Julius

Astral Chain -- August 30th 2019

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5 minutes ago, Tim B said:

Zelda should be next, Luigi’s Mansion 3 might also make it and Pokémon Sword (the two versions will be counted separated for chart purposes) must have a chance as well. And Mario & Sonic, depending on exactly when it’s out.

It shouldn't be that hard to achieve this. There aren't many big releases left from other publishers this year and Nintendo have managed to place their games a week or two apart from the ones that are left ( Borderlands 3, FIFA 20 and Call of Duty ). Link's Awakening is between Borderlands 3 and FIFA. If it does manage to secure the top spot it's going to be very short lived.

 

43 minutes ago, Dcubed said:

Good news, though it did sell less than Bayonetta 2’s launch weekend in the UK (I’m sure it passed it if you include digital though).

It goes to show you just how rough the retail market is for games in the UK. For a couple of years now it has been on a decline and now you can pretty much reach the top by selling very few copies. That's not to take anything away from AC hitting the top spot though.

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1 hour ago, MindFreak said:

Thank you! I mentioned this in my review and I have not seen anyone else address these issues so thought I was alone on this regard.

I've not read any reviews for this at all, but it's quite surprising if that's not being commonly addressed. :blank: Sure it's not a huge deal, but definitely worth mentioning as it can crop up regularly across various locations. I'd be amazed if anyone could play this from start to finish without encountering it at least once, put it that way.

Anyway, good job on mentioning it in your review. :cool:

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It's good to see all 4 of the new releases last week up their in the tip 4 spots of the UK charts. Makes a change from GTA V being there for the umpteenth time. I think that while Astral Chain itself may be a niche game, Platinum Games definitely carry with it some level if prestige now, more so than say Remedy, and that probably helps a bit over the competition in terms of game sales.

Even with Wreckfest and Man of Medan, reviews were out for the former days before release and many of those were high in praise and the latter was advertised heavily as being from the team behind Until Dawn which sold very well for itself. Control, and Remedy in general, I'd argue is probably the more niche title of the lot and very much in keeping with their brand of weird and it's something people either get or don't. Performance issues probably also hindered it somewhat sales wise.

But yeah, well done to Platinum Games. I can't decide on it myself. While I liked the original Bayonetta, I grew a bit weary of it towards the end and I'm not a massive fan of that style of action game. So I can't tell if this would fall into that category for me or not. It does look ridiculously good in bits I've seen so I don't know. Perhaps once I've finished up with Link's Awakening I'll look into it provided it comes back into stock (something that hasn't happened with Fire Emblem: Three Houses I see, which is a bit annoying as I was wanting to check that out when I pick up my Lite in a few weeks).

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Whoo, I won myself a poster and pin (which you UK people got from pre-ordering on the Nintendo UK site I believe?).

And I won with this spectacular entry:

 

Edited by Sméagol
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40 minutes ago, Sméagol said:

and pin (which you UK people got from pre-ordering on the Nintendo UK site I believe?).

Yep. That’s the pin I got. 

Haven’t Started the game just yet (been busy with BotW DLC that I never finished) but I should be able to start this soon. Looking forward to it from what I’ve been reading from you guys. 

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I just completed the chapter that had me unlock my second Legion. If this one was normal length then the chapters are so.....long! There was just more and more and more even when I was expecting it to end. It took me three hours :eek:

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Yeah, some of the chapters are too long - and the Astral Plane sections are just not fun enough to warrant their length.

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Think I’m on the final chapter now, there have been some crazy twists and turns and a super hype moment which I actually thought could’ve been the end! (Not quite the finale of Wonderful 101 hype levels, but not far off. :D) Platinum Games are simply untouchable when it comes to this style of gameplay, absolute masters. :bowdown:

The combat has also really clicked for me over the last few hours, and I’ve been frequently getting S+ ranks at the end of cases as a result. :cool: This is easily my favourite playing game from Platinum, even more enjoyable than Bayonetta and Transformers Devastation, both of which I love. It’s an especially amazing feat considering this game runs at 30 fps, but yeah, it just plays so fantastically well. :) 

I actually can’t wait to finish the game, not because I want it to end, but so I can start a second playthrough! :bouncy:

 

 

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I'm happy for them this has become a hit. Apart from a few niggles, I'm loving the game.

Edited by Sméagol
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content-4-35976-astralchainpostlaunchthankyouartbanner.jpg

Up on the front page. :D

It's a fantastic piece of artwork which reflects a really wonderful game, which I really need to make the time to play more of. :peace:

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26 minutes ago, S.C.G said:

It's a fantastic piece of artwork which reflects a really wonderful game

Absolutely. :)

The credits rolled for me the other day (after 26 hours playtime) and I'm now going through all the chapters again to improve my rank, plus find the remaining cats and toilets. :grin:  Speaking of the credits...

Spoiler

They're actually really cool as the music gets replicated via HD rumble and the images that appear are pulled from your album of in-game photos. I didn't notice this at first, but then I started seeing loads of familiar cat pics and I was like "hey, I took these photos!" :hehe: So yeah, everyone will get a different sideshow at the end of their game, which is cool. And if the images that are frequently being shared (and retweeted by Hideki Kamiya) on twitter are anything to go by, 99.9% of them will be nothing but ass shots! :heh: 

As for other post-game goodies...

Spoiler

I've unlocked the Lappy costume, and several new voice types for the IRIS. The Lappy costume has to be one of the best special costumes in video game history, it just looks so incredibly stupid. :D It's especially hilarious in the cut-scenes too, and the motorbike section at the beginning of the game had me in stitches! :laughing:

Anyway, it's great to see that this game has done so well. It's easily one of my favourite Switch titles and with Platinum Games clearly firing on all cylinders I'm even more excited to see what they have in store for Bayonetta 3. :cool:

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content-4-35980-astralchaingamescombanner.jpg

Astral Chain Story Trailer

 

Maybe don't watch if you don't want any spoilers. I watched it, I'm only a few hours in and it makes me want to get right back into playing it. :D

It's just a shame that Astral Chain and Monster Hunter World: Iceborne had to release with weeks of each other, not to mention the other games coming soon...

On the other hand, plenty to play from now until the end of the year and beyond but I must make time for Astral Chain as it's a really well made title with a lot of love put into it.

Edited by S.C.G
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Started on the game and done a few chapters. Was finding the combat a bit iffy at first but am starting to get to grips with things. I still end up button mashing the attacks at the moment. I am liking it though. 

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Started playing this earlier today and I'm really liking what I've played so far. I've completed the first two missions/files (just started Case 03 Link) but I'm liking the gameplay a lot (though the first Astral Plane section with platforming was a bit iffy) and even though I'm still getting to grips with the controls, it plays extremely well on the Lite.

The game also looks fantastic. How Platinum managed to get the game to run at a solid frame rate on handheld mode I'll never know but the game looks beautiful, with all the neon colours and a huge amount of detail in the world (from what I've seen so far at least). The soundtrack is also great so far.

Was a bit hesitant when jumping in as to whether I'd like it. I've enjoyed parts of Platinum's previous games but not the whole package but so far, this seems to be ticking the boxes for me more so than their previous games. Can't wait to play more. Even with all the games I picked up with my Switch Lite on Friday, this has easily been a stand out and looks like it could be heading to be one of my favourite games of the year if it keeps going as it is.

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I forgot how utterly engrossing this game is. I just completed File 06, which took me 2.5-3 hours. This is how long most of the files have taken me, I would say. Is this the same for other people, because I've heard people saying each chapter takes just one hour?! Surely not...I am on the slightly harder 'Standard' difficult mode though.

Hoping to be able to get this completed in time for Dragon Quest, but not sure if I can find the time.

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7 hours ago, Tim B said:

I forgot how utterly engrossing this game is. I just completed File 06, which took me 2.5-3 hours. This is how long most of the files have taken me, I would say. Is this the same for other people, because I've heard people saying each chapter takes just one hour?! Surely not...I am on the slightly harder 'Standard' difficult mode though.

 

Yes, some of the chapters take that long. I assume you can do them faster if you don't care about side stuff, though.

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Been loving this. Think I’m on file 6 too, had to split it up as it was taking so long. I’d thought I’d finished then there was more to it. Though part of me does like that they are engrossing when you actually get into them. I do spend a lot of time going through the levels exploring and collecting so it might be why my plays are longer. 

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I finished the story on this last night.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and loved the art style. I enjoyed it a lot more once I mastered the controls and gameplay. Although I enjoyed the story I did feel that it lacked in certain areas and left more questions than answers. To be honest, I don't think the whole thing was explained all that well.

The gameplay was a lot of fun and I am glad that I decided to buy this and give it a go. Recommended. 

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I participated in a contest from Nintendo Netherlands, which resulted in the Collectors Edition of this game dropping in the mail this weekend. :bowdown:

So after unpacking it and gawking at the pretty artwork book, I booted up the game and played the first two chapters. The game looks stunning, and I have a feeling it will be a great game to play through. Can't wait to continue this.

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Finally gotten around to starting this game. So far.... it looks like I have another favourite for this years Game of the Year :D I love the art style, the characters, the customization, the costumes, the photo mode, the combat... this is really, truly a gem, and I have no idea how they manage to get this game running this good on the Switch! Real magic going on right here. 

The investigation is really great too, and I'm glad they didn't go for a full action game, like Bayonetta with no stops between the action. The down time in the city and suburbs are really good, and does a good job at giving the game and the universe charm.

And Lappy. Lappy is love. The grand tour, when she pops up all over the place. Had me laughing loud a few times :D

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Just finished what would be considered the main story, case 11. Loved it. Great game. I have lots to go back and do more of. Only found one cat and one toilet. Didn’t do half the blue cases in the levels and missed some red ones too, but that just shows that this can be played to its fullest or just head right through. I didn’t even realise your Legions and weapon could be upgraded till I was on Case 10. Playing on casual mode the only moments that ever caused me to have to restart due to dying where the two main “boss fights” Case 9 and 11. Again probably cause I wasn’t upgrading my stuff. 
 

I will most likely go through Case 12 then move onto Links Awakening before coming back to this again. I definitely want to explore the levels and find everything I can. 

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After finishing Case 5 I think it is time for a verdict so far. I'm loving this game. The graphics and artstyle are really well done, and the typical humour really makes for some more light-hearted moments. The pacing is good as well, with the mix between exploration/detective work and action. I know Platinum Games mostly from Bayonetta, and it amazes me how many mechanics are in this game. Starting with a racing bit, then there is the detective work, chasing people, combat, side missions, just a lot of different things going on.

The only two things that bug me are that the controls really get complicated when you have a couple of Legions at your disposal. Stuff like switching to the Sword Legion to cut a link between two enemies when I was doing something completey different makes me panic a bit. And then there is changing weapons, using items, using specials from your Legion etc. I usually end up just binding enemies and whacking them. :grin:

But the worst thing is the movement of mouths in dialogue. Jesus, it just does not match at all and that's really disturbing!

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9 hours ago, Vileplume2000 said:

But the worst thing is the movement of mouths in dialogue. Jesus, it just does not match at all and that's really disturbing!

Whenever this happens in a game, I like to pretend that I'm watching a spiritual sequel to "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist"

The lip syncing in Astral Chain was even more startling for me, because I played the Dragon Quest XI S Demo before hand, which has impeccable English lip syncing for a Japanese RPG.

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