Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 – Destructoid

Lightning strikes thrice

I say this so typically, however it’s arduous to think about a gaming panorama with out Inti Creates preserving old style experiences for brand spanking new audiences. Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 retains that practice rolling.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 (PC, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch)
Developer: Inti Creates
Publisher: Inti Creates
Released: July 28, 2022 (Switch) / August 2, 2022 (Xbox) / This fall 2022 (PC)
MSRP: $29.99

At this level, we’re flush with Gunvolt video games. Here’s a recap for the reason that sequence kicked off in 2014:

And but, I’m not sick of all of it. Still!

While the story nonetheless plunges into the depths of madness at occasions in Azure Striker Gunvolt 3, we’re as soon as once more grounded by the addition of a brand new playable character: Kirin. Smartly, Kirin is the main target this time, as she’s the core playable character, with Gunvolt serving as a swappable “bonus” of types. Playing as Kirin offers the game a very totally different really feel, since you’ll be able to just about play the whole game with simply her.

Her hook is throwing talismans (sort of like how Gambit throws playing cards in X-Men), which latch onto enemies just like Gunvolt’s lock-on function. Except this time, these talismans are “softening enemies up” for sword slashes, giving Kirin a “Zero to Gunvolt’s Mega Man X” gameplay juxtaposition. The complete “battle priestess” angle works by and thru, and her assaults have quite a lot of aptitude to them that make her really feel totally different not simply in comparison with Gunvolt, however prior characters within the sequence.

It’s additionally actually intuitive. You gauge how a lot injury you’re going to do to enemies by marking them for demise, and somewhat indicator comes up on their well being bar showcasing the injury you’ll deal should you hit them whereas talismans are hooked up. You can load up enemies when you’re dodging round after which shut the hole and slash away. It’s a nimble and enjoyable mechanic in observe. Then you add in a touch slash for locomotion (particularly triggered by chucking talismans at both enemies or particular objects that may be focused, like lamp posts), on high of extra skills for Kirin to proceed a combo with out touching the bottom, and you bought a stew going.

As beforehand talked about you’ll be able to swap to Gunvolt, who’s extra like a timed cheat code. He has infinite jumps (thus permitting you to clear massive platforming sequences that Kirin has to work to get by) and intensely highly effective assaults, mimicking his older model of firing a focusing on gun at enemies, in order that he can unleash homing lightning assaults that do all the actual injury.

With this method, the concept is that Gunvolt spends time in a wolf type (which is a part of the story, gleaned early on), following Kirin round, however with the help of a separate energy meter (which may sometimes go from 0% to 300%), you’ll be able to set off a change and management Gunvolt straight so long as you might have 100% meter or above. From that time on the clock is ticking, and dropping to 0% (or manually swapping again) will deliver Kirin again into the fold.

It’s intelligent since you solely have to make use of Gunvolt as a lot as you need to. If desired, you possibly can mainly simply play as Kirin the whole time. But should you want somewhat decide me up (as a result of Kirin is low on well being, fighting a boss, otherwise you maintain falling down pits), Gunvolt is a fast button press away. Making Kirin the main target is good, as a result of followers who might want an air of familiarity can nonetheless get it, however Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 forges its personal path with a brand new hero. I wouldn’t thoughts seeing Inti Creates repeat this method going ahead.

Much like different Gunvolt entries, a rating assault aspect may be very a lot entrance and middle. Kirin not touching the bottom, or not swapping to Gunvolt — all of it makes for higher clear scores, and I can’t wait to see what the neighborhood has in retailer with Kirin, Gunvolt, and Kirin/Gunvolt speedrun classes. From there, it’s a conventional Gunvolt game with an intro stage, 4 bosses that may be executed in any order, a mid-point stage, extra selectable bosses, then a finale. You’ll purchase new skills for Kirin alongside the best way (largely within the type of blade skills and passives that modify your stats or skills), in addition to power-ups of types that may name in friendlies like a Marvel vs. Capcom help.

Review: Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 4

As is the case with a number of different Inti Creates tasks, you gained’t be too confused leaping proper into the threequel, as issues are defined by way of fast bits of expository dialogue in cutscenes. In different phrases, you gained’t be misplaced, however there are direct narrative continuations and references to previous video games that prior followers will take pleasure in (to not point out that the sequence as a complete, particularly if we’re simply speaking in regards to the two prior important entries, isn’t that large of a time sink). A full (serviceable) English dub will make that every one the extra palatable to first-time audiences.

Not every thing lands story-wise, however it does have this very tight cast-driven really feel, as a part of the narrative depends on changing individuals on the enemy aspect to your trigger. Silly dialogue (together with one boss and later companion that’s obsessive about muscular tissues) propels among the much less enjoyable fights ahead, although it may well obfuscate just a few boss encounters with all of the HUD parts turned on. Sometimes the whole display screen is filled with insane textual content/results to the purpose of parody, however these results do assist set this sequence aside — particularly the spoken phrase particular strikes that the majority have correct names.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 may be very harking back to previous video games as a baseline, however I’m greater than okay with that as a result of it does deviate the place it counts (and hardcore followers will discover quite a lot of different nuances too). Inti Creates can maintain making tight motion platformers for an indefinite period of time so far as I’m involved. I’ll maintain parroting this till the cows come dwelling, however give them Mighty No. 9. Keep giving them spinoff tasks like Curse of the Moon. This studio has a chokehold on the style.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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