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Game review roundup: 'Long Live the Queen,' 'Klonoa Fantasy Reverie'

A PlayStation 5 console and two controllers.
Posted at 12:25 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 15:25:28-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Here's a look at the slate of recent game releases:

ETERNAL HOPE

Doublehit Games' stylish take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth is a thinking-person's game. It's a a slow-burn meditation on longing, sacrifice and death.

Playing as Ti'bi, a young tribesman who is question to rescue the love of his life, this muted, low-energy adventure manages to arrest your attention as you advance from one grim, hopeless scene to the next. The 2D puzzle-platformer requires tons of trial and error to endure, but the tale is well worth the effort.

The dev team takes many cues from the likes of Playdead ("Limbo," "Inside). The narrative has you shifting between dimensions to take advantage of environmental differences that allow you to slink through the treacherous puzzles and obstacles.

FIREGIRL HACK 'N SPLASH RESCUE

Thunderful and Dejima join forces to craft a clever and exciting platformer that tasks you to break through buildings, rescue people and even battle monsters.

Steadily upgrading your abilities via a tech tree, you use jetpacks to blast your way through vertical environments and tools to hack your way through walls and debris.

The timed missions make speed of the essence, with high-pressure runs spoiled by subtle missteps. The goal is to use what you've learned and gained before to help you avoid failure on future rungs.

With a roguelite flair, "Firegirl: Hack 'N Splash" is a tense and hectic firefighting sim with a playful nature at its core.

KLONOA FANTASY REVERIE

Originally released in 1997 and 2001, the two "Klonoa" games — "Door to Phantomile" and "Lunatea's Vail" — come back in a remastered package that makes the aging games considerably more user-friendly and manageable.

Adjustable difficulty settings, a co-op mode and vastly upgrades graphics prepare the side-scrolling platforms for modern audiences.

The joyous art style, bubbly animations and stiff yet rewarding platforming and exploration challenges hold up well. Those who have never played through the "Klonoa" games are in for a treat.

Those looking for an increased challenge can opt for a one-and-done hard mode, which sends you back to square one after suffering a single blow.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN

The 2012 PC title gets a console-minded revamp. Retalaika Games buffs up its choice-driven visual novel to current standards.

You play as a 14-year-old queen who has ascended to the throne amid a jealous court and contempt-filled kingdom.

Even though you're still mourning the death of your mother, you must play the game of thrones to survive. Elevating your skills, forging alliances and ferreting out forces seeking to overthrow you, the object of the game is to survive long enough to take your crown.

Although perhaps too dry for some tastes, compelling writing and catchy visuals make "Long Live the Queen" worthy of its throne.

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. He is married and 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.