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Game review roundup: 'Conan Chop Chop,' 'Elex II,' 'A Musical Story'

"Conan Chop Chop" image courtesy Funcom.
Posted at 9:58 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 12:01:40-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Here is a roundup of three recent game releases:

CONAN CHOP CHOP

Shrinking down Conan the Barbarian and other associated characters into stick figure form, the one-to-four player game embraces fast-flowing action and twitch reflexes in favor of strategizing.

The villainous Thoth-Amon is out to resurrect the demonic force Xaltotun, and it's up to you to hack-and-slash your way to realm-sparing glory. You upgrade and buff up your offensive and defensive capabilities as you explore the overworld in between battles.

Developer Mighty Kingdom keeps things speedy and breezy, with rapid, combo-driven battles that echo the feel of "Castle Crashers" and "Knight Squad."

ELEX II

Nearly all of the action-RPG attention these days is, rightfully so, focused on "Elden Ring," but "Elex II" is a dark horse in the genre to keep an eye on.

Developer Piranha Bytes — which was behind the "Gothic" series — produces a deep and polished future/fantasy epic, focused on the struggle to control Elex, an electricity/magic hybrid that gives the wielder the power to manipulate life, technology and the fate of the populace itself. Mechs and jetpacks can be found in the realm of Magalan.

Striking visuals and an impressive array of characters, weaponry and enhancements populate the open-world adventure.

Although choppy combat somewhat breaks the spell, the storytelling and world-building are top-notch.

A MUSICAL STORY

Most retro-themed games harken back to the 1990s or 80s, but "A Musical Story" takes it back to the groovy 70s.

The rhythm-based, QTE-style story from Glee-Cheese Studio has you tapping buttons in relation to songs that play in the background, as you attempt to improve things for your protagonist, "Eite Beat Agents" style.

The story follows Gabriel, who uses his musical memory to get his bearings and establish his sense of self as he comes of age.

With disco and funk-infused beats pacing the gameplay, the addictive and entrancing — if somewhat monotonous — story is a toe-tapping delight.

Publishers provided review codes.

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Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star, where he was a movie critic, columnist, and reporter. He has penned three books: Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, Stormin' Mormon and Zeta Male. A University of Arizona business graduate, he has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing phil.villarreal@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.