Stuff I’ve Been Playing Recently

Wow. Been a while since I did this.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 (Switch)

I’d finished it with Gunvolt previously, but now I’ve completed it with Copen. Who, despite feeling like the game was much harder with him, actually turned out to be much easier as, if you pay attention, he’s pretty much invulnerable. He does have some tricky platforming bits Gunvolt doesn’t, though.

After that, it turns out you have to beat the final boss again, as each character again. So, with that boss dead as Gunvolt, you then face Copen, and vice-versa. Gunvolt vs Copen was really difficult (Copen vs Gunvolt was a walkover), so I was stuck there for a while, but finally did it. Both True Endings get!

Code of Princess EX (Switch)

Another 3DS game I loved, and it’s just as good on the Switch. Unlike Gunvolt, everything here has been redrawn so there’s no jagged pixels. They’ve also taken out the bit where you spend gained stat points from level increases on better stats – it’s all done for you now. Not sure if that’s better or worse – you don’t need to bother with it and sometimes choice is paralysing – but also some stats aren’t of any use to some characters so I wouldn’t “spend” my points there.

I’m about half way through the game, although I’ve also played most of the unlocked quests in that extra mode, and also played in two player co-op, which I never did in the original for obvious reasons.

Pokémon Sword (Switch)

Went back to this for a bit, mainly to get the DLC promo Slowpoke, but have also started getting the various Milcery and Eevee evolutions.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 (Switch): COMPLETED!

And that’s the pair of them. I’d never played this sequel before, but it turned out to be just as good as the first game. There have been a few quality of life tweaks, such as not needing to choose which challenges to do before you do them – now they act more like normal achievements – and some of the upgrades upgrade themselves as you use them, rather than need improved versions synthesising.

The gameplay is the same as before, although it felt a lot easier. Perhaps that’s partly down to me using “prevasion” (a shield-like technique) properly for the duration this time, instead of just at the end like I did before. Graphically, it’s a little better too, with big improvements on the interstitial screens which look like they had higher resolution art to work from rather than just upscale the 3DS original images.

There’s still a lot of chat.

The big change though, is that there’s a whole second story to play through with a different character with his own set of skills. Copen, one of the characters from Gunvolt 1 (and called Akira by the Japanese voice actors!) is out to take down the bad guys and Gunvolt (who although good, is an “adept” like the baddies, and Copen/Akira wants to kill them all), as well as rescue his sister. He has a laser not a gun, which can constantly fire, and instead of tagging baddies with his shots like Gunvolt does, he has to tag them by dashing into them. He also collects special weapons from each boss, each of which is especially good against one other boss – so actually, Copen plays a lot more like Mega Man.

This guy talks in memes and emoticons a lot.

Copen’s levels aren’t all the same as Gunvolt’s either. It reminded me of playing Sonic 3 & Knuckles as Knuckles, because you cross paths with Gunvolt (rather than Sonic), have mostly the same bosses but have to defeat them in a different way, have some totally different levels, and have some levels that are the same but you take a different route through.

Anyway, I’ve completed the game as Gunvolt, but can’t get the “true ending” until I’ve beaten it with Copen, it seems, and I’ve not got very far in with him yet.

Azure Striker Gunvolt (Switch): COMPLETED!

Not that long ago (FIVE YEARS?! WHAT) I played, enjoyed and beat the 3DS version of this. I purposefully didn’t look back at what I wrote back then until just before writing this, and a few things surprised me.

Firstly, I never did get the good ending last time. This time, I did! Secondly, I had difficulties in all different places this time. For example, the “fire boss” was a walkover before, but he was one of the difficult ones this time. The final (for the bad ending) boss was much harder than I remember too. Some of these issues might be because I don’t think I knew about Gunvolt’s Prevasion skill last time around. It lets you use your shield power bar instead of your energy bar for attacks, essentially making you invincible so long as you don’t use your flashfield.

Maximum Spider.

The transition to the Switch is a double-edged one. Yes, it’s great to have it on there, and in the twin pack with the sequel (which I’d previously never played) is a bonus too. But, the graphics – when blown up to what, eight times the resolution – aren’t quite so good looking. Not having the touch screen trigger for special attacks is a pain too, as instead they’re activated with a direction of the right stick and I frequently pushed up instead of left by mistake! But these are minor things really as the game is still fantastic.

Getting the good ending meant beating an extra boss, who wasn’t too difficult once I’d figured out how. And with it done, I can move on to Azure Striker Gunvolt 2!

Level 50 and a Good Ending clear save!

Mighty Gunvolt Burst (Switch)

Cupid, draw back your bow.

Which I’ve completed again. This week, they added Gal*Gun’s Ekoro as a new, free, DLC character. Of course, that meant I had to play it again.

Ekoro’s main differences are that her shots appear to be substantially weaker than either Beck or Gunvolt, and that her “aerial” ability is being able to hover and glide. She also jumps a lot higher than the other characters, making some of the game much easier – and a couple of sections somewhat harder. Spikes on the ceiling, you see.

The story sections are simply removed in this run through. It’s a shame, but there aren’t many anyway and wouldn’t make sense any more either.

As always, it’s a great game. I wonder who else is going to appear as DLC? A current rumour would be Shovel Knight…

Mighty Gunvolt Burst (Switch): COMPLETED!

The impression that I get.

A couple of years ago, there was a game called Mighty Gunvolt. It was a sort of 8bit demake of Azure Striker Gunvolt, the Mega Man-inspired game that it came free with. It was great. Short, but great. Recently, they made this sequel – Mighty Gunvolt Burst.

Still 8bit in style, but boasting more levels and a really deep customisable weapon and ability system, it improves on the original in almost every way.

As you play, you find extra moves and modifications for your weapons. You can use them in any combination, but each costs points to do so. You have the situation where you might need to decide if you’re prepared to have slower, less powerful shots so you’re able to double jump. Or maybe really powerful shots that are homing, but in order to pay for it you have to decrease your defence. You can earn more points, but invariably you never have quite enough for your perfect loadout!

There are two characters to play as: Gunvolt, from the original game, and Beck, from Mighty No.9. Gunvolt has fewer weapon customisation options than Beck, but Beck doesn’t have a multiple jump or any special weapons. I’ve completed the game as both now, and prefer Gunvolt.

Mighty Gunvolt Burst is still quite a short game, but there’s replay value (you have to finish each level at least three times as each character in order to unlock everything) and it’s substantially bigger than Mighty Gunvolt was. I’ve put around 7 hours into it so far, whereas I’d nearly 100%ed the first game in just two.

I’m now really looking forward to the Azure Striker Gunvolt and Gunvolt 2 double pack that’s supposedly coming to the Switch next month. I’ve played the original, of course, but not any of the DLC and for some reason never picked up the sequel. I definitely will be now!

Azure Striker Gunvolt (3DS): COMPLETED!

tumblr_nmcm5xjrxh1svmpf2o1_400Aside 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.

tumblr_nmcm79mhfa1svmpf2o1_400I 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.

tumblr_nmcm6jps3e1svmpf2o1_400And 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.

tumblr_nmcm734zmi1svmpf2o1_400Thankfully, 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!

tumblr_nmcm7drrpd1svmpf2o1_400After 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.

tumblr_nmp3lshaaj1svmpf2o1_400Many 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!

Mighty Gunvolt (3DS): COMPLETED!

tumblr_nm78trnfvm1svmpf2o1_400Since I’ve recently become a fan of Mega Man games, I have been looking forward to the release of the 3DS game Azure Striker Gunvolt. It’s supposedly a spiritual successor to Mega Man. What’s even more interesting is that an 8-bit style version of it, Mighty Gunvolt, came free. I was looking forward to that even more.

And here it is, and 40 minutes later, there it was. Completed.

tumblr_nm78tx47cb1svmpf2o1_400OK, so it’s short and pretty easy. But so much fun! There’s more left to do, such as replay it with the other two characters, each with their own moves. There’s also some DLC in the form of more stages. It’s not expensive, but locking away some of the game that was given away for free, behind a paywall stinks a bit.

tumblr_nme2v51lrt1svmpf2o1_400Still, what’s there for free was enjoyable and the bosses were great and it certainly feels a bit like Mega Man. Without the crouch slide or Mega Buster charge attack. Clearly I’m missing some sort of move like the slide, as there are a load of things I’ve been unable to reach. Maybe you can with the other characters?

Anyway, onto Azure Striker Gunvolt now!