Saturday , October 31 2020

The Games of PAX Online – ‘Cris Tales’ and ‘Uragun’

As I continued to dig through the many demos available at PAX Online I was struck by how different this experience is at home than in person. On the show floor I can watch the crowds gather towards a particular game or see the developer explain the premise to a new player. It is a truly unique experience checking out a new game in that vibrant, loud, and messy ecosystem, but alas times are different now and we need to adapt.

I loaded up my Steam queue with a ton of game demos and found a number that were worth checking out.

Cris Tales

This game caught my eye early, mostly with its striking art style, but the premise was also quite interesting. Focusing on a young girl who gets the power to experience three separate time periods, past, present, and future, it sounded very cool.

Digging into the Cris Tales demo I was loving the look and feel of it, but it seemed to be a generic RPG until the time crystal powers were introduced. Once the screen showed three time periods, gorgeously represented in a cutout fashion, I was hooked.

I spent a good chunk of time moving around seeing characters become young, old, or just disappear in the different sections of the time zones. It was fun simply to see the people and environments change, but the demo had a great series of activities too that demonstrated how to use the time powers in much more practical ways.

There is a little frog creature that joins early on who is part of the whole Time Magic schema. He on command can hop into the past or future zones. Once this happens he becomes either a tadpole or older frog – it’s hysterically funny – and helps to uncover items or grab things and bring them back to the present.

This allowed me to get some potions identified, grab a fruit from a tree, and make a necessary potion that advanced the demo. These back-and-forth activities progressed the story and showed how cool it could be to move back and forth in the time zones, in essence changing the future – and even the present at times.

In combat I faced an enemy that had impenetrable shields, and using the time powers and a water-based power I managed to rust the shields. This let me attack them successfully and was a neat twist on the gameplay format, making this far from generic.

Overall I was very impressed with Cris Tales and am looking forward to seeing more when it releases. There are some small issues with the pacing, and the writing could be tweaked, but the premise is strong enough to make this a game worth checking out when it releases Nov 17 on Steam.

Uragun

I had to try this demo after I saw the tag line ‘You are a human, and YOU ARE A GUN!’ With this in mind I booted up the Uragun demo and while I did not believe I was a gun, I was generally impressed with the experience.

Set in a near future where the world is devastated by various climate disasters, Uragun is an action-filled top-down shooter. Controlling a battle mech that has a number of different weapons and auxiliary abilities, I was plopped into a devastated city and had to try and find some resources.

Working through some small puzzles and enemies, I was baited into a trap and had to fight off hordes of enemies using my various weapon types. All the while members of my team chatted with me and helped to set me on my path.

The action is quick and furious with movement and weapons being navigated intuitively, making the game quick and easy to pick up. There are alternating weapons to choose from as well as traps such as a minefield, and a boost to quickly evade enemies.

The presentation of Uragun is really cool, with the developer using real cities devastated by climate disasters. Sand-covered Barcelona, frozen New York, or overgrown Warsaw are scenes that will be used as battlegrounds.

The story seems interesting but thin in this small demo, but the gameplay has promise. With a bunch of different weapons and actions available as well as a promised robust upgrade path, Uragun could be quite fun once more of the game is available.

The developer Kool2Play is planning on releasing the game via Steam Early Access later this year. The goal is to develop the game with community feedback to deliver the best experience possible.

About Michael Prince

A longtime video game fan starting from simple games on the Atari 2600 to newer titles on a bleeding edge PC I play everything I can get my hands on.

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