Aside from a couple of bosses, and the “water chasing you up the tower” level (which I realised I was doing wrong – you can wall jump and fall slowly when you’re sparking), I managed to get to the penultimate level of the game without too much trouble. Then I hit a wall.
A SuckySuck Bit(TM) wall. That’s right folks: a boss rush.
I suppose I was expecting it. After all, Gunvolt isa follow-up of sorts to Mega Man, and Boss Rushes are a Mega Man cliché. And it was hard, too. After scraping past the first boss, there was a second one. I was praying it was just the two, or at least that there’d be a restart point after the first, but no – straight into the second boss without so much as a heal or recovery of your skill points. So I died.
And I died a lot. Over and over. Mostly on the second boss (the green one with the spikes that turn into drills or lasers). I decided to go back and complete a few earlier levels again, to level up (I went from about 24 to 35 in the end) but also to get material to generate better gear for Gunvolt – such as faster EP recovery or better shielding. After that, I returned to the boss rush and seemed to be faring little better.
Then, on one attempt, I beat the second boss with a tiny sliver of health left, no skill points, and no chance at all of defeating a third boss. Please don’t be a third boss. Oh. There’s a third boss.
Thankfully, somehow, I wiped him out in double-quick time. One skill point regenerated soon after the fight began and I used it to replenish some health. Luckily the boss was the one who creates columns of fire on either side of the screen, and he was really easy. Phew! But… a fourth boss?
No. Well, yes, but not before a restart point. And other boss after that, again with a restart point that went unused as they were easy. Onto the final level!
After a short corridor and a room with loads of simply to defeat minions, it was the final boss. Who was really difficult. It took many, many attempts to see him off (then of course, I realised all I needed to do was use my EV shield to negate his shield, making him much easier) and he changed form into a huge robot thing. Sigh – another Irritating and Unnecessary Gaming Cliché. More so in that he appeared to be impossible to beat, and one attack (which blows you off the platform seemingly with no way to avoid it prevent it) was incredibly frustrating.
Many attempts, requiring the previous form to be beaten again first, were had, and then I realised the “trick” – target the left and right sides of the robot, then use your EV shield to negate his shield in the middle, then target that, then spark all three targets at once. Knowing that, he went down quickly. The end!
Except the end wasn’t a happy end at all. Spoilers, obviously, so I won’t say what happens, but I think you need to do something before the final boss. Probably involving collecting gems, of which I think there are six, and I stumbled across one. More to do then!
Azure Striker Gunvolt is a fantastic game, and I’m pleased they’ve announced a sequel already as I do really want to play more of this sort of thing!