Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack is Two Mega Men in One

first_img Controller Patent Teases SNES Games on SwitchPlay These Nintendo Switch Games Before ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield&… If you have a Nintendo Switch, chances are you also have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The new Zelda is a massive, phenomenal game that you can and should play for dozens of hours. But eventually, you’re going to want to play something new on your Nintendo console/handheld hybrid. Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda is a new column highlighting cool, smaller Switch games to check out once you’ve saved Hyrule.Pretty much all of Inti Creates’ catalog on Nintendo Switch consists of throwback shooter-platformers. Mighty Gunvolt Burst channels Capcom’s forgotten classic Mega Man while Blaster Master Zero straight-up is a successor to that retro series. But I get the sense that the Azure Striker Gunvolt series, a spiritual continuation of the team’s work on the Mega Man Zero series, might be the closest to the team’s heart. The leap from 3DS to Switch may not have as clean or affordable as it could have been, but the Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack duology is still a great, non-Zelda fit on Switch.This Striker Pack collects the two games of the Azure Striker Gunvolt series, originally released on Nintendo 3DS in 2014 and 2016. The first clue to me that Inti Creates really cares about this series is how much original lore they’ve ginned up for it. Azure Striker Gunvolt takes place in a world full of “Septimals,” people with mutant-like abilities who therefore face X-Men-esque persecution.AdChoices广告Both games are chock of full of sharp portraits of anime characters emotionally explaining to each other about corporate intrigue and faith and how to use powers responsibly. There’s also all this business about Hatsune Miku-style vocaloid spirits or something? I honestly couldn’t keep up. Fortunately, having both games on one pack lets you immediately resolve part one’s cliffhanger or easily get some background context before jumping into the mechanically superior part two.While Azure Striker Gunvolt’s plot is dense and slow, its gameplay is immediate and accessible. Like a good Mega Man (more of the X or Zero variety) you run left to right shooting at robot enemies while avoiding perilous traps all before fighting a colorful boss bot. “Azure Striker” is just a synonym for “Blue Bomber”. You have some amount of freedom to decide in what order you would like to tackle the game as well as how challenging you want the reward system to be. Playing on easier difficulty barely gave me enough resources to craft the cooler gear enhancements.Gunvolt the game’s biggest twist on Mega Man formula is Gunvolt the playable character’s electrical powers. While shots do a little damage, their real purpose is to tag enemies. Tagged enemies are then vulnerable to a powerful homing electrical field. GV’s field can also pull off stunts like pushing magnets or slowing descent down twisty caverns. But you can’t overuse it. An exhausted shield takes way longer to recharge.You can quickly recharge manually but that takes away from valuable zapping time. You can also tag enemies multiple times to make them more vulnerable to a single shock, but again that requires skillful maneuvering and time management on your part particularly against bosses. You have to execute constant quick decisions. Overall, it’s a very expressive and satisfying shooting system, especially as the HD rumble crackles in your hands.Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 also features a second playable character named Copen. Debuting in the first game as a regular human who hates Septimals like Gunvolt with religious fervor, Copen instead uses his robot suit to dash into enemies and tag them before unleashing his hovering robot drones. Both characters also have unique sets of super moves, although I still prefer Gunvolt’s giant lightning sword. Copen demands a more technical style of play that’s welcome after playing the entire first game as Gunvolt, who basically plays the same in the sequel.Beyond the fancy shooting, Azure Striker Gunvolt also has the classic level design you’d expect from a son of Mega Man. Along with bad guys to blast each stage has a particular gimmick, whether it’s anti-slipping power-ups in an ice level, activating different colored lights to nullify security lasers, or using your electrical field to kill swarms of bees. Gimmicks tend to overstay their welcome a little bit, more so in the first game, but they are clever and fun to replay for better scores. The sequel reuses levels across the two characters, and maybe has fewer levels overall, but Copen’s gameplay differences do substantially change how you approach a stage.Azure Striker Gunvolt 1 and 2 were nice looking 3DS games. The SNES-style sprites had a lot of detail and character. And they look a little more fluid on Switch thanks to the bump up to 60 FPS. But the presentation overall still seems like a glorified 3DS game. The disappointing grainy interface seems strange considering Inti Creates’ previous Switch games avoided this low-resolution issue despite having similar retro handheld origins. Also, there’s no easy way to hop between games without restarting entirely. The whiff of laziness stinks even more once you consider the $40 price on both Switch and 3DS.From what I can tell based on my hazy understanding of the story, the Azure Striker Gunvolt franchise could definitely continue. So maybe Inti Creates is just testing the demand for the series on Switch. And I’m totally cool with games of 3DS style and scope coming to its handheld successor. I just hope that the next time Gunvolt strikes Switch he brings a little more production value along with his inventive levels and lightning guns.Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.Buy it now!The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesView as: One Page Slides1/51. The Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack collects both games in Inti Creates’s Mega Man X/Zero-esque shooter-platformer series.2. Run and gun and zap your way through inventive stages to fight colorful boss robots.3. Both games are chock full of anime lore about super-powered Septimal people and the corporations that control them.4. Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 features a second playable character, Copen, with a whole new gameplay style.5. The core games are great, but the low-resolution production value reminds you these are glorified 3DS games on Switch. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. 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