Title: Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX
Publisher(s): INTI CREATES
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC (Steam)
Release Date: September 26, 2019
Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX is one of those games that manages to exceed the quality of the series that some people claim it is a clone of. At E3 2019, I dove into a hands-on demo of the game where I played as Copen and I took on a level (‘Stone Ruins’) in the game, complete with a boss fight at the end.
First thing first: Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX is a beautiful throwback to the SNES-era graphics. The pixel-style art is well done, and the character models and background graphics are top-notch. Even when I was zipping around the level from battle to battle, I felt like I needed to keep one eye on the design that was around me due to the fact that I simply didn’t want to miss any of the artwork, and I am hopeful that INTI CREATES will put out an artbook after the game’s release to satisfy my desire for this world’s design.
The gameplay of Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX is designed around the concept of ricocheting off of as many walls as possible using the Bullit Dash ability and by dashing into as many enemies as possible. In a way to encourage the ricocheting mechanic, Copen is given three ‘bullits’ that appear on the bottom of the screen, with each bullit used for a Dash move. With each bounce off the wall, a bullit partially refills. Furthermore, as you dash into enemies, a homing target appears on the enemy that allows you to ‘shoot-and-forget’ your attacks from wherever on the screen with your photon laser gun that will fire endlessly. I was also given an EX Weapon called Stellar Spark that I mixed up my regular attacks with, and I could summon Lola to the screen in a massive pixel-art attack on all present enemies (that would then recharge through a meter).
This game, if you can’t tell, moves FAST as a result. While there is another way to refill all your bullits with a ground pound-esque move, I ended up not liking to do that as it slowed the game’s movement and combat down with a sudden ‘stop’ before I could start bouncing all over the place again. This gameplay philosophy extended even to the boss fight, when I more or less brute-forced my way through by bouncing off the enemy, shooting homing shots, and summoning Lola whenever possible while trying to avoid having to do a full reload as much as possible. I honestly think that the ground pound-like move is meant as a ‘last resort’ option instead of a frequently-used gameplay option, though I did it a few more times than I liked as I was trying to get into the gameplay. There was also a hovering move that I could use after performing a Bullit Dash move, but I just didn’t bother with it too much, as I found myself wanting to bounce off of walls more in order to refill my bullits while getting through the level.
I am going to say that I genuinely liked Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX and it reminded me of an improved version of the Mega Man X series- which is a classic franchise in and of itself. With Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX coming to Nintendo Switch, PC on Steam, and PlayStation 4 in September 2019, it also means that I won’t have to wait too much longer to get my hands on it.
How excited are you to try out Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX when it comes out later this year?
Are you going to pick it up on a Nintendo or non-Nintendo platform?
Let us know in the comments below!