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Nintendo Switch and Nier Automata fans both have something to rejoice about. It’s the next game from Nier’s lead designer Takahisa Taura, Astral Chain which was officially announced during a Nintendo Direct presentation back in February. Other credits under Mr. Taura’s belt include Bayonetta 2 and Star Fox Zero. All of which are critically and commercially successful entries in the video game industry.

So what is  Astral Chain all about? Should you jump on the hype bandwagon? Read us break down all we have on the game as of now and decide for yourself if it catches your attention.

Everything You Need To Know About Astral Chain

Being in development at Platinum Games, Astral Chain is being directed solely by Takahisa Taura and the art design has been given in control of popular manga artist,  Masakazu Katsura.  It is set for launch on 30th August and will be a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

Story and Setting

The events of the game take place in the year 2043, so by the time-frame alone, you can guess a cyberpunk-ish setting for Astral Chain, and that’s true. The collision of some meteors with the Earth has resulted in a devastating situation leaving wormholes almost everywhere. Inhabitants of the world have no choice but to take refuge on an artificial city on an island, The  Ark and survive there.

However, wormholes aren’t the only menace, as monsters known as Chimera, also emerge to wreak havoc on the newly-founded city. This comes in the form of spreading a red deteriorating substance known as Corruption which causes the humans to enter Chimera’s dimension, the Astral Plane and remains trapped therein forever.

To combat this grave danger, our heroes have set up a task force known as the Neuron. The representatives or soldiers within this force are equipped with a special weapon type, Legion. The element derived for such weapons also came from Chimera, though it was tinkered and tweaked to now serve at their disposal and help them fight against the Chimera.

Astral Chain

Taking part in this conflict, the protagonists are a couple of rookies learning the ropes and getting the hang of the full power of the Legion and how to effectively use it to bring an end to the fight with Chimera.

Judging from the plot points above, you already have a sense of how dense the narrative might get as there are many elements at play here. It’ll be interesting to see how the story folds both for our characters and the world itself as we transition between the cool action sequences of Bayonetta and the profound emotional moments of  Nier Automata. 

Structure Of World And Missions

Described as a middle ground between the huge open environments of Nier: Automata and the smaller linear areas of Bayonetta, players will be able to explore and carry out side-activities like discovering collectibles and secret levels, interacting with vending machines and more. You can also clean out the trash on the side of the streets for some extra cash.

The developers behind the game also cited that the game will have an overall chapter structure like that of Bayonetta but that the missions will be elaborate to flesh out characters and stories like Nier: Automata did. The game also offers a chance to customize your starting character.

Gameplay And Mechanics

Taking control of two twin-characters, one male and one female, you’ll be intricately connected to your Legion via the Astral Chain. These are magically powered weapons ranging from short-ranged quick weapons like Sword Legion to long-ranged ones like Arrow Legion.

Moreover, they can also have other attributes including those suiting a defensive approach or being supportive in nature. Players can switch between five Legion weapon types, according to the circumstances.

Balancing between the police work and the more action-heavy parts of the game, you’re granted an augmented reality device known as IRIS. This device lets you track down and analyze any cues like footprints to create a timeline of possible events.

Astral Chain

Legion is also useful here since it can remove obstacles in the environments or help you solve puzzles. Once you’ve carried out the detective-work, you’d likely be led to the source of such disturbance which is usually a boss enemy.

When it comes to the combat, the story and action sequences are designed in a way that facilitates the smooth alteration between the two characters. Your Legion will move irrespective of your character’s actions and has its own stamina bar and health. In its nature and functions, it reminded us of Nero’s Devil Breakers from Devil May Cry 5.

The chain of the Legion can also be used in other interesting ways like tripping over the enemy, wrapping it around them and holding them in a single spot, and like a slingshot for easier traversal. Legion weapons can be upgraded via an expanded skill tree system to unlock even more powerful extensions to combos and finishers called “Sync”.

The Nintendo Switch Lite was announced recently. It is a smaller handheld-only device with the joycons integrated into it. Nintendo mentioned that the new device has a longer battery time but then we also got a Nintendo Switch model that has a longer battery life as well. A teardown of the Nintendo Switch Lite reveals that the battery is smaller than the original Switch.

Switch Lite is listed in the US and needs to be certified by the FCC for network communication components. That is where this information comes from. The teardown of the Nintendo Switch Lite reveals that it has a heat pipe to keep the SoC cool. It seems to be some custom Nvidia Tegra X1 chip but we are not sure at this point as not much can be made out of the images.

We can see that there is a small fan in the device that will keep the SoC from overheating. Interestingly, while the rated battery life is claimed to be longer than the original Nintendo Switch, the upcoming device has a smaller battery. The battery is 13.6Wh rather than 16Wh. It is more than likely that Nintendo is now using a more efficient chip. It is also worth mentioning that the Nintendo Switch Lite does have a smaller screen so that is another factor that can account to the longer battery life of the product.

Nintendo Switch Lite Teardown

The Tegra chip has a lot of thermal paste on it and it is hard to tell whether this is a new chip or the same old one. We will know once and for all once the Nintendo Switch Lite is released on September 20th. So stay tuned for more information regarding the handheld.

Nintendo Switch Lite Teardown

We also talked about how the full experience of the Nintendo Switch Lite costs pretty much the same as the Nintendo Switch, so you really aren’t saving much if you buy the joycons. That is something that you should keep in mind if you are interested in getting one and are deciding between the two variants.

Another Interesting piece of information that you should know if that the original Nintendo Switch had the codename ODIN and the Switch Lite board mentions the codename VALI, which most likely stands for Valkyrie. It is possible that we will have a variant for Odin’s son Thor. Which is most likely going to be the Nintendo Switch Pro. The version that is expected to be more powerful. This part is speculation so do take this information with a grain of salt.

Nintendo has confirmed that no new hardware is coming out this year so Thor might release next year alongside the Xbox Scarlett and PS5.

With only 5 days to until its official release, it seems like some early copies of Fire Emblem: Three Houses are already out in the wild. People on social media can be seen sharing in-game screenshots detailing dialogue interactions, class skills, and potential story-related spoilers. Needless to say but if you don’t want your experience ruined, it’s a good idea to stay off online gaming forums related to Fire Emblem until the release day.

As for those of you who are interested in the said leaked screenshots, you can view them below – be warned that the screencaps below may contain potential story-related spoilers. You’ve been warned!

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Leaked Screenshot #1
Edelgard Dialogue

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Leaked Screenshot #2
A Complete Breakdown of Skills and Stats of Dark Knight

FE: Three Houses Leaked Screenshot #3
A Complete Breakdown of Skills and Stats of Dark Knight

FE: Three Houses Leaked Screenshot #4
A Dialogue Interaction between Jeritza and Dedue – most likely related to Mercedes

Nintendo of America also recently shared a new FE: Three Houses trailer that introduces the game’s Academy Officers. The trailer revolves around managing one of three academies to train students for the battles that lie ahead.

As Academy Officers, you’ll be responsible for holding classes and developing student skills and also heavily focuses on exploration and romance options. You can check the trailer attached above if leaks aren’t your cup of tea.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is scheduled to launch on Jul. 26, 2019 exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is out now and there are plenty of characters in the game. In this guide, we are going to look into the different characters that you can play in Ultimate Alliance 3 and how you can unlock them all.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Characters

The following are all the characters that you can use to form your dream team and play the Ultimate Alliance 3:

  • Black Panther
  • Black Widow
  • Falcon
  • Captain America
  • Captain Marvel
  • Daredevil
  • Deadpool
  • Doctor Strange
  • Elektra
  • Elsa Bloodstone
  • Ghost Rider
  • Magneto
  • Hawkeye
  • Iron Man
  • Thor
  • Hulk
  • Wolverine
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Groot/Rocket
  • Star-Lord
  • Gamora
  • Drax
  • Crystal
  • Luke Cage
  • Venom
  • Spider-Man
  • Captain Marvel
  • Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
  • Ms.Marvel
  • Nightcrawler
  • Psylock
  • Scarlett Witch
  • Spider Gwen
  • Iron Fist
  • Wasp

How To Unlock Characters

In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, some of the characters are available from the start. Others become available when you complete the intro. Other than that, there are some characters that unlock when you have completed a particular mission or a specific part of a mission.

You can find all the information that you need regarding how you can unlock your favorite characters in Ultimate Alliance 3 in the table below:

Character How To Unlock
Black Panther – Wakanda Wakanda
Black Widow Complete intro mission
Falcon Complete intro mission
Captain America Complete intro mission
Captain Marvel Complete intro mission
Daredevil Shadowland
Deadpool Xavier Institute
Doctor Strange You can unlock after completing Chapter #6 of the Main Campaign.
Elektra Shadowland
Elsa Bloodstone Dark Realm
Ghost Rider Dark Realm
Magneto Xavier Institute
Hawkeye End of Avengers Tower Mission
Iron Man Complete intro mission
Thor Complete intro mission
Hulk Complete intro mission
Wolverine Complete intro mission
Scarlet Witch Complete intro mission
Groot/Rocket Available from start
Star-Lord Available from start
Gamora Available from start
Drax Available from start
Crystal Complete intro mission
Luke Cage Raft mission unlock
Venom beat Venom
Spider-Man Complete intro mission
Spider-Man (Miles Morales) Raft (beat Mysterio)
Ms.Marvel Raft (beat Mysterio)
Nightcrawler Xavier Institute
Psylock Xavier Institute
Scarlett Witch Complete intro mission
Spider Gwen Raft (beat Mysterio)
Iron Fist Shadowland
Wasp Avengers Tower

Best Characters

I am sure that there are characters that you love. I, for one, am a huge Iron Man fan but there are some characters in Ultimate Alliance 3 that are better than others based on their moves. Here are some of the best characters in the game and why we think that is the case.

Character Reason
Ghost Rider Ghost Rider’s Hellfire Chain can clear mobs of enemies quickly.
Black Panther Bast’s Fury absorbs incoming damage. It can then be returned to enemies.
Elsa Bloodstone Elsa can attack from a distance.
Venom Venom can do some serious damage

The best character in Ultimate Alliance 3 does depend on personal preference and playstyle. We have mentioned our opinion.

This marks the end of our Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Characters Guide.

The upcoming Fire Emblem: Three Houses will allow same-sex relationships and a full-fledged Marriage System. This resonates with an earlier leak from June that said FE: Three Houses will feature same-gender romance options but they will be somewhat limited as opposed to other mainstream titles out there.

When it comes to romance options, if you play as a female protagonist, you’ll be able to date Sothis, Mercedes, Rhea, Edelgard, and Dorothea. As a male lead, you’ll only be able to romance Lindhart. While it’s a step in the right direction, there’s an offset chance that the representation will disappoint some people.

Speaking of the game’s Marriage System, it’s again something limited. You’d be able to marry but the option will only be available for Byleth after he manages to reach S-rank. However, it goes without saying but there remains the possibility of some late-game change that we don’t know about yet.

Another important thing to note about the marrying in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is that the child units will not be a thing in the game and you can consider marriage some sort of extra fluff. As mentioned earlier, things are subject to change and we may very well see more things.

For more FE: Three Houses, stay tuned to RepsawnFirst.

Developed by Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is scheduled to release on Jul. 26, 2019 exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

A new Nintendo Switch has been rumored for a while now and even though this new product does not offer better graphics it does offer better battery life. The older model has a battery life of 2.5 to 6.5 hours and can run The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for around 3 hours.

The new model has a battery life of 4.5 – 9 hours and can run The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for around 5.5 hours. That almost doubles the battery life compared to the older model. The older model is version HAC-001 (product serial number starts with “XAW”). The new Nintendo Switch model variant is HAC-001(-01).

The new Switch model will be available starting the middle of August. Nintendo has not revealed an exact release date for the new Nintendo Switch but you can check out the official website for more information regarding the console refresh.

New Nintendo Switch

We are not exactly sure how Nintendo has been able to increase the battery life of the new Switch. We did find a patent a few days back that pointed towards a better CPU and faster storage. A more efficient CPU could lead to better battery life. It is unlikely that the company has gone with a bigger battery.

We will know more about the hardware side of things once the product is released so stay tuned for updates and more news regarding the new Nintendo Switch model.

It is worth mentioning that there are no improvements in graphics that we know about yet. So if you already have a Nintendo Switch then you might not find the upgrade worth it. It is worth mentioning that both the new Nintendo Switch and the older model cost the same. So if you are interested in the additional game time then you could get the new model.

It will be interesting to see how many people sell their existing consoles for the newer model and how many people get the Nintendo Switch Lite instead. The pro version has been rumored for a while now. This will offer better graphics in handheld mode and when docked. It is possible that the product will release next year. Around the same time as the Xbox Scarlett and PS5.

The Nintendo Switch Lite has been announced and has got mixed reactions. It turns out that the rumors of the Nintendo Switch Mini were indeed true. That was not the only rumor that we heard of. We also got word about a premium Nintendo Switch version that could run games at a higher resolution. This Nintendo Switch refresh is not coming out this year.

Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser has confirmed that the Nintendo Switch Lite is the only hardware that is going to release this year. This means that at the earliest the Nintendo Switch refresh will release in 2020. That does not seem like a coincidence keeping in mind that the Xbox Scarlett and PS5 are going to release in the Fall of 2020.

The Nintendo Switch does not directly compete with the Xbox One or the PS4. Nintendo Switch focuses on portability while the PS4 and Xbox One provide better graphics. But all three are in the same gaming space. So, indirectly the Nintendo Switch does compete with the other consoles.

The same is going to be the case with the upcoming Xbox Scarlett and PS5. Not only will they be facing off against one another but the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch refresh and other platforms such as Google Stadia.

Nintendo Switch Refresh

The Nintendo Switch Refresh should be able to deliver better graphics and performance in both handheld mode and when docked. While you should not expect much of an upgrade something will still be better than nothing at the end of the day. It has been a while since the Nintendo Switch releases and it has sold millions of units. So there is a demand for such a hybrid console.

Now we have to wait and see what the new hardware is going to offer. One of the major complaints with the Nintendo Switch Lite is that it has the same hardware. People pointing out that if it was able to run games at 1080p then it would have been a no brainer but the removal of some features does not make it worth it.

We also talked about the full Nintendo Switch Lite experience costing the same as the Nintendo Switch, so it might not make sense to everyone. Plus if you are interested in getting the joycons then you need to get the grip to charge those controllers as well. These are all things that you need to consider.

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is one of the most critically acclaimed in recent days. Some would say that it was the console seller for Nintendo. It was one of the major titles that you could play when the Nintendo Switch came out. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild sequel is under development at Nintendo and the company is now looking for new designers to work on the project.

A job posting from Nintendo revealed that the company is hiring level designers and 3DCG designer for The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild sequel. The listing has also been tweeted by one of the official Nintendo accounts. You can check out the tweet below:

The tweet mentions that Nintendo is hiring people for The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild sequel. A rough translation of the tweet is as follows:

[Project adoption] [3DCG designer ], [Level Designer], [Kyoto work] application guidelines of the sequel to “The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild”

This is very interesting indeed. This tweet has appeared out of nowhere around the same time when we are hearing about the upcoming Nintendo Switch Mini. It would be a dream come true if we can play the game on Switch Mini later this year. But the chances of that happening are little to none. Zelda Breath of the Wild sequel was confirmed last month and the game is probably two years away.

You can expect a release date set around 2020-21. This is obviously an intelligent guess and I could be wrong. It will be interesting to see what the upcoming game is about and how it will be different from the previous titles.

As for Nintendo Switch Mini, Nintendo has not denied that it is working on the Switch Mini and knows that fans are speculating about it. It is safe to say that Nintendo has a library of games and just needs new hardware in order to reach a wider audience. Recently new accessories were leaked which gave us a look at its design.

The Nintendo Switch Mini is supposed to be the cheaper version coming out later this year. We have seen and heard plenty of leaks and rumors but we have not heard anything from Nintendo itself. Analysts have predicted that new hardware or a revision is inbound for the Nintendo Switch this year.

In a recent shareholders meeting, Nintendo admitted that it knows about the rumors about the Switch Mini. It did not want to confirm or deny the existence of the device. Here is what Nintendo had to say about the Switch Mini:

We acknowledge that there have been reports [about this]. Answering to rumors and speculations would end up stealing surprises from our customers and also be unprofitable to all of our shareholders, so we have no answer to that. As a general theory, we are always performing development of new hardware.

While this is a generic statement, Nintendo has not denied working on the Switch Mini. This could be a way of saying that it is in the works but we are not going to confirm it just yet. Nintendo is known for keeping fans in the dark till the last moment, so this is not surprising a tall.

Analysts have predicted that the Nintendo Switch has been around for a while now. Now Nintendo will need to deliver new hardware in order to accelerate sales. This could mean a Nintendo Switch with better hardware or a Mini Switch.

Nintendo Switch Mini

Both options have been discussed in detail. The premium version will offer better graphics and more power. The Switch Mini is expected to be a more mainstream device that will be relatively lower in price. Fans have been working on concepts of the Switch Mini and some of them are rather cool.

I think that the Switch Mini would make a lot of sense if it is priced around $199. This could be a price similar to the PS4 Slim or Xbox One S on sale. We know that people are willing to pay more for portability and hence the millions of Switch units sold. The lower price point could motivate people that are on the fence.

Let us know what you think about the Switch Mini and whether or not you are interested in buying one if it does release later this year.