News Article

Child of Light Co-Op Element Takes Inspiration From Super Mario Galaxy, Yet Aims For Better

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"It's fun to share an adventure"

Ubisoft has confirmed that the visually attractive and conceptually interesting Child of Light will be coming to the Wii U, a welcome inclusion despite a couple of disappointing exclusions elsewhere. One aspect of the early footage and screenshots that shines through is the presence of Igniculus, a blue ball of energy that can be controlled by the second player on screen — in principle this character seems perfect for the Wii Remote pointer or the GamePad screen.

The role of Igniculus is that of an assist character, with abilities such as slowing down and disrupting enemies, or using energy from the environment to heal the player. The project's creative director, Patrick Plourde, has spoken to Polygon about this character and explained the importance of its role in bringing gamers together, whether with friends or family. Co-operation between parents and children seems to be a key motivator, with Plourde citing Super Mario Galaxy as a source of inspiration, even if this title will aim to give greater power to the second player.

I'm a father, and fairy tales are about parents telling their children stories that carry values. So one day our marketing director said, 'Why don't you make a game where you can play with your son?' and I was like, 'Ah! That's so true!'

...So I had the idea of what if we took the Super Mario Galaxy approach where you have a character that helps? What if he could move around on the screen and it's not a nuisance for the parent?

But the thing I felt was missing in Super Mario Galaxy was the second character is not really helping. You just collect coins. It's not a collaboration — you're more of a spectator.

...Watching sports with a child, when the team scores a goal then daddy's happy and the kid is happy, then we're giving each other high-fives. You should have those moments with games. It's good to share moments and it can be with a child or it can be with anybody.

You can see the trailer again below, but does the idea of a more involved co-op option like this appeal to you? Would you like to play a game like this through with a friend or relative, or do you prefer to play adventure games alone? Let us know your thoughts below.

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User Comments (22)



mamp said:

This game looks pretty interesting, I'll be keeping an eye out for it.



Captain_Toad said:

"And my name is Hewpoe!" Every time I look at the energy sprite he reminds me of Hewpoe from klonoa.



Aqueous said:

In that case it might be something I can play with my little sister without difficultly or age appropriateness or just being something not to my tastes,



Silent said:

Since I have no judgement or bias against or for this game, I will only say, Good Luck on the project.



Gate_Shikimuri said:

He obviously never did the Syncro-Jump. v_v Really helps when you can't afford a triple or side jump. Also neglected the ability to freeze enemies and shoot star bits. And he said all you do is collect coins, but you don't collect coins. You collect star bits. When was the last time he played Super Mario Galaxy?



aaronsullivan said:

More games need to consider involving the spectators. Pikmin 3 botched making it so anyone touching the GamePad screen takes over control instead of acting as an assistant.

Also, this game looks like I want to get lost in it.



Sir420 said:

That's awesome! I was hoping to play this with my daughter, but concerned about the difficulty. Now, we can both play.



drumsandperc92 said:

this game looks gorgeous. i'm happy to see more and more games taking an artistic approach. Simple but engaging and fun gameplay, often as side scrolling 2d indie games (or even games from big guns like Ubisoft here) with beautiful art to look at are becoming more and more prominent! it's an exciting time - honestly i'm with Sony's attitude here, i think we are about to experience a renaissance in gaming and creativity!



Ducutzu said:

This is great news, because one of the main reasons I got a Wii U was that it had the potential to better involve the spectators in my games.



fortius54 said:

In Galaxy, the second player could also shoot stars at the enemies to stun them. It wasn't soon a whole lot, but when I'm the second player and the kids are playing I can help them out. That works pretty good.



WaveGhoul said:


Oh I've played it. After tinkering with my toobular & trusty funk-O-tron RetroRad time machine, i manged to blast several months into the future. This game ooze's style, but like Rayman it's nothing exciting or anything really new from a gameplay perspective. Zoink!

Really though, i was just trolling with my previous comment. I just don't really expect much these days from ubi to be honest other than 'flashy' artsy fartsy platformers and trendy assassination stealthers'



JaxonH said:

Say what you will, but Rayman Legends took Mario to school. The game was all kinds of amazing, and believe it or not, it actually was VERY exciting and DID manage to bring something new from a gameplay perspective. Did you play the game? Cause your post had way too many falsehoods for one paragraph.

And for the record, I expect alot from Ubisoft. In just a 90 day period, look at what they're singlehandedly contributing to the Wii U: Rayman Legends, the only platformer I've ever played that was on par with Nintendo's best. Splinter Cell Blacklist, quite possibly the finest stealth game I've ever played, and one of the funnest games on the Wii U to date. Watch Dogs, an interesting new concept and perfect fit for the 'pad, time will tell but it's looking to be worth the wait. And of course, Assassin's Creed 4, a "trendy assassination stealther" as you put it, but a fine franchise indeed and certainly a pre order for me. And now, Child of Light- a breath of fresh air to be honest. The game looks fantastic, what else can be said?



JaxonH said:

Um, no. That wouldn't have worked. Either way, looking at the map and moving it around on the pad would have done nothing to assist the player on screen. And even if speaking in terms of single player, they were right to translate the map to satellite view on screen. Because when looking and moving around on the map on the pad, you're not going to be able to play on screen anyways. I've heard that assessment before, but it's logic is flawed.



aaronsullivan said:

@JaxonH Um, yes. In my opinion It likely would have worked.

I'm talking about assisting in a less direct way. Looking at the map is essential during a day in pikmin and there is down time while the pikmin are active. Stopping everything to look at the map when there is another person there that could thoroughly explore the map and tell you where to go while you are playing would be much more fun and involving for a second person. They broke this possibility by making the game pause as soon as you touch it. Fine if you're alone but a switch to make it work independently would have been a great benefit to playing with others around.

As it is, I do let my buddy select the location to go to when splitting up the group even though everything stops. Would be nice if he could cue up the location while I'm playing, right?

In addition, my kids like to look at the notes and extra information on the fruits but it always interrupts. I'm not as interested in stopping everything and just reading, but having someone next to you pointing out highlights while you play is fun and, again, involves more people.

I'm not seeing a flaw in the logic, but maybe we are talking past each other. I don't see why this is unworkable and I DO see several great benefits for me and mine. The only thing I can imagine against the possibility is a performance issue. Not likely, though.



aaronsullivan said:

@JaxonH I agree with you about Rayman Legends. The Rayman take on multiplayer is far better than what the New Super Bros. team came up with, too.

I'm hoping the new Wii U Mario redeems Nintendo as I think multiplayer should work much better in those types of levels. Here's hoping.



JaxonH said:

@aaronsullivan Hmmm. I suppose, but I don't think the player would know where to go unless they had the map themselves to look at, especially in these big, sprawling environments. Even so, maybe you're right and it could've somehow worked, but I'm still not sold on the idea it would have been a co op that meshed well. I just heard so many ppl on here complain that the map was translated to the screen, but I felt it was integral to see a real view of enemy placement and whether fruit was hidden, hanging on a tree, etc. I don't think I could have managed looking at the screen to play while simultaneously looking at the map on the gamepad, which is another reason I defend it too.

Yeah, the one thing NSMBU has over Rayman is precision platforming. Idk if you've seen any of the Super Play videos on Miiverse, but they're breathtaking. That's the one area Mario will always be king. But yeah, Rayman Legends was overflowing with quality, innovation and raised the bar considerably for platformers. I do think DKC Tropical Freeze well give it a run for its money though...

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