t overly detailed, but they do the job when exploring them, giving you a feeling of dark dread as you wait for the next battle encounter. I was a little disappointed at the animations and such during battles. I felt more like I was playing a Pokémon title than anything. That sort of fits in with the collection of demons to battle for you.
The sounds and music are what you’d expect from an RPG. The voice acting is done fairly well and I don’t have any real complaints in that area. The music is decent but nothing really memorable. It’s not like Final Fantasy where years later I’m still whistling the tunes to myself while walking in to work. Battle sounds are also a mixed bag of spell casting, physical hits, and things like that. Nothing memorable or exciting to report there, either.
The battles get repetitive as you delve deeper into the game and they get a lot harder the further into the story you go. You can get by early on with the auto-battle option or when you just get bored with the simpler combat scenarios where you are can easily wipe out the enemies. However, doing so can rob you of the skills that you will need later to help you decide the best way to attack the enemies. Single enemy battles, obviously, are much easier than when they throw multiple demons at you. Just as with most RPG titles you want to level up as much as you can early on to make the later battles a bit more plausible to win. While I did enjoy the battle system early on it did get a bit bland the longer I played. While it is deep in the customization of the allies you have, it wasn’t enough to keep me interested in each battle as I carried on. I feel that there are other titles that do what The Lost Child does a little better, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t stand as a fun experience overall.
The price is $50 at release and this seems more like a top of the line price to pay for what we are ending up with. It feels like the game would be more worth it for around $30, so it may be a better title to wait for a price drop before plunking down your hard-earned cash.
The Lost Child is a fun and interesting mixture of dungeon exploring, creature collecting, and mystery solving story lines. It does leave you confused at some points where you don’t realize that you finished a mission until you get back to your desk in your office and find that you did, in fact, finish it. The interactions with NPCs and allies is entertaining most of the time and did keep my interest as I played through. It does take a while to really submerse yourself into the persona of Hayato, but they did a nice job weaving good story around a rather bland battle system that may leave many players wanting. Overall, however, it’s a good game that will surely entertain those who enjoy a good story along with exploring dungeons and being a detective to piece together the mystery of what is going on with this epic battle between good and evil.
The Lost Child was reviewed using a final retail Nintendo Switch download code provided by the publisher.
Jay has been an avid gamer since the Intellivision days. His hobbies include building PCs, 3D modeling and printing, and spending time with his children and dog.