Over the years, gamers have been over whelming saturated with 2D Mega Man clones that seem to not come close to the original work of Keiji Inafune. Fans of the Mega Man franchise as well as 2D platforming, can now put that feeling aside and lean more towards Inafunes newest creation, Azure Striker GUNVOLT. Can a video game that slightly resembles similar creations by Inafune stand on its own two feet? Find out in my review.
Keiji Inafune has been out of the development scene for quite some time but perhaps now with the release of GUNVOLT, we may see a little bit more of the Mega Man creator. Azure Striker GUNVOLT is a video game that plays particularly well and seems to have been developed within the Mega Man X outline, although that sounds tasty and intriguing for the most part, it actually holds the video game back to some extent. As fun and enjoyable as GUNVOLT happened to be, i couldn’t help but feel disappointed at the fact that it just felt like another Mega Man game but with different characters. Granted, this video game does plenty to express its originality by allowing the player to use lightening in order to destroy enemies and sore through the air, but still uses the stage selection and boss ability architecture as the Mega Man franchise.
The level of game difficulty seems to be moderately average, considering the levels themselves were designed as side scrolling platforms. The player must dodge his or her way past enemy A.I, which can be done very easily if the player happens to learn the enemies interactive patterns. This is fine for newcomers, but unfortunate for individuals who’ve experiences these games before, considering the enemy A.I is typically non multi-directionally sufficient as most can only move forward and backwards.
Bosses in GUNVOLT seem to be the games only challenge, considering most opponents can destroy the hero within one powerful strike, if not played strategically. This can be particularly frustrating at times but as said before, can be easily remedied if the player learns the bosses interactive patterns. Once a boss has been defeated you will be able to acquire certain abilities that will help you on your journey and can tend to be useful over time, but especially useful in sticky situations.
The video game seems to be rather in-depth in terms of dialog during cut-scenes, this is definitely non-traditional when compared to Inafunes titles of the past but most certainly a way to differentiate his work from past generations. The narrative itself is comparably decent in terms of story but can tend to continuously run at length, for instance, the gameplay is incredibly fun to experience but cut-scenes cause that experience to screech at a halt as you must button mash your way through a typical boy saves girl story.
Dialog is good in video games, in fact, it may be essential towards providing a complete gaming experience to the consumer, but GUNVOLT seemed to over exaggerate the narrative and drastically diminished any hope of interest within the story. It was nice to implement an in-depth story-line to the video game and the 2D platforming genre, but it didn’t seem to be a necessary inclusion. If only the video game possessed a brief narrative, it would have made more sense and wouldn’t have seemed to be dragged out through the game play. Perhaps the saying, ” Short and Sweet” or “less is more”, in regards to the narrative aspect of this video game, would have proven to be more effective in delivering a perfect gaming experience.
It’s obvious that Azure Striker GUNVOLT borrows and implements ideas from inafunes Mega Man series. Just by looking at the video games aesthetic, you can tell first hand that this title wanted to partake within the Mega Man franchise but legal issues more than likely stood in the way. None the less, GUNVOLT stands tall against other titles within the genre, it also proves that video games no longer have to be developed within a 3 dimensional atmosphere and can still look and feel like traditional 2D titles on modernized platforms.
Azure Striker GUNVOLT’s 2D aesthetic is explosively beautiful and displays a resemblance of familiar titles which were developed in the latter part of the SNES era. Not only does this title portray the looks of an older game – it also implements modern controls with a certain level of antiquity and familiarity so that seasoned gamers can play like they used to, while younger gamers get a taste of the past.
Azure Striker GUNVOLT is a traditional 2D platformer that wants to be a Mega Man title thru and thru. Although this title tries to differentiate itself from its Mega Man counter-parts, it still manages to display it’s similarities, while slightly providing a sense of nuance just enough to call it a little different. As unfortunate as this may sound, it still manages to provide a solid gameplay experience and seemed to be worth every dollar. Mega Man enthusiast should definitely try this title out and those who are currently unsure, shouldn’t remain skeptical for long.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo 3DS code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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