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Review: Mighty Gunvolt Burst (Nintendo Switch)By Insanoflex At 15.06.2017 16:00

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Mighty Gunvolt Burst is not quite a sequel to Mighty No.9 or the Gunvolt games. In fact, upon starting the game it is not quite clear what franchise this belongs to since both Beck and Gunvolt are pretty much given equal billing. Both characters have their slight quirks that make them sort of unique, which is representative of their gameplay from their respective titles... just about. Don't expect Beck to be doing a whole of dashing into enemies here, though. Aside from some minor story variation and altered text over black screens, there really are no other differences of note. Even the story feels pretty tacked on since it really is inconsequential as the entirety of it is set in a VR training simulation.

The real draw for Mighty Gunvolt Burst is how Beck or Gunvolt can have customisable power-ups. Normally in games like this, heroes tend to get a new ability from defeated bosses. Instead, the protagonist's main weapon gets an expandable pool of points that can be allocated to various modifiers, perks or tweaks for their main blaster. Throughout each level, there are also hidden abilities that can be added to the fairly long list of options that can be altered for the heroes' weapons. At first, it is kind of a lot to take in since it does not fully explain itself, but after a little experimentation, the real genius of the system is revealed. Usually, in these kinds of 2D run-and-gun action titles, where the protagonist gains various power-ups, there is usually only a couple actually useful, while the rest are just too situational to really be an asset. Mighty Gunvolt Burst circumvents this entirely by giving an unprecedented amount of control and options to make whatever weapon that could ever be desired and the game is even generous enough to offer over 25 empty slots to use.

The second core feature is the burst combo system, which encourages a fairly risky, yet also unnatural, play-style, which involves shooting enemies to death at point-blank range. The idea is to get either of the heroes as close to danger as possible, even if the levels' design does not really facilitate it. Why would anyone want to get a high combo multiplier in this fashion? Achieving a high combo powers up basic shots and that extra strength becomes pretty necessary on boss fights since they are bullet sponges who have an ungodly amount of health to the point that fighting them becomes kind of boring. Yes, it's true, the bosses of Mighty Gunvolt Burst are not terribly interesting; they have no real bearing on the story or even any character at all. Fighting them is the typical exchange of learning their basic patterns and firing away on that button so fast that thumbs bleed and go completely numb. Even without powered up weapons it's pretty easy to just cheese a victory thanks to the copious amount of health pick-ups and infinite lives.

Mighty Gunvolt Burst is decent enough thanks to its level design, which pays lip-service to many of the ye olde classic Mega Man stages. Visually, it does the sort of 8-bit look but with a much wider colour palette. The animations have improved from 2014's Mighty Gunvolt but they are still fairly limited compared to other retro-styled action titles on Switch, like Shovel Knight, and for some reason Beck looks like he's waddling when he runs thanks to his huge feet. Expect the same general craftsmanship seen in Blaster Master Zero, which in turn was pretty good but don't expect Mighty Gunvolt Burst to have similarly fantastic pixel art cut-scenes.

This is a lean and possibly entry-level retro action release. The vast options for creating custom weapons offers all kinds of possibilities for play styles. The only problem is that Mighty Gunvolt Burst is really short, so its full potential goes somewhat to waste. Every stage does offer sets of challenges that unlock more options for custom weapons, passive bonuses, and even larger point capacity, which is all wonderful... If only the core game wasn't so easy as it is, though.

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Final Score
If it wasn't for its faithful retro presentation and soundtrack, [i]Mighty Gunvolt Burst[/i] would be a pretty forgettable and by the numbers Mega Man clone. This is fine for children who are just getting into 2D run-and-gun action since, at the time of this review, there is no Virtual Console on the Nintendo Switch. The best part of playing Inti Creates' latest release is just experimenting with the possible combinations to make all kinds of wonderful weapons of death.



User Comments
#1 Adam Riley (News Editor) - on 15.06.2017 at 16:01

Well, considering how poorly met the 3DS version was, at least this seems like a good step in the right direction. I'm not a massive fan of the graphical style, though, sadly. Seems a bit too retro for its own good.

#2 Dragon0085 - on 15.06.2017 at 16:35

Adam Riley said:
Well, considering how poorly met the 3DS version was, at least this seems like a good step in the right direction. I'm not a massive fan of the graphical style, though, sadly. Seems a bit too retro for its own good.


Adam are you talking about just Gunvolt, or the Azure Striker series?  I loved the Azure series and it got pretty good reviews all around.

#3 Adam Riley (News Editor) - on 15.06.2017 at 16:39

Just Mighty Gunvolt, the spin-off. Azure Striker's great!

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