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Azure Striker Gunvolt Discussion (Nintendo 3DS) [game]
8.13/10 from 6 user ratings

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Anyone give this a shot yet? I've played for about an hour and a half, and I've cleared five stages. I think I'm just under halfway through the game.

And it's good! It feels a lot like Mega Man Zero/ZX in movement, with a few exceptions: Gunvolt's dash is continuous and, while he can wall-kick, he doesn't slide down walls slowly, making wall scaling a bit treacherous.

The tag-and-zap attacking style feels pretty fresh, too. Tag up to three enemies with the buster, then hold out an electrical field that saps away their health (and reduces Gunvolt's falling speed when in the air). This also plays into the game's combo/points system, which also has a risk/reward dynamic where you can keep building a combo throughout each stage, but you have to bank the points at a checkpoint (or by using a super attack) before you get hit or you'll lose them all.

Other thoughts:

- Stages are very linear and selected from a menu. Can't say I miss the open worlds from Mega Man Zero and ZX at all.
- The sprites are fairly detailed while also being somewhat small. It can be a bit tough discern characters and objects when the game is moving quick.
- The story is sort of thin, yet still feels overwrought somehow. And the tone of the game is kind of hard to pin down, but it's definitely not the cheerful fun of Mega Man.
- It's also got a bit of customization, with EXP-based HP upgrades and equippable gear to craft that tweaks Gunvolt's movement.
- Difficulty seems pretty forgiving so far, other than one stage where I was underwater for some time and I think that was slowly draining my health? I didn't quite figure that out.
- Bosses are pretty good so far, they each have a unique feel to their attacks and patterns.

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Posted: 08/30/14, 06:26:00  - Edited by 
 on: 08/30/14, 06:45:58
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I think talking to Joule before a couple of times before heading out boosts your chances. You can also get over 1000 Kudos to activate a different song, but I don't think it has any effect.
Posted: 09/09/14, 04:18:40
I finally got an S+ Rank! Granted, it was in the weird little stage that takes all of 15 seconds to finish. And I still had to replay it about fifteen times to get it perfectly right.

The only Challenges I have left now are the S Rank and S+ Rank ones. I guess I'll have to get familiar with the Kudos-enhancing gear...
Posted: 09/09/14, 17:52:10
Hm, yeah. Still not sure how to activate Anthem. Odd.

But...it may be moot point, since I think (?) I beat the game. I defeated the last boss, but the ending made me question just WTF any of it meant.

Kinda confused!
Posted: 09/11/14, 23:26:47
@GameDadGrant You need to collect all seven Chaos Emeralds to get the final stage and true ending. No, I'm serious!

Assuming no more pop up, the only Challenges I have left are the S+ for five or six more stages.
Posted: 09/11/14, 23:30:53  - Edited by 
 on: 09/11/14, 23:31:45

Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, @nate38 ?!?
Posted: 09/12/14, 02:50:56
@GameDadGrant In each of the six regular stages (and also the one after them) there's a jewel hidden somewhere. If you find it, you'll see a little gem icon on the stage select screen. Also, you have to open up the menu and show these to Joule. Then you get an item that you have to equip to get to the actual final stage after you beat Nova.
Posted: 09/12/14, 03:10:06  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/14, 03:10:24

Make sure you're prepared for redoing that final level, too. The pendant doesn't have prevasion, so things are going to be considerably tougher this time.
Posted: 09/12/14, 06:32:15
Oh snap. Thanks for the tips, fellas. Looks like I've still got some work to do!
Posted: 09/12/14, 21:22:54
I'm missing out on this, I've been too busy to keep up, grrr...
Posted: 09/14/14, 03:28:33
I only have a few challenges left in the last two stages of the game. But man, this "Recurring Nightmare" challenge is as bad as it sounds...you have to beat the boss rush stage with an S rank and without using any Super attacks. Which makes getting an S rank really tough, since one of the bosses has an attack that seems impossible to dodge without using one. Friggin' fire guy and his bullet hell crap...

Between this and the Smash demo, my 3DS is getting tougher wear than usual...I hope my circle pad doesn't fall off or something.
Posted: 09/14/14, 19:47:11  - Edited by 
 on: 09/14/14, 19:50:37
You use the Circle Pad? I always go with the d-pad for 2D games like this.
Posted: 09/15/14, 17:20:17
Got the Challenges on the boss rush stage last night! I finally figured out how to dodge both attacks I thought were basically unavoidable. And the S+ itself was a lot more reasonable than I expected, just had to finish each boss with a Super attack and not get hit otherwise (and there's a checkpoint before each of the last two bosses, so you're allowed to retry those as many times as you want with no penalty to your score).

Just have the S+ left on the final level, and that should be it for the Challenges. Unless some more open up for the bonus missions, which I'd probably pass on because I've already put so much more time into this game than I'd planned...

@GameDadGrant No, but my d-pad feels a little off, somehow. Like, it's stiffer than I'm accustomed to. But maybe that's how it's always been, and I just haven't played any 3DS games that push it like this game does.

I'm definitely more worried about the circle pad getting worn from Smash.
Posted: 09/15/14, 18:13:07
Finished the game this morning. Loved it! I definitely prefer it over Mega Man Zero (the first one, the only one I've played). Some people seem annoyed that the enemies "take too long to kill", but that hasn't been the case for me, since for almost the whole game, I had equipped the pendant that amplifies your force field. I only had to take it off to get the good ending.

I've finished a lot of the challenges, but only one of the "S" ones. I don't think I'll spend my time on that, though. But I did love the game. I want sequels!
Posted: 09/15/14, 20:20:02
@Guillaume I was actually expecting enemies to take longer to kill when I was reading about the game's tag-and-drain hook. Most enemies are dispatched in under a second, easy, even without that pendant. I actually haven't seen any such complaints, but I guess I haven't really looked.

I'd love to see a sequel as well. My wish list:

- More weapons / abilities. Maybe it would ruin the simple genius of the tag-and-drain style, but a little variety could go a long way. Maybe in the next game, Gunvolt gets Copen's Mega Man-style Ability Stealing Shield. Or just add Copen as a playable character.
- More screen space. Occasionally things can get very cramped, which sort of puts a hard limit on how many things you can tag and avoid at once, which I think limits the game's hook a lot. It would also allow for more creative platforming sequences.
- More object contrast. Sometimes it gets pretty difficult to discern things in such a hectic game. It's pretty, but it could be more functionally pretty, maybe? I dunno.
- Allow super attacks to be mapped to buttons. There are two face buttons going totally unused and the control scheme is mostly remappable, but I still have to smudge the touch-screen and hope I don't miss when I want to use a super attack for some reason.
- More lighthearted fun. "I could tell at once that this guy was perfectly normal" nearly made me laugh out loud, but that was about it. The lazy boss was pretty good, too. I want more of that.
- Fewer creepy anime stereotypes. They just seem lazy in a game like this. The dom/sub split-personality boss. The insect dude who wants to eat you all up. The rapey "Bi-gender" character. Maybe I have a limited preconception of what "fits" in a Mega Man-style game, but these just seemed dumb to me.
- Can the profanity substitutes. I mean, "jockblocked"? "Horsejitt"? Bleh. Either commit to it or, better yet, don't.
- Dump the limitations on Challenges. It's just silly to have to get a B Rank to unlock the S Rank challenge, which then unlocks the S+ Rank challenge. Plus you have to activate and redeem them and so forth.
- Auto-save! I don't see why it isn't at least an option.
Posted: 09/15/14, 22:22:01  - Edited by 
 on: 09/15/14, 22:22:43

Hard to disagree with any of those!

I unexpectedly went back to the game (it's not as if I don't have other games to play…) and saw there are bonus missions even after the real ending? Nice!
Posted: 09/16/14, 02:13:56
I actually liked the side-stepping of cuss words. Reminded me of 'Firefly' for some reason.

The non-auto saving seems to be a conscious decision. I mean, the game goes out of its way to tell you that it won't auto save for you. It was obviously done that way on purpose, but I'm not exactly sure why.

The rest of the stuff I either agree with or don't care enough about to see it go or fight for it to stay. The creepy anime tropes I feel kind of fit, but I wouldn't want to see all that stuff return in a hypothetical sequel.

But yeah. Definitely on board for more of the light hearted, smart humor.
Posted: 09/16/14, 03:19:09
@GameDadGrant Haha, I didn't quite appreciate it in Firefly either, but as faux-fanities go that's one of the better examples.

I've got all the challenges done except for "Finish a stage with 9,999 Kudos." I guess your Kudos have to be at 9,999 when you defeat the boss, because I had well over 10,000 banked throughout the stage (thanks to the Voltaic Chains, use those in a busy room and you get like 5000+ banked immediately) and didn't get it.
EDIT: Got it! Turns out you just have to bank a combo of 9999 Kudos (the maximum) at some point during a stage and then finish it. I just farmed the mid-boss from the very first stage. It was a fulfilling 20 minutes, let me tell you.

And that's it! I could get S+ ranks on the bonus missions, but there are no challenges for that. And I'm just ready to put this game away and look forward to the next one.
Posted: 09/16/14, 04:04:27  - Edited by 
 on: 09/16/14, 20:53:59
Hey, remember this game? It's going on sale for $10 (33% off) tomorrow at noon. Buy an eShop card for 15% off and it'll be like getting it for even cheaper! Sale ends December 15.
Posted: 11/27/14, 21:01:29

I don't know in what shape and on what platform, the link in the tweet isn't working right now as apparently their server is getting pounded.

Posted: 02/28/15, 08:45:23  - Edited by 
 on: 02/28/15, 08:58:05
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, yessss! This is exciting news indeed.

EDIT - According to their Facebook page it's on the 3DS. YESSS!
Posted: 02/28/15, 08:46:57  - Edited by 
 on: 02/28/15, 08:49:13
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