The Lost Child is a first-person dungeon crawling JRPG with a thin veneer of detective thrown in. Is this follow-up to El Shaddai worth checking out on Switch? Here’s our review.
With the move to the Nintendo Switch, there hasn’t been a new Etrian Odyssey game released. That’s unfortunate, because the series is by far one of the best dungeon crawlers available on any Nintendo console. Unfortunately you have to fill in the gaps with other games if you like first-person dungeon crawlers.
- Genre: JRPG, First-Person Dungeon Crawler
- Developer: Kadokawa Games
- Publisher: NIS America
- Price: $49.99
Labyrinth of Refrain is a good choice and The Lost Child is adequate if you can get past the fact that it feels like a Shin Megami Tensei rip-off. The game itself is a spin-off of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, which released back in 2011. Some of the same development staff that worked on that game worked on The Lost Child. Players familiar with El Shaddai will notice some callbacks, but it’s not necessary to have played the game to enjoy The Lost Child.
Players take control of a young man named Hayato who has a job working for a paranormal investigation magazine named LOST. Players investigate a string of suicides that have been taking place in Tokyo. During the investigation, Hayato meets a strange woman who claims to be an angel to guide Hayato to help capture spirits.
The majority of the game is spent dungeon crawling through parallel dimensions littered around Japan. Hayato and Lua are always included in the party, but the player can catch angels and demons known as astrals to help aid in the fight. There can be up to three additional astrals in a party, with six more in backup for switching during battle.
Much like the demons in Shin Megami Tensei, the astrals in The Lost Child are divided up by type and effectiveness. Astrals can be Angels, Fallen Angels, and Demons, each with their own effectiveness. For example, fire astrals are weak to those of the water element. Capturing Astrals means using the ability called ‘Astral Burst’ which combines the attacks of all equipped astrals.
Leveling up astrals makes them more effective in battle. Karma to level up spirits is gained through combat and comes in three versions, good, dual, and evil. Each astral type prefers a certain type of karma to provide a bonus. Karma is essentially experience that can be saved and used when you want.
Skills for these astrals are learned as they participate in combat, so you’ll want to switch them out regularly. Astrals can learn a wide variety of skills as long as they participate in combat. The combat itself is fairly standard turn-based combat. There’s also an automated combat option if you’re just exploring through a dungeon.
Graphics & Audio
The Lost Child is pretty standard when it comes to a JRPG in terms of design. Exploring dungeons is reminiscent of Etrian Odyssey, with multiple layers to the dungeon and traps and hidden doors galore. The dungeons themselves are meaty if generic. All of the sprites featured in the game are static pictures, but most of the characters do have decent voice acting.
Switch Issues – The Lost Child Review for Switch
While playing the game I noticed that text in handheld mode can be rather small. It is playable on both the Switch and the Switch OLED, but Switch Lite users may struggle on the smaller screen. In terms of performance, I encountered no worrying issues or crashes. Load times between areas were quite speedy.
The Lost Child is a decent romp for anyone who is craving a first-person dungeon crawler. The story isn’t amazing and games like Shin Megami Tensei have more interesting combat, but it’s a competent game in the genre. It often goes on sale so it can be had for less than its $50 suggested retail price, too.
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