Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Azure Striker Gunvolt

Rating: 6.0
Happy Price: 9.99


Azure Striker Gunvolt is a 2d side scrolling action platformer that resembles the Mega Man series. The game was developed by ex Capcom employees that worked on Mega Man, so similar gameplay mechanics is expected. Generally the platforming is not interesting however the boss battles are incredibly dynamic.


Fighting your way through the different levels and environments is mildly interesting and at times can be mundane. There are less than ten enemy types that you must adapt to. Generally human soldiers with different types of guns, robotic mines, strange undead creatures in one level, and large robots that behave in predictable patterns. One of the core powers of your character is activating a force field that also deals damage. This is an incredibly powerful attack that can take out multiple enemies at once, however for most of the game you deal with enemies one on one. When the situation occurs where three enemies have to be taken out at once, it is incredibly fun and rewarding.

Character Progression

The progression system is the most broken piece to the game and it's a non existent element to the gameplay. There is a shop that has items that upgrade the character which require both in game currency and items called "synths". Synths are hidden in boxes that the player can choose from when a level is completed. When the box is open, the synth is revealed. There is no way a player can target what they are getting, therefore can't have a meaningful experience when trying to upgrade their character. It's a random affair as to what you will be able to purchase. Currency is generated when defeating enemies and is very easy to obtain. The amount gained is amplified by combos, however you never get to spend your currency if you don't have the items to construct the upgrade. I think this is suppose to encourage replaying a level, however levels aren't fun enough to replay.

Guns are obtained as you progress through the levels. I'm not quite sure what I did to obtain them, but as the game went on I had a full inventory of six guns. Four out of those six were useless, and I couldn't upgrade the two guns that were of any use because the game does not have an upgrade system for the weapons. This is incredibly annoying when there is a level in the game that requires you to defeat every single boss at one time.

Boss Battles

Each boss was unique and had to be defeated in a different fashion. This was the most fun part of the game, learning the patterns of the boss and getting better each round. Not dying on the first attempt would be world class, dying on the second attempt would be poor skill. Once the pattern was found, they are pretty easy to defeat, especially later in the game where one of your special attacks deals 33% total damage. Each boss has a different theme and personality that compliments their abilities. Unlike Mega Man, the player does not gain the abilities of the boss. Having this would be great and much more fun. The only reward you get for defeating a boss, is to have them come back later in the game all together, so you can defeat them sequentially in order. This task is nearly impossible since it's so difficult to upgrade the character.


Despite the fantastic artwork, there are elements to this game that are just broken. This isn't realized until the second to last level where you face all the game bosses and are severely under powered. There is also an annoying bug that doesn't remember your assigned gun, and no way to assign your secondary weapon. The game feels unfinished and has a lot of potential. 

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