"Oh hell yes."
What I Played: I beat it on Nintendo 3DS XL it took about 9 & a half hours to complete. I replayed a lot of levels so realistically it would take like maybe 5-6 hours to complete maybe more if you actually went for the true ending & bonus stuff too.
AZURE STRIKER GUNVOLT is the spiritual successor to the MEGA MAN ZX series of games by Capcom back in the day. GUNVOLT is created by Keiji Inafune, the man who made Mega Man & Inti Creates, the developer behind one of my favourite platformer franchises ever—-MEGA MAN ZERO.
So to say I was a little bit excited for GUNVOLT is an understatement. So how does the spiritual successor to ZX/Zero stand?
GUNVOLT follows the tale of well Gunvolt. He’s an Adept, psychic beings with super powers, who works for a group called Quill. This group works to overthrow the Sumeragi corporation, a company hell bent on controlling the abilities of Adepts through nefarious means. There’s a lot more to it than that but it’s best you don’t know before you play it.
Gunvolt’s power is that of lightning & his foes wield some crazy powers ranging from magnetism, explosion, space & resurrection. The story is surprisingly thoughtful even if it relies on familiar tropes to tell its tale. The characters are cool & surprisingly funny as are some of the weirdo villains such as Marek, who will probably become a fan favourite.
GUNVOLT’s gameplay however is the meat & potatoes of the experience which is fine by me because this is easily the strongest element of the game. The gameplay is much like the Mega Man games it’s based off of with being a 2D platform game with shooter elements.
What makes GUNVOLT excel though is its design choice of “tag & shock” gameplay, which is what vastly separates GUNVOLT from Mega Man. The gist of it is you shoot an enemy & your bullet tags the enemy, you then can shock that enemy with lightning as long as they’re in your field of view.
As you defeat bosses you obtain new weapons ranging from The Naga, a gun that allows you to pierce through enemies to The Orochi, a weapon that tags enemies in a massive arc allowing for massive destruction. The gameplay is, pun intended, lightning fast & requires quick thinking on many instances to overcome its variety of challenges.
But GUNVOLT never feels too hard to the point of bad design, it’s always fair even if at times it seems like the insanity of the task ahead is too much. You can also collect loot drops from stages in order to synthesize new gear to allow double jumps, energy consumption or increased damage at the loss of increased damage done to yourself.
The bosses themselves are memorable & wicked fun to fight as well. Each boss awaits at the end of the 6 main stages available & they all handle completely differently with unique attack patterns, mechanics & super moves. The boss above is Daytona, an Adept who specializes in “Explosion” allowing him to incinerate his foes & propel himself into the air for massive damage.
Every boss feels unique & varied in gameplay/concept that it never gets old fighting these guys. Each boss has three stages & with each stage the fight just gets more intense until eventually all hell breaks loose. Besides the 6 bosses there’s other bosses too & stages of course. There’s also “Gauntlet” levels which are hybrid combos of levels that feature some of the most challenging feats & obstacles in GUNVOLT.
The game is hella fun man, I’m being serious.
You can also level up by killing enemies & completing levels which increases your health & other parameters as well as learning special abilities like Astrasphere or Luxcalibur. You can create your own loadout of gear, weapons & skills so if you wanted to play as an all-out damage character you could or equip some healing abilities & energy consumption gear so you can maintain your survival instead.
There’s also challenges to unlock & complete to gain items so you can create some of the best gear in the game. You can also make two of the same item & combine them into stronger versions than the original. There’s also full 3D in effect with the game as well as a “True Ending” only accessible by obtaining certain requirements.
So there’s a lot here to play. Oh yeah it’s only $15! You read that right.
Oh yeah there’s also a mini game that you can play if you buy GUNVOLT before November 2014! That game is called MIGHTY GUNVOLT & is a mini platformer that features GUNVOLT himself as well as the hero of MIGHTY NUMBER 9 which isn’t out yet. So you get that too if you get this quickly.
It’s a short game, I beat it in 20 minutes, but hey it’s free, surprisingly fun & cute & actually features some mechanics not present in the original game. My only complaint for GUNVOLT is really if anything it needed a few more enemy types but besides that, I can’t complain.
This game is great.
AZURE STRIKER GUNVOLT is an amazing Action Platformer/RPG-hybrid from creator Keiji Inafune & developer Inti Creates that blends the best of MEGA MAN ZX & Zero into one of the best games of the year by far.
With lightning fast gameplay, replay value, intelligent boss designs & a fun story, GUNVOLT demands your attention. If you own a Nintendo 3DS & want to fulfill your appetite for MEGA MAN, this is your answer. It’s also only $15 which is ridiculous when you take the amount of value that’s here.
GUNVOLT is probably my favourite game of the year so far, it’s so badass.
By: MILAN JEGENJAN
Jay and Mike sit down and talk with Matt Hannon, star of Samurai Cop and the upcoming Samurai Cop 2!
Samurai Cop 2 Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/samuraicop2/samurai-cop-2-deadly-vengeance