Jena Anderson stroking a large chimera. A helicopter flying over the Ark. An aerial view of a large amount of wreckage on a road in the Ark. The female protagonist and her Sword Legion. The female protagonist riding a motorbike. The female protagonist fighting a chimera using the Sword Legion. The female protagonist in the Astral Plane with her Sword Legion. The female protagonist in the Astral Plane , solving a puzzle using her Arrow Legion. The male protagonist using the Arm Legion to fight a large chimera.
The female protagonist riding her Beast Legion in the Astral Plane. The female protagonist using her Axe Legion in combat. One of the protagonist or Akira Howard being grabbed by a large hand emerging through a portal. The female protagonist using her Sword Legion to jump across a gap in the Astral Plane. The female protagonist fighting a chimera with her Sword Legion.
Combat against a chimera using the Arrow Legion. The female protagonist using her Sword Legion to fight two chimeras at once. The female protagonist using her Arrow Legion to solve a puzzle in the Astral Plane. The female protagonist using her Beast Legion to track something down. The female protagonist and her Beast Legion in the game. The male protagonist riding his Beast Legion in the Astral Plane. The female protagonist using her Arm Legion to open a door. The female protagonist using her Arm Legion in combat.
The female protagonist using her Axe Legion to shield herself from an enemy attack. A street in The Ark. Buildings in The Ark.
There's nothing quite like the look and feel of Astral Chain.
A view of a wall in The Ark. The Neuron Headquarters. A carpark in the Neuron Headquarters. A large, currently unidentified building off the coast of The Ark. An accident site on a road in The Ark. The female protagonist fighting two chimeras along with her Sword Legion. The Arm Legion pushing a block with the female protagonist standing on it in the Astral Plane. The female protagonist using her Axe Legion to shield them from an enemy attack. A chimera wielding a burning sword.
The Sword Legion fighting against Jena Anderson. Sitting side-by-side on a log at the beach, she reveals her deepest desires and asks to know everything about him before awkwardly laughing the question off , and later on top of a mountain, nearly confesses something before being interrupted by her father. She knows that when the Wind Fish wakes up, all of Koholint, herself included, might vanish into memory. Has Link ever had a more fully-formed relationship with anyone than what he shares with the impish former ruler of the Twilight Realm?
Following the classic Hollywood arc, the two start out bickering and irritated with each other, Midna constantly hounding her wolfish companion, with Link begrudgingly powering through the pain in order to get to the princess he actually likes. Naturally then, over the course of many trials and monster-shaped obstacles, the two slowly began to develop a mutual respect and liking for each other, as tragic backstories are revealed and codes of honor are put on full display. Say something! Am I so beautiful that you have no words left?
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On top of that, her mysterious nature and later trusting openness can only strengthen the interest. Stupid Link! Rookie mistake, pal. Live and learn, plenty of fish in the sea, and all that crap. Ah, but which Zelda? This really is the boy-next-door meets girl-next-door story that has less of a fantasy feel than the other games, feeling more grounded and accessible. We love indie games here at Goomba Stomp — after all, they can offer some of the most groundbreaking, creative experiences out there.
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However, with so many coming out every single week, it can be hard to know which of them deserve your attention. Our inaugural issue is dominated by the recently released Apple Arcade. Apple Arcade is upon us, coming with a slew of stylish indies from a variety of developers new and old. First is Bleak Sword, a compact brawler that takes place entirely in stylish dioramas. Inflicted with a deadly curse, players must traverse through the isometric black, white, and red environments to right the wrongs of their world. The action has been streamlined to work equally well on both mobile devices and traditional gamepads, although it has also been spiced up with some RPG elements like spells to cast and stats to upgrade.
Some of its true-to-life scenarios include one prehistoric match between cavemen and dinosaurs, another taking place during a medieval joust, and of course, one in outer space. Featuring simple one-button controls and support for both single- and multiplayer, this historic romp may not be exactly accurate, but it certainly does look ridiculous and fun.
It can be played now on Apple Arcade. Mosaic is all about one of the most mundane aspects of existence: the daily grind. For those looking for a more introspective, provocative experience, Mosaic should be well worth checking out. Unlike most other games on this list, no Apple Arcade subscription will be required to play this adventure when it launches across all consoles yes, including Switch and PC this fall. Remember being a kid and waking up every Saturday, eagerly anticipating a morning full of colorful, action-packed cartoons? Perhaps the most notable thing about Spidersaurs is the pedigree behind it.
Mutazione offers a completely different type of cartoon experience than Spidersaurs. This narrative-focused adventure game is a slow, laid-back experience populated by otherworldly characters and presented with a delicate hand-drawn aesthetic. It tackles the topic of growing up, putting players in the role of year-old Kai as she leaves home to care for her ailing grandfather in a mysterious, forested world. It teases a mixture of relaxing slice-of-life activities — making friends, playing music, going to parties — while also alluding to a broader spiritual journey.
After a long hiatus, Borderlands returns… pretty much the same as it always was, for better or worse. The Calypso Twins are built around the stereotypical cult of personality associated with the biggest streamers of the world — and boy, does Borderlands 3 not spare an ounce of vitriol for the admittedly complicated, often disturbingly regressive world of streamer culture though they do have a weapon that is a direct Dr. Disrespect reference, and also feature some of the most elaborate Twitch integrations of any modern game.
It never really even contemplates their place as unifers in a galaxy full of corporations addicted to war profits, under a thin, cynical veneer of disregard for their place in any culture, Pandorian or human — its critique of streamer culture ultimately just feels empty. Like the story, the shooting and looting of the game is immediately familiar, though it is a much more welcoming feeling: the single biggest improvement to Borderlands 3 is the shooting, which feels tighter and heavier than it has the previous three entries in the series.
But the most frustrating part of Borderlands 3 is outside of the character classes, of course how risk-averse the entire affair is; in terms of mechanics and systems, it is mostly an integration of Borderlands 2 and the new elements of The Pre-Sequel , with a couple of light improvements around the edges. This persists across the entire Borderlands 3 experience: and as the tale of the Calypso Twins and the Great Vault lurches through its interminably lengthy second and third acts, it begins to wear on the experience.
And while the game certainly demonstrates the effectiveness of carefully refining its rightfully celebrated mechanics, its absolute reluctance to take creative risks begs the question of why it took so long to bring this game together or, at the very least, begs the question of whether Gearbox really wanted to do a Borderlands 3 at all, and only green lit the project after the overwhelming failure of Battleborn.
As the game moves through its middle chapters, it just feels lacking in a way Borderlands 2 never did, even with its predecessors own inconsistent humor and pacing. Though ostensibly a journey spread across the galaxy, featuring a massive cast of familiar and new characters, so much of Borderlands 3 feels small and isolated. I think about the ending of Borderlands 2 , and how much potential it held for the future of the series: the promise of exploring entire planets with friends, finding Vaults and hidden pop culture references was almost breath-taking in its ambition.
It is torn between its desires to attempt something new at least, at times , and the emotional attachment it knows the audience has with the characters, rhythms, and memorable moments from the first three games of the series. It leads to a story that often follows a template: travel to new area, meet familiar old character for a mission, fight through a series of gently-guiding corridors while constantly staring at the map, rinse, and repeat for thirty-five hours.
Save for the occasional interlude and amusing side story — though that often finds itself stuck in its own loop, with a collection of ancillary characters who either wants to remind you how funny poop is, or how much people in this world enjoy murder and death — to the point its cynical nihilism is no longer humorous, and eventually becomes exhausting.
Neither does Borderlands 3 , apparently. It represents the beautiful essence of Borderlands expansive set of characters, companies, and legacies, and is the rare moment where Borderlands 3 finds harmonic brilliance between its shooting, looting, joking, and genuine attempts at emotional beats.
Borderlands 3 is perfectly content to just be more Borderland s, with all the expected thrills and frustrations one would expect from that philosophy. Goomba Stomp is the joint effort of a team of like-minded writers from across the globe. We provide smart readers with sharp, entertaining writing on a wide range of topics in pop culture, offering an escape from the usual hype and gossip.
We are currently looking for Indie Game reviewers. Connect with us. Astral Chain provides a tremendous box of tools that are effective in their own right and an absolute joy to use. If there's a fault gameplay-wise, it's that movement can sometimes feel imprecise--don't expect the same buttery smoothness of Bayonetta. For example, the Beast Legion's mount mode winds up in an unpredictable direction, and the pistol combo forces you to flip backward. It may result in falling off ledges or unintentionally getting in harm's way. Thankfully, it's an occasional frustration that doesn't detract from the core experience.
If you watch gameplay carefully, you quickly see how slow-motion, camera cuts, and subtle audio-visual cues in combat serve to signify opportune times to make your move. These flourishes are also how the game cements its bold sense of style. Popular manga artist Masakazu Katsura lent his hand to lead the character designs, resulting in some of the best-looking anime cops around.
And when your bombastic actions in battle are matched by visually-striking momentum and tenacity, it delivers a unique thrill that makes Astral Chain special to see in motion. Further complementing the game's grand spectacle is its soundtrack. The groovy house tune heard in the police headquarters is infectious and the somber guitar melody at the stray cat safehouse hits like a reprieve from the chaos that envelops the world.
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Tense instrumentals and hard-hitting rock remixes of songs seamlessly bounce between one another during some combat missions. Unrelenting metal tracks propel boss battles and an ethereal Nier-like theme plays in the astral plane.
Sprinkle in some J-rock worthy of an anime OP and Astral Chain rounds out the musical spectrum to great effect. Astral Chain isn't just about flashiness and stylish action, though. You're given room to breathe between combat scenarios that comprise its chapters or Files, as they're called. Structurally, it's somewhere between the traditional open world of Nier: Automata and segmented stages of Bayonetta--chapters funnel you through hub areas where you're free to take part in side missions or explore for optional activities.
Not everything is laid out on your map, so it takes some detective work to unveil all the hidden content. Astral Chain's shortcomings don't overshadow what it does best. It's an incredible execution of a fresh take on Platinum Games' foundation, standing among the stylish-action greats. Investigation scenarios are peppered within the main missions, where you analyze the environment and talk to locals to solve the mysteries at hand. Piecing the clues together properly awards you with a top rank, and it's no sweat if you get things wrong.
The activities you undertake outside of combat aren't exactly groundbreaking, but they provide enjoyable ways to engage with Astral Chain's vivid world. It's a welcome variety that also helps the pacing from chapter to chapter. Astral Chain never sits on one particular element for too long; it knows when to move on.
Now, style doesn't always equal substance. The overarching plot touches on the conventions of evil authority figures who abuse the power of science for their own agendas, and it also relates to the nature of how you're able to wield the power of Legions, which are tamed Chimera. However, these themes are hardly explored. Rather, Astral Chain relies on cliches within its story and exposition.