TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Here's a look at three recent game releases:
Fans of "Until Dawn" will find much to like in the new adventure game from developer Supermassive Games.
The perspective rotates among several teens who are scrambling to survive a night at a doomed outpost in the woods. You make decisions based on conversations that send the story on wildly different branching paths.
The emphasis is far more on narrative and visuals than gameplay, recalling Quantic Dream efforts such as "Heavy Rain" and "Beyond: Two Souls."
With a big-name cast that includes the likes of David Arquette, Ethan Suplee and Justice Smith, the developers get the most out of the performances with excellent motion capture and stunning graphics. Filled with jump-scares, clever twists and dark humor, "The Quarry" is a welcome surprise to kick off a sparse-looking summer gaming year.
WILDCAT GUN MACHINE
The dungeon-crawler from developer Chunkybox Games pits you against hordes of giant robots, oddball creatures and sundry monstrosities.
It helps that you can arm yourself with a creative array of weaponry. Your reflexes will be tested with the swarming enemies, with a formidable difficulty level throwing roadblocks in front of you all the way through. Fans of roguelites and shmups will be in heaven, but there's not much to distinguish the game from the masses.
Bland, repetitive combat and a thin storyline leave you little reason to jump into the fray. But those looking for a challenge to their shooter skills will find plenty to relish here.
YS IX: MONSTRUM NOX
The Ys series is a long-running franchise that most in the west probably have little knowledge of. Thanks to Steam releases of the early games, there's a cult fanbase for the series here in the States and that has allowed for bigger releases of the current games in the franchise.
But while the original games were old-school top-down adventures with elements of bullet-hell, the new games are leaning more toward a Tales style. That means that "Ys IX" isn't particularly unique or interesting. The story, about a group of cursed individuals magically trapped in a massive city doesn't excite. The characters are fine but your main hero is as cardboard as you get. It all feels so dated; like a PS2 game dredged up for re-release.
That's not to say the gameplay isn't a blast when you get past the long story portions. The dungeons offer arcade-y fun, even if boss monsters mainly consist of damage sponges. But zipping around to perches, smacking around monsters, and the fact you just smack items to pick them up, makes it feel really fast. "Ys IX" has the kind of gameplay I love but it can't help but be mired in bland fantasy and anime tropes, making it hard to wholeheartedly recommend.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Sean Newgent is a producer for KGUN 9. Sean graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in broadcast journalism. While at ISU, Sean wrote movie reviews for the paper, anchored and produced student newscasts, and was nominated for a student Emmy for broadcast film reviews. Share your story ideas and important issues with Sean by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Twitter.