Astral Chain, a new fast-paced action combat exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, provides a wealth of abilities and mechanics to use during fight sequences. Using these mechanics— Legions, Sync Attacks and Finishers, Skills, and Cool Down Attacks (to name a few)— not only looks flashy, but can earn players a higher score at the end of combat and provide better rewards.
On Platinum Standard or Platinum Ultimate difficulty, combat scenarios will end with players earning a letter grade from D to S+. A score above 10,000 is the only way to achieve an S+ ranking.
Players who are used to other flashy action titles like Bayonetta or Devil May Cry will be familiar with trying to build up combos, avoiding getting hit, and taking advantage of all the tools in their arsenals to achieve spectacular combat results. This is much the same in Astral Chain. In this title, players should cycle through several Legions during combat, focus on hitting Sync Attacks, try to get Backstabs, and use Chain Binds to their advantage. Of course, building up combos is a must to increase combat scores and achieve S+ ranks.
Doing whatever it takes to deal out the maximum damage possible will reward players significantly, in no small part due to the point bonuses the game gives for completing combat scenarios quickly. This, coupled with the fact that there is no way to lose points, rewards an aggressive playstyle that focuses on damage, speed, and quickly switching between multiple abilities.
Taking Damage is Okay
Unlike other titles, players should not be too reluctant to get overly aggressive and take a few hits for the sake of dealing more damage. Astral Chain does not penalize players for taking damage or using up revives. As long as damage is dealt and fights are won quickly and flashily, taking some hits along the way won’t lower a player’s score at the end.
The only thing to look out for in this regard is that getting hit can interrupt combos or prevent players from using skills effectively. As long as players focus on using the wide array of combat abilities available to them, they should receive plentiful point rewards during combat. Difficult missions in the end-game will require players to use all of their abilities just to win, which will naturally rack up points.
Since there isn’t a penalty for taking damage, achieving an S+ rank might even be more common during difficult missions. However, perfectionists will want to achieve as many high scores as possible, even if easier missions can be passed with a D. There is more to Astral Chain than just combat, however. This title promises an entertaining romp with plenty of diversions like collectible cats.