WHAT IS ASTRAL CHRONICLES?
Astral Chronicles is a fantasy JRPG that takes you on a ride throughout the Astral Realm – a world filled with magic and wonder. Or, at the very least, it had me wondering what was going on.
See, the basis of the game revolves around going back in time to the past, “reversing” time in the past.. to save your present.. which is the future, for the past.. abandoning your companions in the future, and sacrificing them because their past versions.. will be alive.. in the new future, which is your current present-to-be?
If that made sense, then congratulations. You can thank me for making sense of all of this in the form of.. a cookie. ’cause I love cookies.
Interestingly, the game is set in a.. kinda open world? Like, you navigate the world via side-scrolling like you would in MapleStory, or, I guess, Dungeon Fighter Online I guess.
But the zones aren’t separated by constant loading screens. Instead, they’re all interconnected and allow for the easy transition between areas by simply walking one direction or the other.
This is the first time I’ve experienced this and I’ve played through.. 20? 30 games for the channel so far.
According to the official description on the play store, Astral Chronicles is set to “bring us an unprecedented captivating RPG experience”.. and honestly, they aren’t entirely wrong.
HOW'S THE COMBAT?
There are over 50 heroes currently that you can recruit, all with their own unique personalities to learn about.
Each character has their own unique combat style, appearance and skills so, like in all games of its kind, experimenting to find the strongest possible team combination is all but a must.
But knowing when to swap out characters to adapt is equally, if not even more important.
Combat takes place in a separate instance to the game world. Combat, from what I experienced, took place in two different forms: There were boss battles that triggered as a direct response to the story, and world-encounters.
Those are monsters that roam the open-world that you can run up to, select, and then subsequently begin battle with.
It was very different. It played similarly to an old JRPG – where you encounter monsters in the open-world and walking into them triggered the encounter.
Battle took place in the same side-scrolling form that world exploration took. You ran either left to avoid enemies, or right to move towards them.
Your party begins fighting of their own accord, but don’t use their ultimate skills unless you tell them to.
You personally have various skills as well, but not skills you can just click and use. Instead, you have to draw the corresponding sign to trigger them.
This was… pretty damn cool, I’m not gonna lie. First time I’ve ever had this much to do in a mobile game during battle.
GRAPHICS? CHARACTER CREATION?
Unfortunately, there is no character creation.
You play as an actual character – someone already established in the world. Therefore, like all games that have you play as an actual character.. there’s absolutely no way to customize their appearance.
At least their physical appearance. That isn’t to say that the game doesn’t allow for costumes or other cosmetic items that alter how you look – although honestly.. I didn’t see any of those either.
At least for the main character. But then again I could be blind. You do get to choose your gender though, which is some form of customization at the very least!
And both genders look pretty sick. Well, all the characters look pretty amazing. Whoever did the character models deserves a pat on the back, because the characters you come across, and the zones themselves – wow.
This is a very beautiful game, well done.
At the end of the day, after I finished playing it, I can safely say that.. I’m confused as to how I feel.
I began the game with no idea who anyone was, but apparently they all knew who I was. They said I was the last hope and sent me back in time.
I then spent the entirety of the game moving through the story, meeting new people, saving people, losing people.. only to be told that once again, I’m their only hope, and get sent back in time. Again.
Only to appear once again – at the same point in time. Having to meet everyone all over again. Having to save everyone all over again. But this time.. with the intention of not losing anyone. I guess.
And that’s the story. I got to keep the non-story related characters I recruited, which honestly didn’t make much sense from a story standpoint but whatever.
Combat was very fun. I’ll admit, I enjoyed drawing my skills in the air and seeing them take effect in-game. That was pretty cool.
All in all, while I ended up a little confused and frustrated at having to repeatedly go through the story again and again, I enjoyed myself.
Enough to continue playing it? No. But enough to say it was fun while it lasted.