I’ve gotten away from doing reviews for a while, but hope to get back into the groove of it every now and again, both officially for the website as well as casually, such as here, on games that are either too old to review officially or have already been claimed by other writers. Also, I’m not going to include references to past reviews as I have before. I’m coming back to this with a more relaxed mindset with the hopes of writing narratively focused reviews for those that are into that sort of thing. With that being said, let’s get started on the first game up!
Astral Chains is a shockingly appropriate game made by a studio with a track record for fun button-mashing experiences. Truthfully, I didn’t think Platinum Games had it in them to create a game without sexuality or much vulgarity. Perhaps there was some side stuff I didn’t explore (I didn’t rescue every cat, sorry!), but I simply didn’t see anything remotely close to what Bayonetta has, yet the gameplay was almost just as fun! I really didn’t think I’d get into the whole “chain partner” concept, but my goodness was it fun and unique! I really do enjoy when games innovate, particularly with new IP.
The story was decent. The game took me about 20 hours to beat, and I didn’t do some of the side quests (though I did most of them). I was a big fan of the voice acting, though I felt the main protagonist being a silent character felt forced (Link can do this sort of thing more naturally, at least to me, than this character). I played the male route, so I’m not entirely sure if I would have had the same experience choosing the other sex. The salt of this decision was really rubbed in the wound by the end of the game when I finally heard my character’s voice for the first time, and I immediately thought “this is amazing! Why didn’t they include his voice in the rest of the game!? It would have added so much!” Aside from that complaint, and perhaps too many text scrolling quests that just felt pointless, I really did enjoy the story this game had to offer. It was world-building, for sure, as Platinum has made it clear they desire to make sequels. There are many lingering questions I have, namely:
- Is the real world also code? You could see particles flying off people the entire game that looked like code almost. And if you died you had “batteries” to revive you. If so, what makes the real world different than the other coded world (the Astral Plains).
- How did the doctor make all those clones?
- How did one of the clones corrupt the doctor’s final body and restrain him, in a Neo into Mr. Smith kind of way?
- Is there a hierarchy of Chimeras? A big bad boss that has yet to reveal himself, but now may do so now that the threatening Mr. Big shot doctor has been dealt with?
- Has the doctor been killed permanently? He was a good villain!
I have a lot more questions than those, but when a game has me thinking like this that is a good sign! I am very much so looking forward to where they take this in the future if it sells enough to justify sequels. Especially if they wait to release the second one on the Switch’s successor, I’d REALLY love this game if it were open-world rather than level-based. Overall though, this was a shockingly impressive new IP that came out of nowhere.
Originality: 18 /20
Graphics: 9 /10
Art Style: 13 /15
Story: 26 /30
Music: 4 /5
Controls 3 /5
Is it fun? 13/15
86 / 100
Non-story– 86 / 100
*For you people that don’t value story more than anything else in games, the non-story review doesn’t take it into consideration. In this case, that means 60/70 which just so happens to ALSO = 86 LOL what are the odds.
*My average game review is 79% after this review.