|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Q Entertainment|
|Release: June 14, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Fantasy Violence|
When using motion controls, one hand controls your homing laser while the other controls your rapid laser. Raising both hands above your head activates euphoria, and while the game doesn't require you shout "Wheeee!" every time you do it, I highly recommend it. The targeting reticle tracks your hands perfectly, and switching between both weapons is as natural as switching hands. As a result, your reactions are much quicker when playing with the Kinect, and even though you aren't getting vibration feedback, you certainly feel more like you are a part of the game.
The fact is, you aren't playing Child of Eden for its gameplay. You are playing its emotional impact and sensory overload. The feelings this game evokes are just indescribable. The levels always start in these dark corrupted places, but as you continue on, you can see the skies open up and stars shine down on you. You'll see flowers bloom and planets form. Heck, one boss battle could only be described as a microcosm of the evolutionary ladder in space. If you are a games-as-art snob like me, this game will have you crying with joy.
Unfortunately, Child of Eden is not without its flaws. For one, there are no checkpoints in the game. Die one hit before a boss is ready to bite it, and you'll have to start the level all over again. For two, there is no multiplayer. Call me crazy, but tripping out with a friend is always more fun. For three, the entire experience is very short. There are only five levels, and if you're good, you can beat the whole thing in an hour or two. The game has plenty of things to unlock, like new difficulties, new graphics options, a hidden sixth challenge level, concept art, and music videos, but none of this actually goes very far toward increasing the game's replay value. What does increase replay value is the inclusion of online leaderboards, but that only works for the higher-score junkies out there.
Oh, and one more thing. You should take the seizure warning at the beginning of the game seriously. I personally don't have a history of seizures, but I seriously needed to avert my eyes at points just because there was so much movement on screen.
Child of Eden is so much fun to play. It's less of a game and more of a sensory experience that just evokes this feeling of happiness and contentment. It's something I think everyone should take part in at least once. It's just so depressingly short for a full-priced game. Don't get me wrong though, Child of Eden is one of the only two hours games I would ever consider paying full price for. That's saying a lot.
So what do you think now, man? Did I blow your mind?
Angelo M. D'Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer