By Josh Speer / June 11th, 2019
My very first day at E3 2019 was a rousing success, but for a very specific reason. That reason is, I got to demo a multitude of indie titles, and if you know me, you know I love me some indie gold! And the very first experience I had with indies at E3 took place at the booth for Modus Games. I admit to not being that familiar with them, but I’m oh so glad I dropped by. Because both of their games which I got to experience were utterly amazing looking. And I use that word very intentionally, because all I got to do was look. But that’s okay, because the titles Modus had on offer looked utterly incredible.
The first title by Modus was Cris Tales. I instantly knew I had to check it out after I saw the lush and hand drawn art used in the game. It’s 2D hand painted work set in a 3D plane, and it made me think of games like Paper Mario. That reference further worked because Cris Tales is also an RPG with reactive battle elements. If that wasn’t enough, you play a young Time Mage who is just coming into her powers. By bending the flow of time (with her handy amphibian helper Mathias) she can aid those in need. She can also use her mastery over time to good effect in battles, such as throwing foes afflicted with burn damage into the future, rendering them as ashen husks. I loved the mix of turn based gameplay with such amazing art and a compelling plot. I also loved how just using time itself isn’t a silver bullet, and has tactical implications, since some foes get more powerful in the future, while others become weaker. I admit that I’m really, really excited for Cris Tales, not least of all since it’s coming to Nintendo Switch, as well as Steam and all other major consoles. It’s like if Okami were a JRPG. My only complaint, and it’s a small one, is that it’s not coming out even sooner, since it’s slated to release in 2020. Too bad heroine Crisbell can’t speed up the wait for us, cause I feel in my bones this is gonna be a masterpiece.
The second title I got to see at Modus was no less impressive, just different stylistically. It was called Ary and the Secret of Seasons. Much like Cris Tales, it focuses on a heroine at the heart of the story. While Cris Tales had young Time Mage Crisbell, Ary has, you guessed it, a young woman named Aryelle (or Ary for short). Over the course of the game she gets the ability to control various seasons, and has to use those skills to solve complex 3D puzzles and fight giant monsters. She flings seasons as orbs of effect from what appeared to be a slingshot, which is rad in and of itself. In my time watching it, I saw Ary face off against a winged golem boss that she had to hound as it flew about, and use spheres of winter to form steps to reach it in order to attack. It was all quite climactic, and gave me pleasant memories of games like Shadow of the Colossus. Best of all, Ary and the Secret of Seasons is very story driven, though you’re given some free rein to explore the beautiful open world. If that all sounds exciting to you, and it should, you’ll be happy to hear this game also is releasing for everything, though it is also slated for a 2020 release.
I’m very pleased I got to spend time with Modus games at E3 2019, and only wish I was able to demo these wonderful looking titles myself. Be sure to tune into oprainfall for much more upcoming hands on coverage from the show floor!
Ary and the Secret of SeasonsCris TalesIndieModus GamesPCPS4SwitchXbox 1