We, as in all of this site's readers and myself, seldom get other people's opinions on games. I think it's an unspoken rule that if anyone posts an opinion that goes against mine, they are taken out. No, I'm kidding there!
In all seriousness, Bean, who has written content for SuperPhillip Central in the past, is back with a brand-new review to cap off this action-packed month of reviews. His contribution is Azure Striker Gunvolt, a game crafted by Inti Creates of Mega Man Zero and Mega Man 9/10 fame. Is Gunvolt a shocking success or a mighty number disappointment?
Gunvolt's Electrifying Entry
Mega Man games used to be a given no matter what traditional gaming platform you owned. Console owners received Mega Man 9 and 10, Nintendo handheld owners were given no less than four series, and even the PSP managed to sneak in Powered Up and Maverick Hunter X. Yes, you could always count on Capcom to take the series out for another spin... until Keiji Inafune and Capcom parted ways a few years ago, that was. With Mega Man now in hibernation, it's up to the company that used to make the Zero and ZX games in Inti Creates to create a spiritual successor to keep the run and gun gameplay going. With Azure Striker Gunvolt, I can safely say that they have done that and arguably more.
|The art is amazing in Azure Striker Gunvolt.|
Expected from Inti Creates, but still amazing.
|Meanwhile, the dialogue doesn't mind|
having a little fun at times.
In the beginning, you can only tag up to three enemies with a level one or blue charge, but you will gain guns over the course of your adventure just by completing stages that have different capabilities. Personally, my favorite gun was the one you unlock just two levels in called the Naga as it allows up to five tags. There aren't many opportunities to get that many enemies at once, but you'll be able to tag enemies with more than one shot apiece and get quite a few double or even triple takedowns to help your score out. I really didn't care for many of the other ones as more tags just seems to equal more power, but I bet there are some skilled players that could make good use of the other weapons Gunvolt can wield.
On top of just that, Gunvolt also has a skill set on the bottom screen that you can activate with the touch pad. These moves take special points or SP, and you only have three in the stage. For the most part, the only time you're really going to want to use things like an overly-powered sword stab or an instant heal are against bosses, but this power will recharge as you go along through levels. Basically, you have plenty of ways to put the hurt on your foes, and it's a good thing since some of the bosses in this game can be quite tough if you don't catch on to how their moves work and fast.
|While boss battles start out simple...|
|...They quickly become quite hectic!|
As for grading, the game wants you to basically do a speedy no-hit run while doing as many double and triple takedowns as you can throughout the course of a level. Sounds hard? Well, it is, but the good news is that you don't have to earn a super-high score to get all of the good stuff like you used to in Mega Man Zero. Throughout levels, you'll earn Kudos points which increase in the same fashion as your main score. Doing things like a full-powered tag will get you extra Kudos as well as triple tag takedowns or finishing off an enemy while in mid-air. If you get that Kudos score to 1000 in a level, you'll even have a song pop up from Lumen, and these are some of the better tracks in a game that admittedly has more songs that are just there than are stellar. The gameplay benefit from this is that you can have a chance to be resurrected should you fall in battle, but make sure you don't get hit or use a checkpoint while building your Kudos score up because you will see it drop right back down to zero then. You can increase said chances to be resurrected if you're not feeling confident by talking to Joule between stages at your base, and you'll be doing that anyway when you find seven magical Jewels that you'll want to give to her to help you eventually unlock the true ending. Yes, there's both a normal and true ending to this one. For a Mega Man-like game, there sure is a lot of content here!
|Gunvolt asks the age old question,|
"Which way is up?"
It has been over seven years now since Nintendo handheld owners have received a game like this from Inti Creates. Obviously, Azure Striker Gunvolt isn't a part of the Mega Man franchise, but it certainly plays like it's one while also having its own unique touches to offer. I can't recommend this one enough to those that are seeking a 2D platformer that can either be a mostly fun romp or a highly challenging speed runner's paradise. I personally think is one of Inti's best games to date, and that's a pretty high compliment for a group that's made Mega Man 10, Zero 3, and ZX Advent. Yes, Azure Striker Gunvolt is a great new twist on a classic formula, but considering the developers, I guess it's not that shocking at all.
[Bean Says: 8.75/10]