Azure Striker Gunvolt is like a spiritual successor to the Mega Man Zero games. Inti Creates, the developer, was responsible for those GBA and later DS games. Their strength is in fluid action and artistic pixel design. They rebooted the Mega Man franchise by creating a more Metroidvania world, with humanoid robots instead of focusing on goofy looking animals. As strange as it sounds, they grounded Mega Man with Zero. But enough of the past, let’s get to the present: Azure Striker Gunvolt.
Gunvolt is an Adept, which are those with special powers with his being electricity. He is after the Sumersgi Corporation who in turn is after a young girl in Gunvolt’s custody. And as always, there’s something more to their nefarious deeds. The narrative is like a noire style anime with strong flavors of X-Men. The dialogue can be peppy and there are a few interesting characters, but it’s not exactly a thrilling story. It feels like an artificial padding to the action.
The exhilaration comes with the gameplay. It may be a side-scroller akin to Zero, but it’s very different. Gunvolt has basically three attacks. His guns do little damage and are used more like tagging devices. Once an enemy is tagged, Gunvolt can unleash his lightning charged Airfield to zap enemies. The airfield also lets Gunvolt glide. The last set of attacks come in the form of skills earned after leveling up. Abilities can heal, grant stat buffs, and yes, do amazing damage. It’s a bit hard to master at first, but thankfully the game is just in the right challenge range. Any stage can be replayed for better times, challenges in order to earn prizes, grinding, or whatever reason one decides.
Azure Striker Gunvolt is an amazing game that takes evening Inti Creates learned with Zero to apply it to their own IP. Its beautiful, fast, fun, and it even comes with a free download of it’s counterpart demake, Mighty Gunvolt. It’s a good package with tons to do even if it’s technically on the short side. Mega Man may be far off for Capcom, but this is the next best thing.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on September 9, 2014 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.