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Astral Chain - Out now and it's great!

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3 hours ago, Horribleman said:

Pretty sure I'm going to send this back. 

 

Already not enjoying the 'RPG' elements that Japanese developers seem to think means running around a map till you find a waypoint and talking to someone to advance the plot. 

 

Not take a fan of the art style either. 

 

Worth a try. 

If it's the LE I'll take it off you if you like.

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My reflexes aint what they used to be, and I struggle with very in-depth combo sysyems, but I love the look of this. Is there still fun to be had just romping through it?

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9 minutes ago, Stanley said:

My reflexes aint what they used to be, and I struggle with very in-depth combo sysyems, but I love the look of this. Is there still fun to be had just romping through it?

 

There are several difficulty options. Casual Mode is the default and it seems pretty easy, loads of consumables and stuff. I'm only a few hours in but that's also the nature of Platinum games. Romp through and then if you really want to master the combat, there are lots of options to raise the skill ceiling. 

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Apart from the investigations being too easy (only bit of the game I can S rank :seanr:), my only real complaint is that it’s 30fps and sometimes things are just too frantic to be able to see what the hell is happening. 

 

 

@Stanley The combat seems to be largely timing based rather than button combos. The timing windows are nice and wide though, I think it’s a lot more accessible than Bayonetta/TW101. 

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Up to file 2 it was a bit so-so, but file 3 was awesome. It just kept going and even though it was saving I didn't want to stop until it ended, and then it was nearly 2am.

 

The co-op is fun but pretty frustrating. The legion player controls the camera which feels really weird.

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I'm finding this pretty difficult now. There's a mandatory training mission in file 3 which prohibits the use of health items and revives, and I get wiped before I can make it to the end. Is P Standard actually making the combat tougher or is it just scoring your efforts and reducing the amount of revives you get?

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31 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

 

@Stanley The combat seems to be largely timing based rather than button combos. The timing windows are nice and wide though, I think it’s a lot more accessible than Bayonetta/TW101. 

 

I wouldn't say this at all. I'm finding the timing windows for dodging to be extremely narrow. It's particularly difficult against groups of fast enemies, where dodging one can smack you right into the attack of another enemy i.e. not very forgiving invincibility frames either.

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You don’t have to pass the elite test to carry on with the game. Just the three basic ones. 

 

Cerberus was seriously tough. How do you stop him from stunning you with his howl?

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Starting to get into this. It's in that stage where I feel like it's all 5% too quick and I don't have the fingers to get stuff done, but I'm starting to understand more and more and it looks LOVELY. Very excited to play more. 

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Can’t believe I preordered this for release day delivery - and there it is, just over there next to my Switch - and I decided to save it for my week off, starting Thursday.

 

Rookie-cop mistake. And now I’m getting deep-blue-balls from these awesome impressions. :lol:

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5 hours ago, shirubagan said:

This is fucking spectacular.

 

I'm starting to come around to this opinion. It is really fucking good. It took a little while for everything to open up and click - I'm still not totally there yet - but there's a lot to love here. It gets much more interesting once you've got a couple of legions to upgrade. Things I'm enjoying a lot:

 

- Using legion abilities for exploring and platforming.

 

- Snapping/cataloguing enemies and NPCs Metroid Prime-style.

 

- Liberal customisation of cosmetic stuff. I've ditched my horrible chunky police uniform for a lime green zip-up waistcoat, shirt and tie, and I've switched the standard blue UI/menus for hot fucking pink. I'm a total sucker for UI customisation - more games should have it.

 

- Shameless Nier: Automata references. There cannot be too many Nier: Automata references.

 

- Soundtrack is great (bar the dreadful j-pop opener). Headphones recommended.

 

- IRIS interface is fantastic.

 

I'm not really sold on the premise of some of the cop stuff - arresting people for dealing weed and doing graffiti feels shitty rather than satisfying - and the combat is going to take a lot of practice (a good thing, I hope) but there's so much potential here it's ridiculous. Platinum with a proper budget and real polish is so good.

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32 minutes ago, jonamok said:

and I decided to save it for my week off, starting Thursday.

 

I'm exactly the same! Except i'm off to Thailand for a month on...you guessed it: Thursday.  ;)

 

22 minutes ago, ann coulter said:

and I've switched the standard blue UI/menus for hot fucking pink. .

 

Oh yes! :wub:

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I’ve only just started File 3 (Lappy :lol:) and although the combat is taking a while to click (controlling the legion is like tapping your head and rubbing your tummy!) everything else is utterly brilliant and mental. It’s like Vanquish had a baby with Bayonetta. Love the art style, UI, music and even the menus are nice to look through - tranquil green for me! Just had a training session and learned a load of new skills, will have to have a practice before heading out into the field.

 

Had a weird moment at the end of File 2 when it introduces you to the chain pull across platforms, the controls inexplicably reversed themselves when moving my legion. It was almost impossible to control and was so frustrating I nearly switched it off in disgust then and there!

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Done the first mission, absolutely bumbled my way through the tutorials and ready for my next proper mission.

 

Its a very different kind of system from Bayonetta and Nier Automata isn’t it? Where Bayo and Nier’s immediate combat is all under your control and about quick, chained combos AC is much more considered and tactical in how you have to approach things. It’s all about position, distance and being comfortable actually not rattling buttons continuously. I am awful at it right now because my brain is telling me after years of playing these games (I class the original DMC1 as my starting point) I must react, do something, press a button, when what I really need to do is let certain actions breathe a little longer than currently feels right. It’s unerving and could easily be dismissed as a poor system but that could not be further from the truth.

 

Im only playing handheld for now as I am between house moves and don’t have my usual home system in place but even on the small screen it is fucking beautiful. So anyone that can’t get into this you have my sympathy but everyone else :omg:

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I was worried that this would be another TMNT or Transformers but as soon as I played the intro and then the training told me that time slows down when I dodge at the last second I knew that I loved it. Seriously considering getting the Pro controller for this, I was going to wait for Bayonetta 3 but it feels like controlling the legion would feel more natural with better sticks. I hadn't played much of the Switch recently but knowing I can take this game along with the other Platinum stuff with me anywhere I go has reminded me what an amazing system it really is.

 

Now if we could just get W101 it would probably be the best console ever made...

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13 minutes ago, MardiganX said:

because my brain is telling me after years of playing these games (I class the original DMC1 as my starting point) I must react, do something, press a button, when what I really need to do is let certain actions breathe a little longer than currently feels right. It’s unerving and could easily be dismissed as a poor system but that could not be further from the truth.

 

First thing that came to mind was the emo guy from DMC5, where you're keeping a safe-ish distance and using the animals as extensions/weapons. Not sure how this game will develop on that, but like you said; jarring at first, but a welcome change to the Bayonetta type combo-strings we're used to.

 

And yes please to them porting W101. :wub: Another game this kinda reminds me of.

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Ok, so done the first proper full mission and it’s clear this system is operating on another level from anything there has ever been. Where I initially thought it was simply about focusing on distance, tactics, etc. (spot on with the V comparison @Curtis) things have now been completely flipped and it seems AC can just be whatever the fuck if wants.

 

Not only is the mission a fantastic piece of plot / gameplay twisting, it’s set the scene for what could be one of if not THE best game Platinum has ever produced. Talking about the change up too much will give stuff away so will leave it for now but AC already feels like something very VERY special.

 

GOTY and just close the betting!

 

Getting the full Sword Legion and the battles that followed it is one of my gaming highlights of the year so far. The way things then open up to show the depth that Legion has on its own with the move set and upgrades is just mind blowing. I mean what the actual fuck is the gameplay going to be like when you can mix up all the Legions into the combat  takes a special kind of genius / madness to deliver a game like this!

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Spent another day with this yesterday and it justs keeps getting better and better. It’s just so well made. Especially the cadance of lulls and action. Music is astonishingly good to boot. My game of the year so far, I’ve not been able to put it down. Plus it came completely out of no-where for me, just picked it up on a whim based on the positive reviews...!

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Is this the sort if game that really needs long sittings at a time to get the most enjoyment?

 

I know you can sleep any game at any point but some games are more suited to extended sessions at a time. 

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1 minute ago, iknowgungfu said:

Is this the sort if game that really needs long sittings at a time to get the most enjoyment?

 

I know you can sleep any game at any point but some games are more suited to extended sessions at a time. 

 

Yeah, most mission files (which is the main case and a whole number of other missions/cases in the same area) can last a couple of hours if you’re a completionist. I can happily spend an hour in the station between missions running around and talking to people and training.

 

I say talking and training but most of that is spent by my locker, experimenting with different haircuts and outfits.

 

 

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@Strafe I have just finished tarting myself up to look like a young Dante. The Legatus station is another great touch. Hours of tweaking and customisation available and even ‘maintenance’ :lol: don’t expect that aspect to open up but it’s a weirdly satisfying little touch in between missions.

 

As a comparison on the RPG elements there is a lot of similarities with Fire Emblem Three Houses Monastery setting but AC’s Police Station feels a lot tighter and alive. Sure there is still lots of optional NPC chatting but the way side quests are handled is a lot smoother and of course it has a few really enjoyable aspects like the training room. Difficult to find fault with any aspect of it right now.

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Yeah, definitely got some gareg mach vibes from the station but it feels a lot more organic.

 

I maintenance my legions each time, which seems to basically be a car wash for my haunted slave robots. No idea if it does anything positive in game but I feel better for it.

 

Re: Legions, you can assign:

 

Active attributes called ‘skills’ which are triggered with button presses. Like a temp power boost or special shot. You can have two at a time.

 

and

 

Passive attributes called ‘abilities’ which might boost Defense, lengthen chain, increase critical hit chance and so on. You can have more than one, provided you have enough slots. Some abilities take up multiple slots.

 

To unlock either of these you use the genetic code you gather on missions to unlock a skill tree of sorts. You can also increase slots for abilities in here.

 

Do I have this right?

 

 

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