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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD director praises Astral Chain, says the game inspires him to improve his own work

No monkeying around

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is now available, and SEGA's team are making the internet rounds with various interviews about the title. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, game director and producer Masao Shirosaki covers all sorts of details on the game, but it's a snippet at the end of the interview that's particularly noteworthy. When asked about games that have impressed him this year, Shirosaki was quick to mention a Switch exclusive.

Another game would be Astral Chain. I played it because the director, Takahisa Taura, happens to be a former schoolmate of mine, but it was a well-made, fun, solid action game. His work inspires me to continue to improve my own.

Astral Chain devblog update: "Odds and Ends"

The little bits and bobs

The latest dev blog for Astral Chain dives into the finer details of the game. All the small elements that help build the game world around the player. Check out a snippet of the blog below, and then click over for the full piece.

First of all, let’s look at the minor characters who make up most of Neuron. Some of these officers play small parts in the main story, though most of what you’ll see of them comes from chatter around HQ and optional side cases. Are there any Neuron squadmates you particularly enjoyed working with?

Full blog here

Astral Chain devblog update: "An Introduction to UV Animation"

Nailing the futuristic look

Platinum Games is back with another dev blog for Astral Chain. This latest blog is penned by Shohei Kameoka, environmental artist at PlatinumGames. Kameoka gives a look at how the team went about creating the right look for the game's holograms. Check out a snippet of the blog below, and then click over for the full piece!

One of the most appealing parts of ASTRAL CHAIN is its urban, near-future sci-fi setting. Nothing says “near-future city” like holograms, right? And if you want your holograms to look good, you’ve got to keep them moving! To create those hologram animations, I made heavy use of a technique called “UV Animation.” UV animation is a well-worn technique at this point, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t versatile! In this blog, I’d like to show off a few of its uses in ASTRAL CHAIN.

Full blog here

Famitsu features a Smash Bros. Ultimate/Astral Chain 'Nintendo Catalog Ticket' advert

Nintendo's latest print ad in Famitsu is a pretty unique one. It features Astral Chain and Smash Bros. Ultimate in order to promote the Nintendo Catalog Ticket, which we know as the Switch game vouchers. If only we still had the option to get that voucher here in the states!

Astral Chain - overview trailer

The few survivors of a massive global disaster gather together in a futuristic megacity. Now it’s your job to protect them against otherworldly invaders–but you’re not alone as a member of a special police task force equipped with sentient armaments called Legions. In this brand-new action game from PlatinumGames, control the protagonist and a Legion simultaneously to chain stylish combos. Change Legions on the fly to vary your style and unleash a variety of abilities. The last remnants of humanity depend on you, and to save the world, you must investigate its dark side

Astral Chain devblog update: "Cracking the Game Design Case"

The challenge creating new gameplay mechanics

Platinum has put together another dev blog for Astral Chain, and this one looks at some of the challenges the dev team faced when creating the game. Astral Chain certainly does some new and unique things, and those elements were quite tough for Platinum to figure out. Check out a snippet of the blog below, and then click over for the full piece.

You can’t make a game, especially not an all-new title with an ambitious and original genre like “Synergetic Action,” without making several difficult decisions and design changes along the way. I’m game designer Sota Kotajima, and today I’d like to tell you about one of these big design decisions we ran into while making ASTRAL CHAIN. But first of all, what sort of changes are we talking about? Well, here are the three that made the biggest impression on me:

A major change from dark fantasy to science fiction, demanding complete overhauls to both the world design and story!
One version of “Synergetic Action” gameplay we tried out played more like a rhythm game than anything else!
Originally, the game was built around taking on and solving one case at a time!

Full blog here

Astral Chain devblog goes over the game's "Pixelizer" camera add-on

Pixel perfect

Did you know that you can get an add-on for the camera in Astral Chain? This add-on is called the Pixelizer, and it gives the game a very retro look! Learn more on the Pixelizer from Platinum's user interface programmer Akinori Tabuchi below!

Not too far into ASTRAL CHAIN, you’ll receive an in-game camera that lets you take snapshots throughout the Ark. It’s not just a fun toy, though! Some of the game’s side cases require photographic evidence, and taking pictures of people, places and enemies is how you fill out your Neuron database. Once you get the camera, you can take photos pretty much whenever and wherever you like. I recommend making an album of the lovely locations our environment artists have built!

Later on in the game, if you complete a certain case, you’ll get a very special add-on for the camera: the Pixelizer! This is a bit of my own handiwork, and I’d like to introduce it to you today.

Full blog and more pics here

Astral Chain Devblog Update: Visual Effects, Platinum Style

Getting that flashy Platinum feel

Platinum Games continues their dev blog series for Astral Chain with a new installment looking into the creation of visual effects. This blog comes from Takuo Yamamoto, visual effects artist on the game. Check out a snippet of the blog below, and then click over for the full piece.

The action in ASTRAL CHAIN is built around the player controlling both the main character and the Legion, and that’s in addition to the usual situations you can expect from an action game. That means the visual effects for combat and action scenes have to be strong and easy to understand. We kept tweaking them and tweaking them as long as the schedule would allow to achieve those goals. (They also had to be nice and flashy – PlatinumGames has a reputation to uphold, after all…)

Full blog here

Astral Chain - Accolades trailer

Chained by fate. Bound to slay chimera. See what everyone is saying about the brand-new action title from PlatinumGames! ASTRAL CHAIN is available now, exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

Interview with Taura Takahisa discusses possibility of Astral Chain sequel, mistranslated comments about a trilogy, and more

An exclusive interview from Bunnygaming sits down with Taura Takahisa to talk about Platinum Games' recently released title Astral Chain. In the interview, Takahisa reveals he is unsure about the possibility of a sequel. He also notes that his previous remark from a different interview on Astral Chain being part of a trilogy was actually a mistranslation. Check out the snippet from the interview below.

BG – "Taura-san, you have mentioned in a previous interview that a sequel to Astral Chain is subjected to how well the game sells in the market. Does the studio have an expectation on how much sales at least to justify a sequel?"

Taura Takahisa – "I can only say that the idea of a sequel at this point is something I am unsure of and I do not have the current sales figure right now. But I will be very happy if the game is well received and sells well!"

BG – "It was rumoured that Astral Chain is part of a possible trilogy, do you already have an idea on how the next Astral Chain game would look in gameplay and story should you get to direct one?"

Taura Takahisa – "The trilogy remark was actually a mistranslation from a previous interview. I actually meant to say that I do have a lot of ideas at my disposal and if there’s an opportunity to make a sequel or more entries, I’d be able to do so."

Check out the full interview here!

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