TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Here are three recent releases to check out:
.hack//G.U. Last Recode
Rounding up several cyberpunk GRPGs from the early 2000s in one tight Switch package, the anthology is a must for series completionists.
Developers behind the Naruto Storm series branched off to create a pop culture-reflecting hacker espionage series that developed a strong cult following. The convoluted, hard-to-follow storylines involve players who are eyeballs-deep in a world-spanning MMORPG sort of like the Oasis in "Ready Player One."
"Rebirth," "Reminisce," "Redemption" and "Reconnection" are all included in the collection, ratcheting up the value proposition for the near-forgotten series. All play with much quicker loading times than they did on the PS2 and PS3.
While the highly meta games haven't aged well, their old-school feel is welcoming. The visuals still pop, and while the writing may be convoluted, it retains its early-century charm.
MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS: THE OFFICIAL VIDEOGAME 5
Hanging onto the handlebars for dear life, you hop up and down dirt courses filled with hairpin turns and massive ramps in "Monster Energy Supercross."
A mix of believable physics and arcade-style exaggeration, the game captures the spirit of motocross racing, embracing its essence of speed and skillful navigation. While wipeouts abound, most racers are surprisingly resistant to bumping and grinding.
Solid story progression gives you plenty of reasons to keep coming back for more, garnering sponsors and prestige as you rake in the rewards.
A handy rewind function lets you zip back to a point in your run before you messed everything up.
There's also a robust track editor that allows you to craft, upload and share the courses of your dreams — and nightmares.
If you're looking for an old-school, turn-based strategy adventure based on an overhead grid, "Triangle Strategy" is a heavy dose of the tried and true formula.
The plot is a takeoff of the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" and "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" setup. Taking control of one of three factions, you show strength, feign weakness and scheme your way to control of the realm of Norzelia. The choices you make set the stage for longform tactical showdowns that test your ability to muster and manage resources, saving your strikes for strategic moments.
Party selection is key to success. More than 20 characters are available to mix and match as you battle your way toward dominance.
Taking things beyond the field of combat, choices you make behind the scenes set your grand plans in motion. The art of manipulating your opponents and deploying your advisers to advance your cause is what determines whether you are set up to succeed or fail.
This is one of those "just one more turn" pastimes that is devilishly difficult to put down. Its compelling gameplay loop and intriguing writing are as strong as the combat mechanics.
With branching paths that vastly alter the way the story unfolds, the replay level in the game is high.
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 email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.