Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Eric Ace 02.11.2016

Review for Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 on Nintendo 3DS

Inti Creates' Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 isn't that well known a platformer, but can best be described as an anime-like Mega Man, except delivering a much darker and grim game. In the future of Gunvolt 2's world, there are certain people that have psychic powers, and there are groups that want them dead. The main character is Gunvolt, who is also a psychic and wants to take a particular psychic group down simply for being evil, but does not have a problem with peaceful ones. The story follows a dark plot of different groups wanting to exterminate each other, asking the player about what they would do in such a situation.

Just like the first game, Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is a great game—that must be stated right up front. If there is any interest in platformers, the reader owes it to their self to get into this. This sequel is not standalone in that the story and major plot elements are spoiled very early. Luckily, the game actually comes in a dual pack right now for those that don't have it. Keep in mind the aesthetics are very anime, from spiky hair to cut-scenes when someone does a special move, but for those that like that sort of thing, it will be awesome, whereas those that don't will still find this is worth checking out.

Unlike Mighty No. 9, which was a failure on so many levels, this succeeds on nearly everything needed for a good platformer. The basic idea of a platformer is not tampered with, meaning the gameplay is to dodge enemies, move forward while fighting, have some elements of exploration, and power up along the way. This does not deviate, but adds special gimmicks that give some novelty to the genre.

Screenshot for Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 on Nintendo 3DS

There are two characters that can be played, and each gets a separate story, as well as completely different gameplay. It is a bit like Mega Man and Zero, quite frankly. Main man Gunvolt is a psychic who controls electricity. Combat works with him having an automatic pistol that can kill enemies, but also "tags" them so that he can use electricity to do major damage. Against major enemies this is the only way to kill them. Thus, it becomes an interesting dance of trying to tag the boss during narrow windows so that damage can even be done.

The game flow is that you pick a boss to fight, and then are thrown into a level that has to be battled through. At the end is the boss, and winning gives a new power, as well as money and parts. Back at base, equipment can be made and equipped that can do a bunch of different things, such as dropping defence while raising attack, or giving extra HP.

Screenshot for Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 on Nintendo 3DS

Unlike the first game, the levels are far more open and exploration is actually more important. Levels are well done and interesting. Like the original, there is a level where you do nothing but climb higher and higher up a tower, meaning the stage is entirely vertically oriented. Some interesting ideas are presented during play, such as blood or darkness covering sections of the screen, which is great to keep players on their toes.

It is important to note that the first title really needs to be played before Gunvolt 2. Given that the story is a major driver of the game, things would not make sense and will be outright spoiled. Further, the other playable character is one of the major enemies from Gunvolt. A notable point is the story in the original was much less present, with typically some talking at the end of a level and that was that. In this one, it is pretty cool in terms of immersion, and the characters talk while the level is being completed.

Screenshot for Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 on Nintendo 3DS

The second character's gameplay is extremely interesting, while his story is compelling. He does not have psychic powers and fights by shooting and ramming into enemies. His reason to fight is to destroy all the psychics so only humans remain. Especially in the first game he was a major enemy, but was shown as having his reasons, and it is really rare to have a "genocide" type character portrayed positively. His character is actually really cool in that he is going against these super-humans, driven only by his hate for them.

For gamers that like side-scrollers, this title is a no-brainer; it is solid all the way around. It brings in RPG elements with the equipment, has challenges to unlock new parts for anyone that wants to be hardcore about their experience, and interesting characters and story.

Screenshot for Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is completely solid. The basics of platformers are left in place, whilst new aspects are brought in to keep it fresh. The story and characters are very well done for this type of game, and the aesthetics, level design and thought put into it shine through in many ways. Including the fact that it can be played twice with the two different characters, as well as challenges and equipment to farm, there is plenty to keep players around. As far as platformers go, this is great, and harkens back to when they were a major genre. Hopefully we will see more of this type of game.

Developer

Inti Creates

Publisher

Inti Creates

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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