Game Title: Mighty Gunvolt Burst
Developer: Inti Creates
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Download: 31.6 MB
Availability: Digital Download (Europe, Japan, North America)
Battery Life: 4.5 – 6.5 hours
Game Modes: TV, Tabletop, Handheld
Mighty No. 9 was set to take the world by storm, creating a new evolution and series to replace gaming’s current empty space where Mega Man once stood. Instead, it invited ridicule and the game can be bought brand-new for as little at $8.00 on the web. The idea that was meant to bring new life into the Mega Man slice of the platformer genre ended up being anything but.
Beck has been known to come into other games that aren’t nearly as “terrible”, though. After Azure Striker Gunvolt on the Nintendo 3DS breathed new life into the genre, Inti Creates decided to take things one step further. Originally an idea and a very small and flawed game, known as Mighty Gunvolt, the developer has expanded the formula and made it into its own fully-fledged platformer.
Breathing new life into both Azure Striker and Mighty No. 9, here is my review of the Nintendo Switch version of Mighty Gunvolt Burst!
The story of Burst takes place after the events of Mighty No. 9 on Beck’s side and Azure Striker Gunvolt. Beck is uploaded into a Virtual Reality simulation and Gunvolt is pulled into a strange world that he is unfamiliar with. They are then forced to travel through stages of the corrupt world, seemingly controlled by corrupted versions of Beck’s siblings, Mighty Numbers 1-9. As they each fight their separate paths, they seek to find a way out of this strange world.
The plot of Mighty Gunvolt Burst isn’t too heavy. You get a scene or two at the beginning, once you clear the 8 main stages, and during the ending. About what you’d expect from a modern Mega Man platformer. Beck and Gunvolt have their own story scenarios and, while similar, they do stand on their own enough to showcase references and love for their respective games.
Mighty Gunvolt Burst is a 2D Platformer in the vein of the old, NES Mega Man games. Whether you go through the game as Beck or Gunvolt, you’ll be tackling 8 main stages, along with several “final” stages until you find and defeat the final boss and see the game’s ending. It’s typical Mega Man format.
First off, this is more or less a large remake of Mighty Gunvolt, so what’s different here? Beck and Gunvolt return as playable characters (with more on the way as Updates/DLC), and there’s more than twice as many levels. The original Gunvolt barely had 4 levels to go through. Burst has 13, so the content has tripled from level count alone. The other additions I’ll get to in a moment.
The main concept is simple enough. You go through your intro level, beat its boss, and the 8 “Main” levels appear, which can be completed in any order you wish. Typical Mega Man-type game, right? Well, that’s about all that is there in your “typical” Mega Man formula. The way you unlock levels.
Once you complete a level, you are given a reward, one of 3 you can choose from. It will always be a CP Upgrade, an Elemental Attack, or a Sticker for your game’s profile. This, along with all of the hidden upgrades hidden in each level, gives the game a “Collectathon” feel to it. You’re meant to beat a level, getting whatever hidden goodies you can find, and then replay the level for the other Level Completion rewards while also hunting for those other hidden upgrades.
CP is the way upgrades work. You collect all kinds of Upgrades you can equip from each level, but they all have CP Usage and your CP Max can’t go over. So, to use more upgrades, you need to beat more bosses and find more CP Up items hidden in each stage, which further pushes you to redo levels instead of just clearing them once.
The beauty of this is that the Upgrade/Customize system is so deep. Some Mega Man games allow you to equip mods to your armor, but I have never played a game that has upgrades to this level. To be more precise, you can unlock and modify Bullet Types, Projectile Types and Trajectory, Bullet Speed, Piercing to have bullets pass through enemies or environments, how they dissipate, elemental properties, auto-fire, charge shots, etc.
And that’s just for your bullets. There are other upgrades that can be used to increase/descrease your attack power, damage you take, how many aerial movements (Jumps/Air-Dashes) you can perform, how effective items are, resistance from instant-death traps, and you can even enable the HD Rumble feature to go off when you’re near a hidden item. The amount of customization and modification you can do in this simple Mega Man-like platformer is staggering.
This amount of customization also makes this game perfect for any type of platforming fan. If you’re having a hard time, you can use some CP to reduce damage taken to 25% of what it was, or increase it to up to 300% if you find the game too easy. Of course, you could also just not use the customization system for a true challenge, though some modifications are required to finding all of the hidden items.
There are also a few things here and there to make Beck and Gunvolt unique. While they both get the majority of the upgrades, Beck gets shot types that resemble those used in Mighty No. 9, while Gunvolt is able to use Septimal Abilities much like those used in his original game. Their air movements are also varied, with Beck using Air Dashes while Gunvolt has double-jumps and triple-jumps.
Outside of this Customization feature, the other “new” feature here is the Burst System. As the game showcases, you will start a Burst Combo if you kill an enemy when you are right next to them, Bosses-included. If you keep killing all enemies after in close proximity, you will increase that combo and increase your High Score for that stage.
While this is a very interesting play style, it is solely there for people who want High Scores. The Burst Combos increase your score at the end of the stage and that’s it. No stat boosts. No special attacks or anything of that sort. Considering that High Scores are the only perk you get for the Burst Combos, many people will simply look past it and not care. And considering Burst is part of the game’s name, it seems more like a neat idea that is greatly over-shadowed by other features.
As far as difficulty goes, it can be hard or easy, as I explained earlier. Left alone, I wouldn’t put it any harder than any other NES-style Mega Man game. You learn attack patterns and learn to dodge them. And the Customize options can make this a lot easier or a lot harder. There is still some skill involved, but given how you can exploit the Customize option, it’s not too high on my “Tough as Nails” platformer list.
With time, it really depends. If you utilize the collectathon aspect and go for getting all of the upgrades you can actually use (CP Up items and Customize Options), a single run with a single character should take you around 5 hours, give or take. That puts the entire game up to around 10 hours, if you wish to play through as both of them. There’s also the fact that completing the game once unlocks Hard Mode, so time can also go up if you utilize that. Considering this is a $10 game, I think it’s a fair trade between money and completion time.
Controlling the game is nothing out of the ordinary. You don’t need to worry about anything special, as the control scheme is very basic. In fact, the X button and 4 triggers aren’t used in actual gameplay. Even X is only used in the menu when you wish to save your customization settings.
Moving around is done with the Directional Buttons or the Left Analog Stick. Jumping is done with B, Skills with A, and shooting with Y. It’s very basic and the controls, themselves, feel more in tune with PlayStation Mega Man titles than anything else. It’s very easy to use.
Visually, I don’t have many complaints, but I do have one. First of all, you will see borders around the game and those cannot be taken away. Although they are there, the game looks very nice and makes good use of the borders being part of the HUD for healing items and current CP.
The one thing I dislike about the visuals is one stage that uses a diagonal section. It is merely zoomed out and rotated, but it makes the graphics look, quite honestly, terrible. Pixelated, Blurry, and all around hard to look at. The first time I played that stage, I got a headache, just from looking at it. More polish would have been appreciated there.
Performance-wise, I have nothing bad to say. Load Times are near-instant. Frame-rate is steady from start to finish. In that regard, it plays wonderfully.
2D Game, so I expected great things. While this isn’t superior to Disgaea 5, you still get a lot of Battery Life out of the game. Here are my times from 100% to 0%
Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 30 minutes
Max Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 51 minutes
Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 6 hours, 08 minutes
Low Brightness + No Wi-Fi – 6 hours, 32 minutes
I’m not about the complain about 4.5-6.5 hours because that’s really nice. My expectations were just a bit higher, mostly due to games like Kamiko and Disgaea 5 Complete.