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Astral Chain - Out now and it's great!


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Stealth can get to fuck, File 10 is pissing me off, I need this finished now so I can move on to Zelda and more Tetris before Dragon Quest XI hits.

I've enjoyed the combat and the story, but cba with the investigations, they have not really clicked with me, but the story... oh that is good, very good :)

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13 hours ago, smac said:

Yeah, I'm not very far in, and playing on Pt style from the start, and getting D on most combat sections so far. Looking forward to it clicking and getting some S ranks in.

S+!

 

I was improving towards the end for sure. A trickle of S+ amongst the Cs and Ds. Sometimes it seems a bit hit and miss though - I feel like time can be as big a factor as anything else, but haven't really tested it out yet.

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On the final file and if it wasn’t for the ridiculous replay value this has I would be very sad about finishing it. I understand the investigations and stealth bits can be a little tiresome compared to the frantic, absolutely incredible combat main course but I often find them a nice change of pace.

 

Focussing on the combat, this is as good as anything Platinum have ever done. Absolutely gorgeous visually and the depth to the system is bonkers. So happy :wub:

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I'm well into file 12 on this now. There's tons of it.

 

The only real issue I've had with this since the start is the camera/lock on system. But now I've just switched the camera options to 'Follow enemy under attack' and I think it's made a real difference. For some reason it's the one option I hadn't tried before, and the others didn't seem to help.

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18 hours ago, Wintermute said:

It does, you have to change it from the Start screen for reasons unknown. I much prefer it also, but be warned: there's a fair bit of combat dialog you may miss. They do like to waffle on mid-battle.

 

Agreed, I gave the Japanese voices a try but ended up switching back to English as the subtitles were just too distracting during fights!

 

Currently on chapter 6 and, I've got to say, I'm not loving it... :(  On paper it should be right up my street (Platinum? Character action game? Yes please), but the combat just isn't clicking. I find it really hectic, but not in a good way, mainly due to a combination of poor camera framing, difficulty in reading/seeing enemy attacks amid all the chaos, and poorly (to me, at least) telegraphed attacks coming from off-screen. The Legions and the controls in general just feel really fiddly too, and I don't feel much connection between my inputs and the Legion's actions (I had a similar experience playing as V in DMC 5 so I think this style of deferred combat perhaps just isn't my bag). Occasionally it comes together and feels great... but not consistently. Having hazards dotted around the stage (holes in the ground, or damage/stun areas that you have to clear up with a particular legion) really breaks my flow too - I want to be wailing on enemies, not doing admin to make sure its safe to do so. Perhaps that's the issue? I'm wanting to play it Bayonetta style and get right in there amid the action, when I should be hanging back more?

 

The astral plane platforming/traversal is also infuriating! The fact that your your jumps can be blocked by small bits of debris on the ground, coupled with your Legion being able to drag your character when the chain is fully extended, has resulted in countless falls when trying to jump to other platforms (especially when using the jump-round-a-corner poles). I love the real-world setting, but I'm increasingly feeling demotivated whenever I get dragged through a gate and have to spend twenty minutes traipsing around another identical looking red area and falling off things.

 

But yeah, I don't think its a bad game by any stretch, its just a shame when something like this doesn't resonate with you as much as you hoped it would.

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Just now, JonnyLaurence said:

@HarryBizzle Have you checked you don't have any health packs that aren't assigned to your item wheel? I was in the same situation last night, but then noticed I had a bunch of items in my inventory including one which replenished all my lives!

 

I did check. I've got 3 full heals and 3 heal-alls, and that's it, unfortunately.

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3 hours ago, HarryBizzle said:

The last boss has soured the game for me considerably. I think I have to start the whole chapter again and buy about a million health packs before I start it. 

 

 Same for me, although I've finished it. It needed to be challenging, but it was a huge step in difficulty for me compared to everything before it.

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14 minutes ago, pledge said:

 

 Same for me, although I've finished it. It needed to be challenging, but it was a huge step in difficulty for me compared to everything before it.

 

Yeah, it's insane. I think I've S ranked every other encounter in the level. He's got a number of really cheap attacks and it's kind of putting me off wanting to replay it. I'm waiting until I'm in the mood to restart the whole bloody chapter.

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I'm glad I scraped through the final boss first time.

 

I have got stuck on one of the file 12 cases though. It's about 7 waves of enemies, none of which are the kind that allow you to do healing finishing moves, and you only get 2 full heals and 1 battery. Must've tried about 8 times already and I can get to what I hope is the last bit, but never have enough health left to get through.

 

Criticisms about the camera, lock-on and platforming are absolutely fair in this. I would say that it does get easier as you get used to it and changing the camera options does help. And usually it's generous enough with batteries and health that none of it gets in the way too much.

 

Edit: But honestly I'll forgive it any small annoyances, because I just really like everything it does.

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I’m on, I think, the last boss and I’m having exactly the same problem as I had on the very first boss:

 

 

It’s making a circular forcefield around me that closes in and I need to make my legion attack the generators outside. Only I don’t know how to do it. I’ve tried all 5 legions. I’ve tried targeting the generators. I’ve tried physically moving the legion to the generator but I can’t make it attack them. I end up bouncing off the shields a few times trying to make the legion attack, then losing the rest of my health when it closes in on me. I just can’t do it and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

 

Also, how do you move the legion outside the forcefield if it’s stuck in there with you?

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I sort of figured it out in the end. I was manually moving the legion which didn’t work. Locking on seems to be the way to do it but the legion is often too slow to get to each generator before the force field closes (or is out of energy so I just get hurt). I got to the last bit eventually but without any hearts left or healing so I’ve started file 11 again.

 

Also sometimes the legion was getting trapped in, and hurt by, the forcefield; while other times it could just pass through it. Maybe it was the wrong legion?

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On 01/10/2019 at 12:00, misterSquare said:

 

Agreed, I gave the Japanese voices a try but ended up switching back to English as the subtitles were just too distracting during fights!

 

Currently on chapter 6 and, I've got to say, I'm not loving it... :(  On paper it should be right up my street (Platinum? Character action game? Yes please), but the combat just isn't clicking. I find it really hectic, but not in a good way, mainly due to a combination of poor camera framing, difficulty in reading/seeing enemy attacks amid all the chaos, and poorly (to me, at least) telegraphed attacks coming from off-screen. The Legions and the controls in general just feel really fiddly too, and I don't feel much connection between my inputs and the Legion's actions (I had a similar experience playing as V in DMC 5 so I think this style of deferred combat perhaps just isn't my bag). Occasionally it comes together and feels great... but not consistently. Having hazards dotted around the stage (holes in the ground, or damage/stun areas that you have to clear up with a particular legion) really breaks my flow too - I want to be wailing on enemies, not doing admin to make sure its safe to do so. Perhaps that's the issue? I'm wanting to play it Bayonetta style and get right in there amid the action, when I should be hanging back more?

 

The astral plane platforming/traversal is also infuriating! The fact that your your jumps can be blocked by small bits of debris on the ground, coupled with your Legion being able to drag your character when the chain is fully extended, has resulted in countless falls when trying to jump to other platforms (especially when using the jump-round-a-corner poles). I love the real-world setting, but I'm increasingly feeling demotivated whenever I get dragged through a gate and have to spend twenty minutes traipsing around another identical looking red area and falling off things.

 

But yeah, I don't think its a bad game by any stretch, its just a shame when something like this doesn't resonate with you as much as you hoped it would.

 

Just completed it - despite this slightly ranty post from a few weeks ago, I ended up really enjoying this! Did the final boss first time (PT Standard), but I'd read comments on here about the difficulty so was fully stacked up with as many health items and AEDs as possible.

 

I think the combat system only really clicked for me on about chapter 10 or so but those last couple of chapters were glorious! Throughout the game, I really enjoyed the bits where things start kicking off back in the real world, and the final few chapters are basically that, back to back, which was great :) For some reason I also really liked the hub area when you're operating out of HAL's hideout, I enjoyed running around that bit of the city and mopping up all the sidequests whereas it felt like a bit of a chore on some of the earlier missions.

 

But yeah, it's a funny old game, I stand by a lot of the criticisms from that earlier post. The combat in the first few chapters is really spread out, so you get introduced to all these new mechanics, UI, terminology, etc, and never really get an extended period of time to put them into practice, and the middle chapters are then quite heavily focused towards the astral plane and start to feel quite repetitive. Its only really in the last couple of missions that it settles down, stops throwing new mechanics at you, and actually lets you properly enjoy experimenting with the systems without feeling overwhelmed.

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I started File 11 again, S+ ranked everything in the stage but the final boss just ruins me. Got him down to about one fifth energy and he just goes mental and o don’t have a hope. 
 

I’m totally baffled by the difficulty spike but can’t find any online guides to tell me what I’m doing wrong. 

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This final boss talk talk is worrying me lol, I had one go at him last night before I went to bed and didn't get very far, and I don't have any healing items or AED batteries left. I'm going to be restarting the chapter aren't I?

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