24

Chain Gang

September 2, 2019 by Tim

Happy Labor Day!

I was not initially going to pick up Astral Chain; I’m not a huge fan of Bayonetta, and combined with Iceborne and Borderlands 3 on the horizon, it didn’t seem likely I’d fit it in. But I was hearing so much positive discussion around the game, I caved and decided to check it out.

And it is pretty damned cool. I haven’t played much of it, as I had an otherwise busy weekend, but I’m impressed at how smoothly they’ve set up the controls for managing what is essentially two characters. You play a cop tethered to strange robot-demon creatures and you whip them around the battlefield by the chains that bind them.

The combat seems flashy and fun, without being overly complicated, as was weird as the setting/lore of the game is, it’s pulled off confidently. The game is, if nothing else, wholly unique Not just for PlatinumGames as a studio but, like, period. I can’t think of another game quite like it. It’s good stuff.

You know, apart from the subjugation and unecessary fanservice.

 


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Sloar Volguus
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Sloar Volguus

You can tell it’s trying so hard to be cool because every time you move it pauses the action to look at the character models! Yea maybe this isn’t the thing for me. Back in my day we had Chaos Legion, a similar game based around demon subjugation except these were magically bound and therefore had no need for chains. It made using them less icky. Also no booty shorts, just a guy with a boyband haircut, big sword and white trenchcoat.

Kelibath
Guest
Kelibath

No booty shorts because no female character at all, though, I expect. It’s good they have a gender select option, bad that this results in fan-service.

FMan
Guest
FMan

Lol, they’re still enslaved but the method of control and subjugation isn’t visible so it’s “less icky”?

Lee
Guest
Lee

THANK YOU…without watching this video, I would never known that Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection for PS4 is coming out, considered I’ve never gotten to play it. It nice to see a different version of Mega Man Zero…

Mordred
Guest
Mordred

The Japanese just don’t give a damn about “wokeness”.

Also, I wish I could wear booty shorts at work. So much more comfortable than pants.

Phil Boelsche
Guest

It’s hardly “woke” these days to be leery of sexism, but you’re right, Japan has a ways to go in it’s representation of women and media in video games, if that’s what you’re saying? And if you’re comfortable wearing booty shorts, that’s cool. Making it the mandatory uniform of a female cadet, is just cringey (my knowledge of this game is limited to this comic, I don’t know the extent of how mandatory the clothing item is), and calls to the more common western (but still common in Japan) trope of women wearing bikini armor. Edit: And the chain/slave thing… Read more »

Phoenix
Guest
Phoenix

There is an easier solution, and one that is respectful to historic Japanese media. Put all the men in booty shorts as well.

Nathan
Guest
Nathan

I’d love to see muscular men with a definite ass
No homo

Kelibath
Guest
Kelibath

Complete agree. (Aside from the spirit-slave thing – it’s messed up if seen through this lens, but is probably implemented and intended more as a magic summoner vibe. Smart commentary though.) Game looks great, but they couldn’t just give the female cop some trousers? They had to go for “hint of upskirting” to keep her clearly objectified?

ArdentSlacker
Guest
ArdentSlacker

It… kinda isn’t. These things HATE you, and want you so dead, but are chained up and unable to. Aaaaand you have to have them because not having a chained one fighting alongside you means you can’t see the wild ones that are trying to kill you. The game lets you try fighting them without this… to illustrate that it is not possible. And at one point, you see one take a hostage back to their reality… while glaring you right in the eye… so, yeah, these things are intelligent. And you have no way to communicate other than enslaving… Read more »

Xanatrix
Guest
Xanatrix

You’re actually very wrong.

It is only recently that the humans have been taking chimera cores to fight the Astral world.

In fact, this event that is happening now is explained in lore as the Third Extinction. This is the THIRD TIME that the Astral World has come to wipe out humanity.

The other two extinctions blew humanity all the way back to the stone age both times.

So yeah, taking chimera cores to fight against the Astral World is fully justified, since the Astral World literally only exists to cause mass extinction to the human race.

It’s essentially an Evangelion reference.

Rajani Isa
Guest
Rajani Isa

The part the comic leaves out… the female character was raised by the captain of the team – aka the other character of this comic.
Tim had adoptive dad giving daughter booty shorts.

I do think the working of both protagonists in as twins who are both in the game regardless to give a choice is cool though.

ArdentSlacker
Guest
ArdentSlacker

Makes sense, you’ve already hired the voice actor. =D

Anonymous bastard!
Guest
Anonymous bastard!

“The Japanese” hardly all agree on the matter. Gross oversimplification from afar.

Phil Boelsche
Guest

I’ve been watching Iceborne, but I just don’t know if I can get back into Monster Hunter again. I do have a couple friends who play it, but the combat system in that game series just never felt right to me. I could never get used to the weight and feel of it. It’s better in MHW, in that you don’t have to stop and let go of the joysticks to make an attack, but ehh. To further distance my interest I’ve been getting my ‘super hard punishing game’ fix out of Remnant: From the Ashes, it turns out that… Read more »

DJL
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DJL

But I need unnecessary fan service.

Eldest Gruff
Guest
Eldest Gruff

With all the other vaguely judeochristian language that pops up, and as the creatures are referred to as ‘legion’, I kind of thought they were going for the theme of legions being similar to demons, in which case they’re turning the trope on its head and having the demon be a slave to man, rather than the other way around.

Dont know about the shorts, though.

James Kite
Guest

You apparently don’t read much “demon” fiction, demons as slaves to humans has pretty much been stock standard for as long as I can remember.

Eldest Gruff
Guest
Eldest Gruff

With what I do read, usually the way it is that the humans think that the demons are their slaves, until it all turns back around.

ArdentSlacker
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ArdentSlacker

Gee. Slaves rebel when there’s an opportunity? Gee. Who would have thought. Almost like subjugating intelligent beings isn’t a good thing. Like, ever.

Eldest Gruff
Guest
Eldest Gruff

I think it’s more along the lines of, “Gee, Warlock and Necromancer Devin MacStrange, did you really think that you were able to bind an unholy ageless supernatural horror to your will using some salt, a star pattern, a few candles you bought at Hobby Lobby, and some eighteenth century poetry? Is it really so surprising that it was just hanging around you until it had -permission-, and then it had a nice, comfy flesh suit to ride around in?” I likes my demons to be traditional manipulators and tricksters, just like I likes my vampires resembling more Stoker and… Read more »

Brent
Guest
Brent

Always problems with the uniforms…..it’s like you want a piece of clothing that protects dignity as well as organs.

Hey Tim, have you gotten to access Man of Medan yet? Or Blair Witch? What’d you think of them? Was actually expecting today’s to touch on one of those, though I’m sure that’s coming.

Halosty
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Halosty

You missed a Man of Medan last comic I think.

Kaelin
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Kaelin

Huh. this comic ‘briefly’ reminded me of an old xbox game I played once or twice.
A Weasel, chained to a bunny because (science).. and the bunny was indestructable.

So you ran around whipping everyone with the bunny. OH.. this door isn’t working? whip the rabbit into the gears to mess something up :D.

VibrantEvolution
Guest
VibrantEvolution

That was Whiplash. They were chained up and ready to go into a machine to turn them into a Weaselrabbit but they escape and then the game is about doing as much damage as you can on your way out.
I never finished it but I do remember a scene where you had to shove Redmond under a chocolate fountain and then swing him in front of the security camera so the guard – who loves chocolate bunnies – comes out of his office.

Kaelin
Guest
Kaelin

Haha. I never got that far into the game.. it was a ‘hey, wtf is this’ at a friends house one day.

Kaelin
Guest
Kaelin

Hey. dont forget, that often the male outfits of ‘armor’ are either so encumbering that they shouldn’t physically be able to move, So garish that stevie wonder would look at them and go ‘DANG BOY CALM DOWN’, or their own version of ‘skimpy/look at me’ type outfits 😀

Urazz
Guest
Urazz

That or they go with logic of female armor and are practically naked with just a loin cloth or shorts to protect them.

Him.
Guest
Him.

+10 Loincloth of technical legality, offers great stats and more damage protection than titanium leg armor, wearing something OVER them is highly recommended….

LarryMcFly
Guest
LarryMcFly

Beside if it is logical – there have been celtic tribes fielding completely naked groups of warriors equipped only with shield and sword.
They did this to intimidate the enemy and out of the believe that they were more mobile than their armored counterparts.
So even a loin cloth is a form of cheating giving way too much armor…

ArdentSlacker
Guest
ArdentSlacker

There’s also not having enough metal for good armor, and having a bit of your t-shirt packed into a wound… well, it’s gonna be infected. Having wounds that are easier to clean is a plus.

Kelibath
Guest
Kelibath

True in some cases but not in this one. The vid shows the male character; he’s in cargos and a riot vest. Seems fair by me. If they’d given the same trousers to the female option there’d have been no issue here.

And anyway, male armour is aesthetically designed around power and wish-fulfillment fantasies for certain types of male player. Bulging muscles, impenetrable iron wall. Female armour in games … mostly also designed for male player wish-fulfillment.

Leon
Guest
Leon

I’m staying thee fuck away from Astral Chain…….

Storme
Guest
Storme

Sadly it’s one of the best games this year.

ArdentSlacker
Guest
ArdentSlacker

Yeah, if there were a few more games I *had* to have on the switch, I’d buy one. Just… at this price, I need more than this and odyssey and *maybe* BOTW. I think I’ve seen all I need to of that one though. :\ I got burned pretty bad on the N64 only having a couple things I liked, so now, I drag my heels a LOT before I get a new system. I mean… I could upgrade my graphics card for less. That’s what’s competing.

Also new glasses and some medical things… oy, budgets.

Eldest Gruff
Guest
Eldest Gruff

I was about to say “It’s been two decades, man, move on,” and then realized that you could have substituted “Wii U” for “N64” and I’d have no issue.

Yeah.

ArdentSlacker
Guest
ArdentSlacker

Exactly. I snagged the ps4 for bloodborne, dad of war, spiderman, persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Judg(e)ment, days gone… and I wasn’t really happy with Red Dead 2. That’s enough games. I am happy with that one.

Leon
Guest
Leon

One could say FE:3H was so much better………

Urazz
Guest
Urazz

To be fair, the booty shorts work since the female MC is wearing knee high boots.

Kelibath
Guest
Kelibath

Imagine if she were allowed to wear the otherwise-standard cargo pants!

MacLeod
Guest
MacLeod

Then she could not wear the integrated Knee protection and tall boots.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Imagine if she where allowed to wear the booty shorts because she didn’t want to wear the cargo pants! The other female officer has her legs completely covered like the guys so it seems to be more a fashion choice.

leduk
Guest
leduk

why do you need others game when wow classic is here? dont you want to wipe when you pull 2 mobs instead of one? (also did you test remnant from ashes?)

Rajani Isa
Guest
Rajani Isa

Don’t you need something to play while you’re either queued to go into the server, or queued to get your quest mob?

leduk
Guest
leduk

I have 0 queue, playing on a french pvp server (because i’m french obviously)

Anon200
Guest
Anon200

Pfft I seen worse levels of subjugation and fan service from pokemon

Mitoni
Guest
Mitoni

The creepier part of the comic is that the guy handing her the booty shorts is her father.

zettai ryouiki
Guest
zettai ryouiki

Personally I like well done fan service, and while I know not how well astral chain handles it, I do at least approve of the short shorts and thigh high boots. I also acknowledge and understand that combo is not for everyone. Some may prefer a mini skirt, shorter boots, or even tight jeans. Prudes and realists may even want cargo pants. In all seriousness though what bothers me is most of the discussion is about the “fanservice” and not the lack of choice. There is no one size fits all and hopefully never will be, and yet certain aspects… Read more »

BakaGrappler
Guest
BakaGrappler

Hey, if Booty Shorts worked for Reno 911, they can work here…

Avion
Guest
Avion

Man, character desgin was made by Masakazu Katsura. Of course it _must_ have fan service in it.

MacLeod
Guest
MacLeod

I don’t see the problem with it, She’s in the Police S.W.A.T.
Short-shorts, Wedgies And Thigh-highs.

Annatar
Guest
Annatar

Everytime someone said “unecessary fanservice” we stray further from God.

MisterPopo
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MisterPopo

Fanservice is never unnecessary.

Xanatrix
Guest
Xanatrix

Not a good look for you, Tim. You missed the entire point of Astral Chain. Humans have been under attack from the Astral World throughout history. The event occurring in the game is called the Third Extinction. The only way to fight an invisible, intangible race of data beings from another dimension is to neurally synchronize with members of that invisible, intangible race of data beings, which was only recently discovered by humanity. In fact, in the game, you legitimately see them stealing people into their own world to change them into more chimerae, called “aberrations.” Also, if enough red… Read more »