Astral Chain Sales Start Off Strong As It Tops UK Chart


While UK sales charts this summer have been mostly dominated by the likes of Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled and Fire Emblem: Three Houses, PlatinumGames’ new IP Astral Chain takes the top spot for the final week of August. Last week was actually pretty great for new games too, as Wreckfest, The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, and Control were all in the top five.

The UK sales charts have been pretty quiet thus far this Summer when it comes to new releases, so it’s good to see so many new games pop up on the charts. It is worth noting that this chart only tracks digital sales, so we do not know how games like Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey and Blair Witch performed in the UK compared to these titles.

When it comes to Astral Chain specifically, placing first is impressive considering it is a console exclusive in a somewhat niche part of the action game genre. Past PlatinumGames titles like The Wonderful 101 did not sell that well, so it is good to see a fresh, new IP from such a talented developer get the recognition it deserves in the UK. On its own, Astral Chain is an excellent game. You can expect DualShockers’ review of PlatinumGames’ latest outing sometime this week. Astral Chain for Nintendo Switch is currently available on Amazon.

You can check out the full list of last week’s top 40 games below:

Last Week This Week Title Age Rating Publisher
1 ASTRAL CHAIN PEGI 16+ NINTENDO
2 WRECKFEST PEGI 7+ THQ NORDIC
3 THE DARK PICTURES ANTHOLOGY: MAN OF MEDAN PEGI 16+ BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT
4 CONTROL PEGI 16+ 505 GAMES
1 5 MARIO KART 8 DELUXE PEGI 3+ NINTENDO
3 6 CRASH TEAM RACING NITRO-FUELED PEGI 3+ ACTIVISION
2 7 SUPER MARIO MAKER 2 PEGI 3+ NINTENDO
34 8 MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN PEGI 16+ SONY COMPUTER ENT.
7 9 GRAND THEFT AUTO V PEGI 18+ ROCKSTAR
9 10 TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION 2 PEGI 18+ UBISOFT
20 11 FIFA 19 PEGI 3+ EA SPORTS
8 12 RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 PEGI 18+ ROCKSTAR
11 13 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION PEGI 7+ SONY COMPUTER ENT.
6 14 MINECRAFT PEGI 7+ NINTENDO
18 15 FORZA HORIZON 4 PEGI 3+ MICROSOFT
4 16 MORTAL KOMBAT 11 PEGI 18+ WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
13 17 SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE PEGI 12+ NINTENDO
5 18 SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY PEGI 7+ NINTENDO
21 19 SEA OF THIEVES PEGI 12+ MICROSOFT
17 20 THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD PEGI 12+ NINTENDO
12 21 NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. U DELUXE PEGI 3+ NINTENDO
22 COLLECTION OF MANA PEGI 7+ SQUARE ENIX
19 23 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4 PEGI 18+ ACTIVISION
30 24 ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY PEGI 18+ UBISOFT
25 25 FORZA HORIZON 3 PEGI 3+ MICROSOFT
28 26 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION PEGI 7+ MICROSOFT
14 27 CRASH BANDICOOT N.SANE TRILOGY PEGI 7+ ACTIVISION
22 28 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES 2 PEGI 7+ WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
29 29 CRICKET 19: OFFICIAL GAME OF THE ASHES PEGI 3+ MAXIMUM GAMES
26 30 LEGO HARRY POTTER COLLECTION PEGI 7+ WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
15 31 F1 2019 PEGI 3+ CODEMASTERS
24 32 POKEMON: LET’S GO, PIKACHU! PEGI 7+ NINTENDO
16 33 SUPER MARIO PARTY PEGI 3+ NINTENDO
40 34 TEAM SONIC RACING PEGI 3+ SEGA
35 JUMP FORCE PEGI 12+ BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT
36 THE SIMS 4 PEGI 12+ EA GAMES
38 37 WWE 2K19 PEGI 16+ 2K
38 OVERWATCH PEGI 12+ BLIZZARD
39 HORIZON ZERO DAWN: COMPLETE EDITION PEGI 16+ PLAYSTATION HITS
10 40 YU-GI-OH! LEGACY OF THE DUELIST: LINK EVOLUTION PEGI 7+ KONAMI

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Astral Chain’s Game Director Talks About Pokemon’s Influence on the Game


In a new tweet on Nintendo of America’s Twitter account, Astral Chain game director Takahisa Taura talks about how Pokemon was an influence on the upcoming game.

“In Astral Chain, the player summons & fights alongside a Legion,” says Taura. “I really love Pokemon, so maybe the idea of calling on another character to fight alongside with was greatly influenced by my childhood gaming experiences of growing up alongside my Pokemon.”

In addition to Pokemon‘s influence, Takura says science fiction anime and Japanese police procedurals have been an inspiration on Astral Chain‘s story. “The game is split into chapters with their own specific objectives, like the Bayonetta series,” Taura says in another tweet, “but players also have the freedom to choose among a variety of sub-missions scattered around, like NieR: Automata.”

Recently, Nintendo has released new footage of the game that shows off the game’s combat and characters. Additionally, Astral Chain’s lead composer has discussed the game’s music and shared some music tracks. As someone who’s loved games like Bayonetta and NieR: Automata, my excitement for Astral Chain is up there. The combat looks fun and knowing that each story mission has sub-missions similar to NieR: Automata increases my anticipation of the game. With other major titles such as Pokemon Sword and Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening launching this year, there hasn’t been a better time to own a Switch.

Astral Chain launches on August 30 for the Nintendo Switch. The game is available for preorder on Amazon now.

The post Astral Chain’s Game Director Talks About Pokemon’s Influence on the Game by David Gill appeared first on DualShockers.



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Astral Chain Lead Composer Shares Samples of the Soundtrack


Astral Chain lead composer Satoshi Igarashi covers the music and sound design of the upcoming new IP from PlatinumGames in a new developer’s blog post. He first discusses the composition of each piece of music in the game and how he balances those attributes.

At its core, the music in Astral Chain is made up of elements from three genres: Metal, electronic and orchestral music. Each of these genres plays a distinct role in matching the music to the mood of a scene. Picture them on a chart like this:

On this chart, as you go right towards more dramatic scenes, you find the orchestral pieces. And the higher the tension in a scene, the more metal the music becomes. For example, in quiet areas where there aren’t any enemies around, the music should be cool and peaceful – there, you’ll find an electronic piece.

He then even features some samples of the various tracks from the game to better demonstrate its musical variety, as well as breaking down each main instrument and how it relates to and creates a overall theme for the story:

The tracks Igarashi shares in the dev blog are not only composed based on the system conveyed in the second chart above, but also receive a categorization based on what role it plays in the game proper:

  • “Task Force Neuron” — This is typical background music, so it falls under “Stage.”
  • “Ark Mall” — The non-combat version is also a “Stage” piece.
  • “Ark Mall (Combat Phase)” — Higher tension, but not a boss fight? You’ve got a “Normal Battle.”
  • “Homunculus α” — This is a quintessential “Boss Battle.”
  • [REDACTED] (because the title is a story spoiler) is high on story stakes and drama, so “Event Battle” is the best category for it. However, it’s a bit of an exception for the reasons that [he] mentioned, with strong metal elements as well.

You can read up on the blog post and check out the excellent music here.

Astral Chain‘s protagonists are part of a police force named Neuron. This means that not only must players deal with Chimera-related incidents, but you also need to do actual police work.  The protagonist can control five different Legion with each one having their own specifications. There’s also a beginners’ mode and activating this mode allows players to automatize various actions, making gameplay much easier.

Astral Chain isn’t the first part of a trilogy unlike what was recently reported, as that turned out be an error on IGN’s part. There’s the full trailer, which touches on some of the RPG and explorations features, and a reveal of the game’s box art and size. Astral Chain launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on August 30th and you can preorder it right now on Amazon.

The post Astral Chain Lead Composer Shares Samples of the Soundtrack by Allisa James appeared first on DualShockers.



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Astral Chain Director Says There Is a Co-op Mode for a More “Challenging” Experience


Originally revealed earlier this year as one of the next projects from Platinum Games, the upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusive Astral Chain has already been garnering attention as one of the Switch’s most promising upcoming exclusives. With the title now set for an August release, we only have a few more months left until its debut, and we now know that the title does feature a co-op mode of sorts, though in an unconventional fashion.

In an interview with KotakuAstral Chain director Takahisa Taura shared a few more insights on the upcoming game and what to expect, and elaborated a little more specifically on the game’s core premise of playing as two characters.

As the title implies, the main concept of Astral Chain is that the player is controlling two characters at the same time while engaged in combat with enemies, who are linked by the titular chain between them. However, Taura explained that there is a “co-op” aspect of the game that would make it more “challenging” for a pair of players compared to the single-player experience.

According to Taura, two players can take control of the player characters in Astral Chain by each using one of the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers. While the game is intended to be played by one player and was largely designed around that, Taura explained that the game’s development team “wanted to take advantage” of this unique functionality from the Switch.

Specifically, the experienced was compared to the “co-op mode” featured in Super Mario Galaxy where one player could play as Mario and another could point the Wii Remote on screen to assist the player and collect star bits. However, Taura emphasized that in Astral Chain‘s co-op mode, “both players actually have to put effort into controlling the characters and playing the game,” making it an interesting challenge around the game’s normally single-player experience.

Astral Chain will release for Nintendo Switch on August 30, 2019. If you’re looking forward to the game, you can pre-order it right now over on Amazon.

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PlatinumGames Studio Head Denies Astral Chain and Scalebound Connection


On August 30, PlatinumGames and Nintendo will be releasing Nintendo Switch exclusive Astral Chain. That game features a “Synergetic Action” system that has players fighting with two different characters at once. As the simultaneous control of characters sounded a bit like the the core concept of Scalebound, Microsoft and PlatinumGames’ infamously canceled title, some people started theorizing that Astral Chain had some connection to, or at least evolved out of, Scalebound. 

That being said, PlatinumGames Studio Head Atsushi Inaba recently confirmed that this is not the case to Video Games Chronicle. “I can’t go in to detail about how the different gameplay systems of Astral Chain and Scalebound work, but they’re both very different. Any feeling of similarity between the two projects is not true. It’s all in your imagination!” Inaba-san bluntly stated.

The game is quite different from Scalebound in several ways, so it makes sense that this connection would only exist in fan speculation. In the same interview, Inaba-san also asked fans not to solely blame Microsoft for the cancellation of Scalebound.

Elsewhere in the interview, Inaba-san highlighted what the actual focus for Astral Chain was. “We’re used to doing single-player character action games, but in this particular game you as the player also control a monster at the same time, so you have to split focus between control of two characters. That is really an evolution of some of the action games that weave built in the past,” he said. While there were “many different pitfalls and challenges along the way” PlatinumGames seems to be happy with where Astral Chain has ended up.

Inaba-san also complimented Nintendo as a partner for Astral Chain. ” Nintendo is a company that respects creators. From that perspective, it is a strong, organic fit for us…Weave been friends for a long time and through that cycle we’ve built up a lot of trust, got to know who that other company is and that opens the door to a lot of new opportunities as time goes on.” The studios previously collaborated on Star Fox Zero

If you had not heard of Astral Chain and want to get a better idea of what it is, you can check out its reveal trailer below. Astral Chain is coming out for Nintendo Switch on August 30, 2019 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

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