By Josh Speer / September 29th, 2016
Regardless of which Kudos option you choose, you can keep your points through the use of Prevasion. That’s the system where, when you have energy to burn as Gunvolt or Bullits left as Copen, you can avoid enemy attacks automatically while standing still. This is far easier for Gunvolt, since he can use his whole wealth of energy to dodge, while Copen is limited to 3 Bullits. Granted you can get items to decrease energy / Bullit consumption, but I’d definitely say it’s harder for Copen to hold onto Kudos than Gunvolt. Thanks to how hard it was to keep Kudos in the first game, my best score was often a C. But in the sequel, I got many As and even a S or two. It just makes more sense to open up options depending on the player’s individual skill, and I applaud Inti Creates for that.
As far as the plot of the game, I felt Gunvolt 2 did an admirable job of taking what worked in the first game and tweaking it in fun ways. There are plenty of twists and turns that pop up, and the world of the game is as fascinating, quirky and dark as ever. The new characters, such as the lovable Quinn, by the numbers Xiao, strict Nori and adorable Mytyl, all drew me deeper into the world of the game. I was especially invested in Copen’s story, as it finally made strides to give his character more nuance than just an angry bounty hunter. My only complaint was with some of the voice acting. Every character is voiced in Japanese, and while I’m fine with the majority of the voice actors, the ones at the very beginning of the game irked me, as did the voice actor for the Adept Ghauri. This character is a quick moving, street dancing poet, and despite the best efforts of Chiharu Sawashiro, I found his tone grating. Maybe it was hearing the forced rhymes in another language, but it irritated me to no end. Suffice to say it didn’t help my immersion in the universe of the game, but luckily the rest of the voice actors were fine.
Where the game truly shines is in the art direction. Every time Inti Creates makes a Mega Man styled game, they go above and beyond the call of duty. Each enemy in Gunvolt 2 is detailed and beautiful, and that goes double for its intense bosses. Each of The Seven has a distinct look which somehow informs not only their personality, but their attack style as well. They all look remarkable while transformed, but my favorites would be a toss up between Gibril, Desna and Asroc. I will note that the boss fights in the sequel are just as epic as those in the original, for those who were wondering. Of equal importance is the sound design, which has several tracks to suit the mood. I found the music slightly more catchy in the first game, but I still really enjoyed the tunes in this one.
My playthrough of the game, which included both Gunvolt’s and Copen’s campaigns, took me about 6 hours in total. It’s worth mention that I was beating this as fast as humanly possible for this review, and I also didn’t get either character’s good ending. So there’s definitely replay value if you want to 100% the game, especially if you’re a perfectionist. There are plenty of Challenges to keep you busy, and lots of items you can Synth to help you out. There is also a bonus mode I have yet to unlock, not to mention the awesome Shovel Knight boss fight you can try via amiibo.
Overall, I was very pleased during my time with Azure Striker Gunvolt 2. For $14.99, you get two great campaigns that play very differently and serve to complement each other nicely. It manages to recapture the magic of the first game while improving on what the first one did poorly. My only real complaint was that sometimes the boss dialogue prevented me from seeing an incoming attack, but you can turn that off if it troubles you. If you are at all a fan of well animated 2D action games, looking for your Mega Man fix, or just a great new game for your 3DS, I highly recommend Azure Striker Gunvolt 2. I would definitely pick it up the launch week, since it will be a Nindies sale for the first week it comes out. I am glad I was afforded the opportunity to review it, and can’t wait to see the next game that Inti Creates puts out in this series!
Review Copy Provided by Publisher
Pages: 1 23DSAzure Striker Gunvolt 2CopeneShopGunvoltInti Creates