Astral Chain – Delivering the Verdict

Astral Chain Review Roundup – Delivering the Verdict

Well, I’ve looked at pretty much every Astral Chain review online. Why? Well, if you’re a ghetto gamer like me, you definitely can’t afford to buy every promising-looking game that comes out. Especially when they’re Nintendo exclusives like Astral Chain, with little hope of ever seeing a price drop. 

The world of Astral Chain teems with life.

I’ve been burned before, where I spend full price on a new release, only to be disappointed. So naturally I’m checking out every Astral Chain review and listening hard to what the community has to say about it.

So what’s the verdict? How’s the reception for Astral Chain so far? Does it live up to the hype? What does the community think? Let’s check it out.

Astral Chain Review #1: @NintendoAmerica’s opinon…

Right off the bat, you can see that Nintendo has full confidence in their new baby.

Their main marketing image has the community’s ratings already on it in massive print. Big, great scores from the bigs: Destructoid, IGN, Game Informer. To hear Nintendo tell it, Astral Chain has reworked the industry. But Nintendo’s opinion doesn’t count, so let’s scroll down and see how much trash-talking is happening in the replies…




Okay, so everyone loves Astral Chain. 

Let’s check out IGN‘s Astral Chain review…

IGN’s video review heaps praise on Astral Chain, hailing the deep and nuanced combat system, in which your character and their Astrally-Chained robot buddies (called “legions”) track down and take on invading Chimera in excessively complex, epic battles. Sounds good to me so far.

IGN’s review does take a pretty harsh swipe at Astral Chain’s attempt at couch co-op, though. One player controls the main protagonist, and the other player controls the legion companion and the camera. Seems like an odd approach to couch co-op, for sure. Could certainly get clunky. Let’s look at another Astral Chain review.

Interesting environments and great graphics. Oh yeah!

SwitchWatch’s review goes a bit deeper into the combat system. The chain dynamic sounds tedious at first, since your character sacrifices some mobility to control the companion. But a closer look shows how the chain can be used to tug the protagonist along, or launch him into or out of combat, across gaps, or onto ledges. There are other more creative uses of the chain, too.

Each of the five Legion companions has their own specialties. Some follow familiar archetypes: a tank and a ranged attacker, and others sound more exotic. 

SwitchWatch declares that 90% of the combat feels fantastic, with a few hiccups with camera control, especially in tight areas or against flying enemies.

Intense combat

Nintendo Life predictably loves Astral Chain

Nintendo Life‘s Astral Chain review unashamedly gushes about the game, saying it “absolutely delivers on every count.” They agree with the community that the chain mechanic is central to the game’s unique feel and offers players impressive depth and room for creative combat

However, they do mention that Astral Chain uses every single button on the Switch controller. And since you are controlling two characters simultaneously, it can be difficult to remember which button or combo does what. Especially when a mob of enemies is breathing down your neck. But given the complex and nuanced combat, I think it is probably well worth learning the extremely complex combat engine.

There is one guy that hates this game…

So pretty much everyone loves this game. Pretty much. I only found one Astral Chain review that was very negative…

The Independent hates it. They gave it the cheeky score of 1 out of 5. To me, this seems like an edgelord move to get a rise out of readers, rather than a sincere analysis. And to make it worse, their review is loaded down with really serious spoilers

The Independent’s reviewer Jack Webb (@JackWebb92) tweeted that he “really, really wanted to like Astral Chain.” But I didn’t get that feeling at all. Reading his review sounded more like he had decided to hate it before he even played it. Or maybe he was just trying to bait some clicks.

Jack’s biggest complaint was that Astral Chain is just a barfed-up repeat of a game we’ve played a million times, with button-mashing controls that lack depth. As far as I know, his is the only Astral Chain review that feels this way.

So The Independent and Jack Webb seem to be alone in their unpopular hot-take opinion. The vast, vast, seething majority of reviewers and casual players love Astral Chain, despite some camera difficulty and subpar couch co-op. Oh, and also that the protagonist is silent and expressionless.You know… like Link. That’s never bothered me, but for some? Maybe a bigger deal.

The verdict?

There are lots of other optional missions and silly diversions to keep players busy and entertained for possibly hundreds of hours. The game world sounds huge and fun and I want in!

I think the verdict is clear. This one’s a winner. In the unlikely event Astral Chain ever goes on sale—I would definitely grab a copy. Till then, I have to keep it ghetto.



2 responses to “Astral Chain – Delivering the Verdict”

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