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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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Does the game require use of the X button?
Posted: 08/30/14, 08:25:59
It does not! In fact, the default control scheme has no function for X at all.

B - Jump
Y - Shoot
L - Dash
R - Flashfield (electric field)

And touchscreen buttons for super-attacks, though I'd rather just assign those to one of the unused buttons...
Posted: 08/30/14, 14:52:25  - Edited by 
 on: 08/30/14, 14:53:54
I'm enjoying Gunvolt a lot. It's a unique twist on Megaman X style gameplay. Playing this simultaneously with X3 has been interesting.

In both games, you have to damage enemies while carefully dodging their attacks. In X3 this is done by shooting enemies in-between evading their attacks. You have to move around in every direction to avoid taking damage, but you still have to match their vertical placement and turn and face them in order for your shots to hit and deal damage. This can be frustrating at times, because there are some scenarios where it feels like you have to bite the bullet and take a hit in order to land a good shot, otherwise you get caught in a cycle of dodging, shooting, and missing. Your focus on skillfully avoiding their attacks is interrupted by the need to deal damage. After all, if an enemy is standing on the ground and you want to shoot at them, you have to plant your feet, turn, and face them. This limits you movement to either standing still or moving towards the enemy. These are two things you don't want to do in a shootout. This is especially true in the boss fights. You get this graceful and rewarding cat and mouse chase by dodging the boss's attacks that is frequently interrupted by having to match the boss's vertical location and face him, which oftentimes causes you to get hit because you've now exited this state of graceful evasion. It make collecting the upgrades feel mandatory instead of voluntary. Once you expand your life bar or get the body armor, having to take damage in order to output damage is more bearable because you don't die so quickly.

In Gunvolt, you have to match the enemy's vertical placement and face them only once. After you tag that enemy, you can continuously damage them and can focus 100% on the fun of dodging enemy attacks. You don't have to worry about charging your gun like in the X series. Gunvolt's weapon fires rapidly and it only takes 3 tags to reach maximum damage, meaning that you can very quickly shift from worrying about a good shot to moving evasively. You don't have to worry about matching the enemy's vertical placement or halting your movement any more because you've already tagged them and can output damage almost passively. The scoring system is designed to encourage players to engage in skillful maneuvering. It emphasizes tagging multiple enemies and avoiding taking damage entirely. Again, this is doubly true for bosses. Because tagging is so quick and dealing damage isn't contingent on your location relative to the enemy's or the direction you are facing, bosses become a test of your ability to quickly move around the screen and predict and respond to their attacks. When bosses are nearly defeated they will execute attacks where there are so many bullets and lasers on screen that you can't possibly match their vertical location without taking damage. If you've already tagged that boss, you can place your focus entirely on evading their barrage of attacks while still damaging them and progressing the fight. It's no coincidence that the same ability that damages the enemy is the one that makes Gunvolt fall slower. This is done to make damaging the enemy also provide you an evasive boost.

That's not to say that I dislike X3. There are plenty of instances where what I've said about that game doesn't entirely apply. That is to say, there are some well designed and fun enemies and bosses in that game. As a whole, I like X3. And Gunvolt also isn't without its share of flaws either. This is simply a comparison of two approaches to enemy design. And in that regard, I feel that Gunvolt is superior.
Posted: 08/30/14, 18:34:40  - Edited by 
 on: 08/30/14, 18:35:38
X3 would be monumentally better if it had a better soundtrack. It kills a lot of the game for me. If that were better I might like it more than X2. Music is just a big deal to me with Mega Man. (They don't call him Rock Man for nothing I guess)
Posted: 08/30/14, 20:34:29
You know, I was just looking at this game on the 3DS eshop and I was wondering whether I should buy it or not. I looked at the Wii U eShop to see if they have it there and apparently it is a 3DS game only. There will be another version of the game for Wii U called Mighty Gunvolt or something along those lines.

@nate38

I'm currently playing through RE Revelations and it annoys me to have to use the Y as the action button. Often times my nail strikes the plastic frame of the bottom screen. I wonder why I couldn't just map it to the A button. I'm starting to think that this is a Japanese thing. Maybe I just need a manicure.
Posted: 08/30/14, 21:09:49
Mighty Gunvolt I think is the 8-bit crossover between this game and Mighty No. 9. I'd love to see this on Wii U/PS4/XBO/PC though. Definitely looks like something I'd get for my 3DS though (if I didn't have a hundred games to play).
Posted: 08/30/14, 21:35:07
Mighty Gunvolt is pretty neat. I'm pleasantly surprised, actually. It has five levels based on the games its three playable characters come from. So far, I've only beaten the game as Beck, who is functionally a clone of Mega Man. And, suitably so, the game feels very much like a Mega Man title. The music, level design, enemy attack patterns, and graphics would all feel right at home in a classic Mega Man game. It's way more polished and smooth than one might expect. I have yet to try the other two characters, but they should give this game some nice replay value. As a freebie included with a $15 dollar game, it's great. But as a standalone game for 4 or 5 bucks... it's still not bad. Like I said, there are only 5 levels, but there's a good chance you'll feel compelled to beat the game with all three of the different characters. If you're considering buying this game, I'd say go for it if you already have Gunman Clive and don't hate the idea of short games.

Or you could get it for free with Gunvolt. The final boss is a cool surprise for people who've played that game.
Posted: 08/31/14, 00:34:46
I got the bad ending! I'm assuming I have to find the jewel in each of the Robot Maste- I mean Adept stages...?

Anyway, I think my biggest complaint with the game is its visual style is a bit too...soft?...to see what's happening sometimes. Especially once you've got the Flashfield out, all the blue zapping can make it a bit tough to see objects and enemies. But it's still fairly legible.
Posted: 09/01/14, 03:51:18
Just started this over the weekend. I went through the prologue part and attempted one of the Adept stages. Pretty sweet action game, though I'm a little disappointed that it's not MORE like Mega Man ZX. Though it is a blast, and I'm having fun tagging and zapping GV's enemies in glorious displays of electronic spheres of destruction.

More as I get deeper into the game...
Posted: 09/01/14, 16:34:33
@nate38

How long did it take you? I actually just purchased it this morning, I'm going to play it over the weekend.
Posted: 09/01/14, 16:38:16
@Tranquilo It took me about 4 hours to finish all the levels, and another hour or so to get the good ending.

I've been doing Challenges all morning...I'm not crazy about having to "activate" them to complete them, and completing earlier ones (Earn a B-rank in this mission!) to earn the chance to do later ones (Earn an S rank in this mission!) and then still more after that (Earn an S+ rank in this mission!) is a limitation I don't really like. But the game's a lot of fun, so I'm still gonna go for a bunch of them.
Posted: 09/01/14, 18:48:35
Should I play MIghty Gunvolt first or Azure Striker Gunvolt?
Posted: 09/02/14, 23:48:03
@sirmastersephiroth I would say Azure Striker Gunvolt, but it really doesn't matter. Mighty Gunvolt is like 30 minutes long, too.
Posted: 09/03/14, 02:54:49
sirmastersephiroth said:
Should I play MIghty Gunvolt first or Azure Striker Gunvolt?

Azure Striker first, for sure.
Posted: 09/03/14, 03:25:16
I just finished the game. The ending was surprisingly sad. It leaves things very uncertain for its characters and world. I wonder where a sequel would decide to go with things.

Overall, I like Azure Striker Gunvolt a lot. It has fresh gameplay, fantastic graphics, and I love its style. The direction they took with the visual design meets with a style of sprites that I love to create something magical. I love how the techno aesthetic was handled. Sure it's kind of simple and maybe even trite in some areas, but I can't help but adore it. The music is pretty good and I can appreciate the plot for what it is, corniness and questionable translation included. I like how it expands upon the Megaman formula by giving each of the "Robot Master" levels a context. You know why you're going to these places, and what stopping these bosses will do to help you take down the villain. It's a small thing that goes a long way to flesh out the world.
Posted: 09/03/14, 04:51:01  - Edited by 
 on: 09/03/14, 23:01:58
GameDadGrant said:
sirmastersephiroth said:
Should I play MIghty Gunvolt first or Azure Striker Gunvolt?

Azure Striker first, for sure.

I was actually expecting the opposite answer. How long is the main game?
Posted: 09/03/14, 05:45:07
@sirmastersephiroth

The numbers tend to range from 4-6 hours for the main story. Nate said it took him 5. It took me 6 hours to beat the story + replaying some missions for challenges. The game encourages you to try to complete levels with no damage and to get high scores, so if you're into that your playtime will probably be higher.
Posted: 09/03/14, 23:01:04
Anyone still playing? I've been going through the Challenges for each stage, and they're not too picky. Except for the S+ rank challenges, which I can't seem to reach even when things go perfectly (as far as I can tell). Maybe I should use that one trinket that disables Prevasion and gives a 10% boost to your points...
Posted: 09/09/14, 00:12:38
I've been picking at it, little by little.

Anyone have any idea how to activate the "Anthem" state? It seems to happen randomly. I'm not sure what triggers it.
Posted: 09/09/14, 01:45:02
You mean the thing where you randomly respawn after dying and are stronger for some reason? I'm not sure. It seemed random to me.
Posted: 09/09/14, 02:39:35  - Edited by 
 on: 09/09/14, 02:39:57
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