Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Eric Ace 28.05.2023

Review for Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 on Nintendo Switch

Any time there is a new Inti Creates game, it's usually something that looks interesting. It is a company that focuses heavily on sprite-based platformers and has a long history of generally well-received games. The Azure Striker series is a very cool platformer that is reminiscent of Mega Man, with the inclusion of a fairly dark story of death and the next evolution of humanity. The third entry of the series, Azure Striker Gunvolt 3, now focuses on a new character as she unravels the latest happening of a rebellion.

Azure Striker Gunvolt was one of the cooler games to come out in the last several years. Blending fast-paced platforming, some light RPG elements, a varied cast, and a unique sci-fi plot, it felt unique in the fairly crowded genre. Taking place in a future where humans are at war with 'Adepts' - a type of evolved human that can have various elemental powers - the story would often go in surprising and memorable ways. Playing the third one in the series, it is tough to tell if the company is running out of ideas, trying to just ride on the success of the previous games, or any other reason, as it's the weakest entry in the series.

This entry is starring a new character: a spunky woman named 'Kirin' that is essentially a female ninja, aka 'Battle Priestess', that finds Gunvolt and partners with him for the oncoming battles. The largest problem with the game revolves around these two unfortunately, as it's a pretty major blight. Gunvolt from past games was a mildly edgy, stoic character with a lot of tragedy in his life; and a character with nearly god-like power. In this game, he is literally turned into a dog and in the brunt of all of Kirin's jokes and talking down to him. Every level is banter that inevitably includes a round of Gunvolt-bashing from Kirin.

The tonal dissonance from previous games is hard to reconcile. Kirin is loud-mouthed and annoying from beginning to the end of the game as she completes a strange reverse harem of her and a bunch of guys. The fact that the titular character is reduced to nothing more than a punching bag and a joke is tough to swallow and makes one think that maybe the writers just view the story as a joke at this point. The jokes aren't even original or funny, the general pattern is her making fun of one of the supposedly powerful guys on her team, followed by Gunvolt sighing.

Screenshot for Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 on Nintendo Switch

Gameplay wise, some of the worst parts of the previous games made their way in here. Her general method of fighting is throwing a charm which locks onto an enemy, at which point she can teleport to them and strike. It's kind of cool, but they build the entire game around the gimmick which gets old. The final levels are nothing more than elaborate teleport puzzles. Thankfully, players can switch to Gunvolt at any time, who is entirely overpowered - for example has an infinite jump - and can speed through some of the more annoying platform sections.

While there are hidden objects to find, 90% of them usually involve very little detour, usually nothing more than an extra jump here or there and can be seen from the screen. Much like complaints in some of the previous entries, the levels are fairly forgettable, quick, and straightforward. There is no exploration, no intense metal tracks à la Mega Man X, and no reason to replay a level beyond a poorly implemented Gacha system.

As the game progresses she unlocks a few new moves, but largely they are not really ever used. The only other upgrades are a type of equipable 'images' that are randomly dropped in the level. They offer small bonuses like extra healing or experience. In previous games there was a good element of trying to find parts to make good items to equip, whereas here most of the good ones are found early, slapped on and never thought about again.

The game has many references to old characters, such as through the 'images' system. While seeing some references to old characters is cool, it is a bad reminder of how good those games were, whereas it is hard to escape that this game doesn't add much to the experience. Sure, it might have been standing on the shoulder of giants, but in this case, it's squatting down and worse than the legacy it was given.

Screenshot for Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


The Gunvolt series was one of the better, and cooler, platformer series in recent history; unfortunately, the most recent games have just been entirely mediocre. Much like the previous Luminous Avenger, all the pieces are there for an absolutely fantastic game, but it never comes together. Regrettably, the story in Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 is the weakest in the series, and the two main characters are far more annoying than entertaining.


Inti Creates


Inti Creates





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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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