Astral Chain boxart, screenshots, art, trailers, fact sheet (August 30th, 2019)

Linde

Member
Sep 2, 2018
2,387
Great interview
I like how they take the Nintendo approach of coming up with gameplay first
The libble rabble bit was funny
 

Gbraga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,379
The interview was a bit painful to read. Felt like the person conducting it was desperately trying to push this as a Nier Automata successor, and wanted to get "Yoko Taro answers" from Taura.

They're different people, Taura has a pretty respectable resume aside from Automata too. It would be nice to see a little more interest in his vision as a director and his design method instead of just wanting to know if this is secretly a Yoko Taro game.
 

2Devastado

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,133
The interview was a bit painful to read. Felt like the person conducting it was desperately trying to push this as a Nier Automata successor, and wanted to get "Yoko Taro answers" from Taura.

They're different people, Taura has a pretty respectable resume aside from Automata too. It would be nice to see a little more interest in his vision as a director and his design method instead of just wanting to know if this is secretly a Yoko Taro game.
I agree with this, Taura worked on games like Mad World and Anarchy Reigns too, which while flawed, they both still were cool and fun games.
 

Gbraga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,379
I really like this part, though:

I want to dig into the gameplay again. So our character is a rookie in a special police force called Neuron. They fight interdimensional demons called Chimera. And they wield living weapons called Legion.

Are the Legion also Chimera who have been weaponized?


Yes, that’s correct. The Legions started as Chimera, were captured, and have been put under control. They have armor attached to them and also have a mental synchronization with their wielder.

Do they want to help the Neuron? Or are they brainwashed? Or enslaved? The gameplay demo reminds me a little of Pokémon; particularly the idea of the beasts being trapped in their ball forever. Is that similar to how the Legion work?

It’s kind of like Pokémon in that sense, but it’s different from them in that the Legions are connected by a chain that creates a mental link between them and the main characters. In the beginning, they’re not as obedient as they get later on. But they come to understand each other better together.

So I assume part of the story will be about the relationship between the rookie cop and the Legions: You coming to understand the Legion, and them coming to understand you.

It’s not so much about the Legions’ minds changing psychologically. It’s rather that, earlier on in the story, when the player first gets the Legion, the player and Legion operate as two separate things. But as the story progresses, since the player and the Legion are synchronized together, they begin to fight as one.
The interviewer was a bit too focused on interpreting this aspect as if it was Nier, much like the rest of the interview, but what I get from Taura's answers is that what they're going for is to have the story and gameplay bounce off of each other in a really neat way.

The unusual gameplay style of "controlling two characters at once" will surely be clunky and have a bit of a learning curve, which is reflected in the story as them not working together very well, the Legion not being very obedient, and the cop not being a good master. But as the game continues and the player gets better at controlling both at once, the story will also reflect that by showing them better understanding each other, and the Legion becoming more obedient.

As we learn to put on a better show in combat, juggling between stands and styling on bosses, the cutscenes will reflect that, with our character having a much better control over their powers.

This may not be exactly some Nier-tier storytelling, but it's actually kind of awesome, in my opinion. This is the kind of story bits that really elevate action games, without being too intrusive and taking away from their quality as action games. The kind of merge of story and gameplay that works well with a "gameplay first" design mentality. When I think back of other times Platinum tried to merge story and gameplay together, my mind goes straight to that shitty ass forced slow walking before Monsoon in MGR. Compared to that, this is god tier storytelling, without a doubt.
 

Bit_Reactor

Member
Apr 9, 2019
1,004
Holy crap, watch this bit from the Gamespot stage show today, the guy does a great job explaining the intricacies of the combat system and it's depth:

(timestamped 2h37m)


I was bummed that they were going through the same 2nd demo from treehouse at first but the guy demoing does a great job explaining the game and he worked on W101 and clearly knows his shit
Man I loved Xenoblade 2 but it makes me wish there were more combos like this in that game. After DMC5 seeing that this game isn't just "baby's first Action game" and Taura is going all out with the options and combinations is really great. So happy that his directorial debut seems to be given his all.

And holy crap looks like puzzle mechanics with them too? Jeeeez!

The little elements like getting "points" for cleaning up litter and not jay walking are small and seemingly insignifcant details that games have been ditching for scope for a while, and makes me relive the days of Megaman Legends and kicking that can around to get "evil" Megaman.

I love how this looks. Can't wait.
The interview was a bit painful to read. Felt like the person conducting it was desperately trying to push this as a Nier Automata successor, and wanted to get "Yoko Taro answers" from Taura.

They're different people, Taura has a pretty respectable resume aside from Automata too. It would be nice to see a little more interest in his vision as a director and his design method instead of just wanting to know if this is secretly a Yoko Taro game.
Yeah this does bum me out. Taura's big moment should be his, not in the shadow of someone else, but I get that's how you sell things. :/

So Astral Chain is basically just Chaos Legion with color, isn't it?
Give me a Sieg skin cowards! :P Sometimes I feel like there were only ten people who played Chaos Legion. -highfive-

All these gifs have me drooling.
 

Disclaimer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,917
There was also a fairly extensive overview trailer released (in Japanese):


Game just looks better and better. The ways the player can utilize their Legion not only in combat, but out of combat and to manipulate the environment, seem really fun.
 

Neoxon

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
24,588
Houston, TX
From the japanese website (I used automatic translator)


Born 20 years ago in the midst of the worst accident in ARC history, one of the twins grown up by an orphanage who happened to be married by Max. The growing protagonist became a policeman after seeing Max's back and growing. Later, he was overtaken by Yeozef to join Neuron in the middle

The title "Akira Howard" appears as if you did not select it as a player character in the game.


This is Maximilian (Max) Howard



The captain of Newon, who seems to be a strong rapport, but because of his high ability to judge the situation and his good looks, he has been able to grow orphans and Akira with a single man. He is anxious about the two men who became members of Neuron, but he is not quite comfortable.

Source: https://www.nintendo.co.jp/switch/ab48a/character/03.html
So yeah, looks like Akira Howard is the canon name.
 

Pooroomoo

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,737
I would just guess it is very close to Nier: Automata in gameplay, because the Director is Taura who worked directly with Yoko Taro at Platinum in developing the game, and this his directorial debut.

Heck, the opening sequence is a shooter style gameplay which is pretty much exactly how Nier: A began as well
So, for someone who isn't familiar with Nier:A gameplay (me), what does that mean? I played the Bayonetta 2 demo and the kind of intense fighting in Bayonetta is probably not for me. On the other hand I really enjoyed Xenoblade 2 (including the battles) and for some reasonj (despite some intense fighting) MH.
 

Fuhgeddit

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,634
If I didn't own a Switch, I'd probably buy one just for Marvel Alliance, Astral Chain, and Fire Emblem
 

JNH

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,197
France
So, for someone who isn't familiar with Nier:A gameplay (me), what does that mean? I played the Bayonetta 2 demo and the kind of intense fighting in Bayonetta is probably not for me. On the other hand I really enjoyed Xenoblade 2 (including the battles) and for some reasonj (despite some intense fighting) MH.
It means it's closer to Bayonetta than Xeno 2 (and by far since Xeno 2 is turn-based). I wouldn't compare to MH either because it feels so slow compared to action games and more about placement/patterns than reflexes and style switching, but overall I think Astral Chain will be easier than the endgame of a MH. Nier is easier than Bayo if you're worried about this. You don't have to do combos or extreme timing, it's more lenient. Did you watch the treehouse ? It can help you to get a better idea (this part is more about combat).

 

Pooroomoo

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,737
It means it's closer to Bayonetta than Xeno 2 (and by far since Xeno 2 is turn-based). I wouldn't compare to MH either because it feels so slow compared to action games and more about placement/patterns than reflexes and style switching, but overall I think Astral Chain will be easier than the endgame of a MH. Nier is easier than Bayo if you're worried about this. You don't have to do combos or extreme timing, it's more lenient. Did you watch the treehouse ? It can help you to get a better idea (this part is more about combat).

Thanks, the problem with watching is that you can have someone who is very skilled make something that is quite difficult look easy peasy :-) If i watched someone else play Hollow Knight, I would think it was easy to beat hornet (I think that was her name), but I never got past that part...
But I'll watch in a moment.and try to assess the difficulty for me.
In the mean time - it's been a while but for the life of me i don't remember XC2 being turn based (?) Quite certain it isn't, then again maybe I'm mis-remembering. Also, just so we are on the same page - when you said "slow compared to action games", you were referring to MH, yes?
 

neptunez

Member
Apr 21, 2018
559
Will this game be comfortable enough to play in handheld mode only?

Some games just demand you use the pro controller, I hope this ain't one of them.
 

LunaSerena

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,837
Xeno 2 isn't turn based, its more akin to FFXII's battle system - it isn't a full ARPG either.
It's closer to Automata since that one had RPG elements and its combat wasn't as deep on hack and slash elements as Bayo however, they were still the cornerstone of the battle system.
 

JNH

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,197
France
Thanks, the problem with watching is that you can have someone who is very skilled make something that is quite difficult look easy peasy :-) If i watched someone else play Hollow Knight, I would think it was easy to beat hornet (I think that was her name), but I never got past that part...
But I'll watch in a moment.and try to assess the difficulty for me.
In the mean time - it's been a while but for the life of me i don't remember XC2 being turn based (?) Quite certain it isn't, then again maybe I'm mis-remembering. Also, just so we are on the same page - when you said "slow compared to action games", you were referring to MH, yes?
Omg my bad I don't know why I said turned based for XC2, must be the heat @[email protected]

(Yes, I was referring to MH when I said it feels more slow paced. I'm sorry English is not my native language)
 
Oct 26, 2017
13,499
I wonder how feasible it'd be for them to release a modified version of the part played in the second Treehouse segment. Letting people actually play the game and explore the Ark a bit would probably be the best way to promote this game.
 

Pooroomoo

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,737
I wonder how feasible it'd be for them to release a modified version of the part played in the second Treehouse segment. Letting people actually play the game and explore the Ark a bit would probably be the best way to promote this game.
Personally I really need a demo for this game that includes typical fighting. The game looks great, but I watched the game play and still don't know if the fighting is for me or not. I already made once the mistake (for me) of buying Wonderful 101 (I know, not the same type of game, but still). How hard the fighting is (for me) is make or break in such games, I really no longer enjoy games where I have to do each and every fighting section again and again and again and again.
 

Arta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,529
The gameplay looks great, especially how you can use the Legion to help in areas other than combat.
Is this a true Nintendo exclusive like Bayonetta, or is this a secret timed exclusive like Nier Automata?
 

Netto-kun

Member
Oct 27, 2017
313
Preload up on Japanese eShop. I assume it'll be available for preload on the other regional eShops later today.