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Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 Overview (Swap eShop)

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 Overview (Swap eShop)
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Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 Overview (Swap eShop)

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 Overview (Swap eShop)
Captured (docked) on Nintendo Swap

In 2014, Inti Creates—of Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX fame—made waves within the motion platforming area when it launched Azure Striker Gunvolt, an obvious successor to its earlier work on Blue Bomber. Though it was an preliminary launch considerably Just like the older Mega Man video games, the franchise has advanced past these roots as new concepts and gameplay ideas have entered the fold. Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 represents the following step on this path of latest concepts, and whereas it is not a revolutionary new tackle the Gunvolt system, it delivers a tightly designed and intensely addictive journey that no fan of the franchise will need to miss. out

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 picks up a number of years after the occasions of the second entry and begins by following a brand new character named Kirin. Kirin is a fiery battle priestess working for a shadowy group that seeks to include a brand new Septimal risk the place some Septima customers are dropping management of their powers and turning into highly effective, chaotic dragons. The primary dragon to take down Kirin is Gunvolt himself, who shortly remembers who he’s and joins forces along with her to neutralize the remaining dragons and trigger their rise.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 Review - 2 of 6 screenshots
Captured (docked) on Nintendo Swap

It is a fantastic narrative, however a fantastic instance of why the ‘present, do not inform’ philosophy is so vital in storytelling. Dialogue is commonly heavy with exposition as characters clumsily clarify ideas, names and establishments to one another, and this has the impact of hollowing out the emotional connection to the story. Extra importantly, the story jumps from plot to level so shortly that it may usually be tough to comply with what is going on on regardless of the robust exposition. Luckily, the memorable solid helps make all of it slightly extra bearable, every member of Gunvolt’s ‘Bureau of Dragon Saviors’ may be very totally different from the following, and the group dynamics make for some enjoyable exchanges.

The gameplay looks like an evolution from the earlier two entries, and when you largely play as Kirin, Gunvolt can often tag alongside for her. Just like how Koppen was dealt with within the second entry, Kirin performs much like Gunvolt’s base fashion with a number of key variations. Her principal weapon is a close-range katana, however shouldn’t be meant for use by itself. Tapping the ‘Y’ button repeatedly will throw her talisman ahead, which ‘marks’ her enemies and makes them extra weak to her blades. You’ll be able to then dispatch them in a single swipe while you attain them, or you possibly can enter a fast enter and teleport slash. All Mark enemies on the display screen on the identical time.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 Review - 3 of 6 screenshots
Captured (docked) on Nintendo Swap

In apply, this results in an successfully easy stream the place you run by way of a stage, throwing talismans all over the place and leaving a path of destruction as you quickly teleport from enemy to enemy. Many sections of ranges may be accomplished with out even touching the bottom should you’re fast and correct along with your throws, and the playstyle feels superb when it lastly clicks and also you react with out pondering. It is spectacular how Inti Creates has now created a 3rd playstyle that may really feel as totally different as what Kopen and Gunvolt have been able to.

These of you preferring Gunvolt’s ‘tag and run’ playstyle will probably be happy to know that he nonetheless options as a playable character, albeit extra as a ‘restrict break’ than a separate character in his personal proper. Under Kirin’s well being, there may be an vitality meter that will increase as she takes and offers harm, and as soon as it reaches no less than 100%, you possibly can swap to Gunvolt. When Gunvolt is out, the vitality bar begins to slowly lower with every passing second, and this additionally acts as his well being bar, that means that it’s considerably lowered for any harm he takes. When the vitality gauge reaches zero, Kirin tags again in and begins rebuilding it as soon as once more.

It is an fascinating approach to mix two totally different playstyles in any given degree, though it does really feel slightly odd that the principle character of the franchise has now moved to a extra supporting position. Nonetheless, Gunvolt performs very similar to the earlier video games, albeit with much more harm for plot causes. Loading up enemies with pins after which electrocuting them feels simply as satisfying as earlier entries, whereas any trace of platforming issue is shortly erased by Gunvolt’s Kirby-like capability to leap infinitely.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 Review - 4 of 6 screenshots
Captured (docked) on Nintendo Swap

No matter who you are taking part in as, your efficiency in phases is primarily tracked by way of a scoring system known as Kudos that rewards you for riskier and extra calculated gameplay. You get an achievement for each kill you rating, however the quantity you possibly can earn will increase exponentially if you are able to do tough issues like consecutive aerial kills or defeating a boss character with a talent. In a major change from earlier entries, you not lose your built-in appreciation should you take harm. As a substitute, you get a “kudos lock” that forces you to earn a specific amount earlier than it begins including to your whole once more. On the finish of a stage, your Kudos are then transformed into a complete rating together with a number of different components which then decide the grade you obtain; “S++” is essentially the most tough to finish and primarily requires an ideal run.

One vital factor to notice about Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 is that the principle focus of the gameplay is clearly on the rating and scoring system. If you’re actually Taking your time, the sport will solely final about 5 hours earlier than you attain your credit, however taking part in by way of the story is barely the start. The best way these phases are designed, you are anticipated to run them again and again and keep in mind issues like enemy placement and boss patterns, till you possibly can mainly full the stage with out hitting and even touching the bottom. Every degree is brief and simple to retry as you get into your apply, and it may be extremely rewarding while you lastly handle to get that top rank you have been attempting for thus lengthy. With that in thoughts, we might say that whereas Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 is price it for these trying to play it simply a couple of times, should you do not need to rank grind, you are actually lacking out on the specified expertise. This recreation is absolutely geared in the direction of perfectionist gamers who wish to push the boundaries of recreation mechanics and are not afraid to hurry run by way of the identical ranges dozens of instances till full mastery is achieved.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 Review - 5 of 6 screenshots
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)

Reaching a excessive rank is not solely dependent by yourself talent, nevertheless, with some RPG-lite mechanics current to assist make issues simpler. For instance, you possibly can equip 4 energetic abilities that may name in assistance from characters each on this recreation and up to now, supplying you with a boon like a short lived defend or a strong AoE assault. Moreover, you possibly can set passive results that provides you with issues like elevated EXP achieve or an extended grace window after taking harm. Any of those abilities can drastically change the way in which you progress by way of a given degree, however they’re helpful to cowl you in case you inevitably make errors.

Nonetheless, what appears a bit extra divisive right here is that you’re not given full management over what abilities you possibly can purchase. In contrast to the final principal entry, which gave you step-by-step supplies that you’d use to craft new tools, right here you get all of your “Picture Pulses” through a random gacha pull on the finish of every step. Gathering extra of the extent’s collectible picture chips will finally pull you in additional, however in any other case you will get new (or good) talent picture pulses.

This is not a catastrophic change by any means, however it does really feel like a notable step again from what was accomplished within the final recreation, as you now should get fortunate if you wish to make a sure construct to make it. S++ tries to be slightly extra constant. Finally, you will construct up fairly a stockpile of picture pulses to select from, however we might have favored this side of the sport design to be rather less random, because it’s irritating to complete a replayed stage and solely have cheats to your hassle.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 Review - 6 of 6 screenshots
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)

Visually, it is clear that Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 has been designed on strong {hardware}, because the detailed spritework blends effectively with the high-quality paintings for the atmosphere. Whether or not it is the in-universe equal of an arcade, a Shinto citadel, or an Amazon distribution heart all set within the distant future, the technologically superior artwork fashion makes for some memorable sights that can have you ever reaching for the seize button many times. . The pixel artwork is clearly descended from the work seen within the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX video games, and appears nice whether or not you are watching on a TV or Swap display screen. We particularly appreciated the performance provided by the artwork fashion, because the spritework right here has the impact of barely separating all enemies from the background, making them a lot simpler to focus on and react to your speedruns.

As for audio, Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 retains issues transferring with a soundtrack that mixes EDM beats with rock music to match the extraordinary and zen-like state of zipping by way of the phases, whereas there are a number of extra downtempo jazz tracks so as to add some selection. That is then supported by near-constant back-and-forth communication between Gunvolt, Kirin, and whoever the boss of the extent is. Most of those dialogues are forgettable, however the voice solid does a fantastic job with the traces they ship.

conclusion

It is onerous to say whether or not Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 is a transparent enchancment over its predecessors, however this entry is simply as action-packed and razor sharp as them. Kirin provides a refreshing new tackle tried and examined gameplay, whereas tight degree designs and a deal with a rating system make it a extremely replayable expertise. The one actual downsides listed here are that the gacha system is clumsily applied and the story is usually a slog, however each are simply neglected when the thrilling gameplay actually digs into you. In the event you’ve loved the earlier entries in any respect, it goes with out saying that you simply owe it to your self to choose up Azure Striker Gunvolt 3, however we might encourage newcomers to present it a shot as effectively. Motion platformers like this do not come round fairly often, and we’re blissful to report that Inti Creates clearly hasn’t misplaced its mojo on this area.

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