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The DanMan

Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 Review: Lightning Strikes Twice

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Azure Striker Gunvolt was a game that was released in summer 2014 (spring 2015 to all of you poor folks in Europe/Australia) to a mixed reception. It was very much love it or hate it- many making direct comparisons to Mega Man (as was bound to happen, due to the developers- Inti Creates –having worked on the Mega Man Zero and ZX series) found it dull and lacking, while those who went in without those expectations found it to be decent, at the very least.

Despite its flaws, I adored the first game- it had its own identity and did its own thing, not trying to be like Mega Man or cash in on it. So, needless to say, I was hyped when they announced a sequel in early 2015 and teased it with concept art (spoiler alert: that concept art is nowhere in the game). However, for a whole year nothing was shown- until Magfest 2016, where the first footage was revealed as well as the protagonist’s new design and the game’s theme song. Then, in the March 2016 Direct, a full trailer was shown- revealing a ton of new info, including a new playable character. I’ll spare you the details of the steady info releases leading up to release, and just jump into what you probably want to read: my thoughts on the game.

Localization

Yes, this gets its own section- and is the very first one, no less. The first game’s localization was very controversial, thanks to the majority of in-game text being cut so they could rush out it stateside and the rest being not-so-accurately localized by 8-4. These cuts were talks with an important NPC and mid-stage chatter (think Star Fox)- seemingly nothing that effects the core experience, but I’d compare it to a Tales Of game not having the skits localized. So much characterization, worldbuilding, and just plain funny moments were dumped.

Inti Creates was aware, and for the Steam release of the first game included a “Japanese Voice Mode” with the original Japanese voiceacting intact and a much more faithful localization. This game’s localization much more closely resembles the Steam version’s.

All the Japanese voice acting is intact (I’m mostly neutral on that matter), and all mid-stage dialogue and NPC chats are kept intact. There are many, many interactions that –as a fan of the first game- got me chuckling, and I almost always had a smile on my face while reading them. In general there are many callbacks to the first game that work to help establish a greater sense of continuity between the two. Even then, there’s still a few that are entertaining if you don’t know the characters at all- for instance, the contemplation of bottomless pits.

However, the big caveat about the mid-stage dialogue (and the touted reason that it was cut from the original’s localization) is that it covers up a diagonal swipe (mostly the bottom) of the screen. In most instances it’s not a big deal, but can be frustrating on certain bosses. Fortunately, it can easily be toggled in the pause menu (“Story Mode+”), so that if you don’t care much for the banter/are replaying missions you don’t have to deal with it.

The game’s rated T for Mild Language, Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, and Suggestive Themes- compared to the first one’s E10+ for Mild Language and Fantasy Violence. I personally think ASG1 was borderline T, but ASG2 definitely earned that rating. There is not one instance of the infamous “gack” or “jitt”; instead, all the other main expletives of the English language are used. Notable points include Gunvolt himself saying “Go to hell!” and Copen (the second playable character) repeatedly labeling psychics/Adepts as “bastards”, as well as a general stream of craps, damns, and hells with a side of “pain in the ass” and "now I'm pissed/you've pissed me off". Why all that counts as only mild language beats me- the first one had several blatant innuendos and shares its rating with the Lego games, so it's obvious the ESRB works in mysterious ways.

There’s also a certain boss character who’s an explicit masochist- in the mandatory boss-rush rematch that is the closest tie this game has to standard Mega Man tradition, she states that the main character killing her the first time was a “sign of young love”, and that since she loves him she wants to reciprocate the “favor”. This ‘aint Mega Man, folks.

There were name changes here and there, and I'm certain the localized dialogue isn't 100% true to the Japanese voice acting, but I don’t give a damn about the literalist camp (thank the amount of nitpicking FE14’s localization has gotten). This game’s localization is heads-and-shoulders above the first one’s.

Gameplay

Finally, the meat of the review. ASG2’s gameplay at first glance is just like the first one’s- something that anybody familiar with Inti Creates should expect. Gunvolt’s “main” weapon- his gun –is used mostly just to tag enemies. Enemies can be tagged up to three times, or you can tag three different enemies. The main weapon in his arsenal is the Flashfield- acts as a weak area-of-effect, damage-over-time attack around you, but rapidly depletes the health of tagged enemies (how rapid depends on how many times they’ve been tagged). However, alongside streamlining and tweaking, a new playable character was introduced- Copen, the rival character from the first game.

Copen plays quite differently from GV- his gun is his main method of attack, and perfectly damaging in it’s own right. However, by dashing into enemies he can tag them- giving his gun a homing effect and much greater damage. He also has air dashes- up to three at a time, while being able to do an extra one for each enemy tagged. His other main difference are his EX weapons- essentially, he has a drone with a Variable Weapons System. As you defeat bosses, new attacks based off of them are unlocked. Though dash-and-blast is his bread-and-butter, the EX weapons provide a nice way to mix things up and do some burst damage.

Now, for the streamlining- and there’s quite a bit of it. Firstly, the kudos system. In the first game, your score was heavily dependent on “kudos” (Project Gotham Racing flashbacks, anyone?) that were earned by defeating enemies, with bonuses awarded for killing multiple enemies at the same time, killing them in the air, and things of the sort. However, if you took one hit you lost all the kudos you had gained- checkpoints throughout the level were the primary way to store them, as well as using powerful offensive skills.

ASG2 fixes things by introducing three kudos levels: gutless, cautious, and fearless. Gutless keeps you from losing kudos at all, but greatly lowers the amount that you earn. Fearless, on the other hand, is ASG1’s style- but with a bonus to kudos earned. Cautious is the default; with it, you can take three hits before kudos drain- hits that recharge when you use offensive skills. Instead of just mapping out levels and trying to do a no-damage run, kudos management is much more on-the-fly and dynamic- do I wait for the next checkpoint to replenish the hit counter, or should I use an offensive skill to store them here and now?

Another instance of streamlining is the new plugs system. In ASG1, each gun had different attributes and could make a certain amount of tags total- this ranged from a measly one to a godly eight. The plugs system makes things so that the amount of times you can tag enemies isn’t tied to the guns themselves, encouraging you to use more of them (in ASG1 there was a pretty linear two-step progression on which gun was best to equip). The default is three, but you can either limit yourself to two and increase your damage dealt or increase the amount of tags you can make to four- but lessen damage dealt. It’s a much more tactical choice- or something that you just don’t bother with at all (like yours truly). Long story short, all guns are now created equal.

On the topic of item synthesis, that has also been streamlined. Though replaying levels to get materials for synthesis is still essential, upgrading equipment is much easier. Instead of creating two of the same item and then merging them for a higher fee, items gain XP throughout stages. After four stages, they level up- encouraging you to re-play old stages.

However, grinding to upgrade gear isn’t the only reason to replay stages- the challenge system has also been tweaked. You no longer need to accept challenges, or are limited to just three of them- after completion of a stage, the game tells you if you have completed challenges and to report them. However, there’s still a knock against this- you can’t complete any challenges while playing a stage for the first time, and unlocks are still staggered. What this means is that even though I got an S rank on a mission first try, I’d have to re-play to first get the B and then A rank challenges done before I’d even have the chance of knocking out the S-rank challenge. It’s better than the way the first game handled the system, but the biggest issue is still there.

Stages

Spoiler alert: if you found ASG1’s stages to be bland and boring from a platforming perspective, it’s more of the same here. The intro stages take place around a giant ship, and each stage still has a metallic, technological slant to it. The seven main stages are:

-a “haunted” manor

-sewers

-a clinical database halfway in cyberspace

-an orbital elevator (the orbital elevator from the first one, but with a completely different layout)

-a scrapyard

-a highway that has been overrun with purple crystals

-and a frozen-over luxury hotel

Though they have different color pallets, most of them aren’t that different aesthetically- with the exception of the haunted manor (home stage to the aforementioned teenage masochist boss). Inti Creates is the main development force behind Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and this stage seems like a shout-out to that game’s roots. It’s a Victorian-style mansion with breakable stain-glass windows that leave behind money and sometimes even enemies. It has torture devices and traps throughout, and honest-to-goodness zombies that rise out of puddles of blood. And the music is primarily a jazz-organ riff, further cementing the referential atmosphere.

Other stages have interesting gimmicks- the cyberspace one has wraparound physics, where bottomless pits spit you back out at the top and walking to one side of the screen can make you come out on the other. Another example is the sewers- the boss is a water-wielding Adept, who starts creating traps throughout the stage. These of course require some puzzle-solving. Though the actual stage layouts themselves are fairly basic (as ASG is explicitly more about action than platforming), they all have their own gimmicks that make them memorable and a step above the first game’s (notice a trend?).

Bosses

Thanks to the Cautious setting becoming default for Kudos management, bosses have become noticeably harder, with faster and harder-to-dodge attacks (hence why any serious playthrough of a stage should probably turn off mid-stage conversations). They still have fairly straightforward patterns- they’re just much harder to deal with. Stand-outs include the final boss’s first form—who gets crazier the lower health they are and are totally different from anything else you’ve fought.

The game also has a good and bad ending system like the first one, though thankfully it's much more streamlined (Gunvolt 2: Streamlined, anybody?) and doesn't require looking things up on the internet to figure it out. Just get the bad ending with both characters, then pop into the last stage as either of them, run through it again, and you're on your way to the good ending. Below I'll discuss the true final bosses, which just so happen to be the easiest and hardest bosses in the game:

The final fight is Gunvolt VS Copen. With Copen, it's pitifully easy- using Milas' (the water adept) weapon, you can instantly knock out his prevasion. Even when he gets revived with the super barrier, you can still knock him right out of it for several seconds with that EX weapon. It's pitifully easy! Plus, Copen has a full heal option in the pause menu that recharges fairly quickly- it's an absolute breeze.

So naturally, the same can not be said for Gunvolt VS Copen as Gunvolt. The first phase is fairly easy enough- though he is the only enemy in the game who can stunlock you by dashing into you and then firing off a few homing shots. And then he gets revived... and whoo-boy. Guess who, GUESS WHO LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, got the Greed Snatcher Gun back? You know, the one that Asimov took and used in his boss fight? The one that does damage through prevasion and temporarily keeps you from using EP?

Yeah, this is a massive instance of gameplay and story segregation (the official soundtrack CD for the first game showed him recovering it, but it isn't shown or even mentioned at all in this game up to this point). Copen also has the super barrier. Unlike Copen, the only way GV can get around it is using offensive skills, which require using SP that re-charge over time. You read that right, it's a waiting game. Astrasphere generally knocks out about 2/5 of a health segment, while Luxcaliber does just shy of a full one- meaning you can very easily knock out a full segment during brief time he's open after you use it. Except he's got the Greed Snatcher Gun. So, you're probably going to want to use the SP to heal. I had to repeat this fight upwards of a dozen times until I got absolutely PERFECT at dodging his shots. It's like you're fighting Asimov, without Joule's help, but worse.

This is my least favorite part of the game. I don't like using a number rating system as it's so subjective, but for my personal interpretation of it 5 is average, 6 is above average, 7 is good, and 8 is great. That's all you need to know here.

I'd give ASG1 a solid 7 out of ten. Until this boss, I'd give ASG2 an 8.5. Thanks to this boss, it's now an 8 in my book. Yeeeaaah. I really don't like this boss.

The Story

Inti Creates has always been better at worldbuilding and making characters over telling a straight-up story, with there being several different drama CDs and written side-stories to ASG1 that further flesh out the characters and the world. ASG1’s story was fairly simplistic and nothing special- like its predecessor, ASG2’ story is nothing special. However, there’s an added caveat- familiarity with the expanded universe is basically required to make sense of a couple of the events and references in-game, including the big ending twist. I’m not really going to talk about it’s contents all that much, because as I said it’s nothing special; if you’re familiar with Inti Creates’ other work, the things that you probably do appreciate about their writing is their dedication to worldbuilding and fleshing out characters through in-game interactions and spin-off material.

That said… the wait to Gunvolt 3 is going to be long and hard. I almost feel sorry for Copen.

Extra Features

The game supports the Shovel Knight amiibo as a secret boss. As I have an OG 3DS and don’t have any amiibo, I can’t make comment on this.

After getting the good ending, though, you unlock Runner mode- essentially, a mini speedrun mode with all dialogue and equipment bonuses removed (no prevasion). It's challenging, and I'm not quite good enough at the game to really utilize it yet.

Those two features may not sound like much, but those are two more features than the original release of ASG1 had.

The Character Select Screen

Yes, this gets it’s own section. Because yes, despite there being a grand total of two playable characters, it is that awesome. Their artwork on it is awesome, the effect of when you switch between them (especially with 3D on) is awesome, the music is awesome… the CSS in general is more awesome than it has any right to be.

Conclusion

As a fan of the first game, Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is an absolute blast and a treat that I would absolutely recommend to fellow fans of the first game. It streamlines and expands upon a lot, making it better than the first game in virtually every single regard. However, if you disliked the first game or are looking for your Mega Man fix, there is nothing here for you. Azure Striker Gunvolt isn’t meant to be an action-platformer throwback- it’s much more focused on action. In regards to the first game, the devs commented that they wanted to prove to themselves that they could create something that was similar yet different; something that was more accessible than Mega Man. Azure Striker Gunvolt is a fundamentally different game from Mega Man and does it’s own thing- something I greatly respect.

Inti Creates has proven that they’re a competent developer without Capcom and their IPs. I’m looking forward to Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, not primarily because it’s a Castlevania throwback (I haven’t touched any game in that series, though I have a passing interest in it), but because it’s being developed by Inti Creates and I know that a game that is developed primarily by them is probably going to be good.

I’m just never touching Gal-Gun with a thirty-foot pole. I’m sorry, but no- I will not go there.

Random fun fact: Ghauri is one of the adepts who pretty much "raps" non-stap using rhymes. ACE, who have done work for One Piece and (as more of you will probably recognize them from) Xenoblade, is credited with overseeing said rap lyrics. Huh.

Edited by The DanMan

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Azure Striker Gunvolt was a game that was released in summer 2014 (spring 2015 to all of you poor folks in Europe/Australia) to a mixed reception. It was very much love it or hate it- many making direct comparisons to Mega Man (as was bound to happen, due to the developers- Inti Creates –having worked on the Mega Man Zero and ZX series) found it dull and lacking, while those who went in without those expectations found it to be decent, at the very least.

That's weird, last I checked the original Gunvolt had good reviews. In fact, almost all of them were "favorable". And the user score is even higher.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/3ds/azure-striker-gunvolt

Maybe I'll read the rest of this review later. Maybe I won't. But since you say Gunvolt 2 is a great game, I might get it. Which Gunvolt game would you say is better?

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That's weird, last I checked the original Gunvolt had good reviews. In fact, almost all of them were "favorable". And the user score is even higher.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/3ds/azure-striker-gunvolt

Maybe I'll read the rest of this review later. Maybe I won't. But since you say Gunvolt 2 is a great game, I might get it. Which Gunvolt game would you say is better?

It has a pretty solid metascore, but look further down at the mixed reviews and you'll see what I mean. And in general, whenever the game is brought up outside of a topic directly relating to it I see mixed to negative comments directed at it.

I'd say the 2nd one is better, but part of that is because of how it works as a sequel- you wouldn't be able to fully appreciate it without playing the first one, which is still a good game.

So... download the demo for the first one, see if you like it or not, and go from there.

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How is the framerate this time? I can't find any information on it but I've heard that even the Steam version of Gunvolt 1 is locked at 30 fps.

Edited by BrightBow

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How is the framerate this time? I can't find any information on it but I know even the Steam version of Gunvolt 1 was locked at 30 fps.

The first one was pretty smooth on 3DS (I don't know if it was 30 or 60 FPS, but there weren't any noticable drops), and this one is mostly the same. There were a few dips using a specific EX weapon, but only then- none of the screen-intensive stuff had an obvious effect.

So, as someone who is not schooled in the art of instantly telling FPS- pretty solid with an odd drop here or there.

Edited by The DanMan

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To explain the "I Have No Life" tag, here's my playlog of the game:

I_have_no_life.jpg

It released yesterday.

Then I guess it's still 30 fps. I'm sure you would have noticed if they upgraded the framerate.

I'm pretty oblivious when it comes to visuals and graphics. I thought a ton of curent gen stuff looked exactly like last-gen at first- until I did side-by-side comparisons. I only tend to quickly notice when things get worse and not better.

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To explain the "I Have No Life" tag, here's my playlog of the game:

I_have_no_life.jpg

It released yesterday.

I'm pretty oblivious when it comes to visuals and graphics. I thought a ton of curent gen stuff looked exactly like last-gen at first- until I did side-by-side comparisons. I only tend to quickly notice when things get worse and not better.

It's not a matter of visuals and graphics, it's a matter of gameplay. For a fast action game, especially a 2D game like this that requires a lot precision, 60 fps is utterly fundamental. And this is something that Gunvolt actually taught me, because when I got to control the character the game felt immediatly worse then any sidescroller I've ever played. It was so akward in fact, that I stopped playing the game halfway through the intro stage to compare it to some other sidescroller I had.

Edited by BrightBow

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Is the framerate at least consistent?

Yep. One specific weapon oddly can cause it to stutter a bit (potentially due to it being the only thing in the game that's multi-hit), but in every other situation it's pretty solid.

It's not a matter of visuals and graphics, it's a matter of gameplay. For a fast action game, especially a 2D game like this that requires a lot precision, 60 fps is utterly fundamental. And this is something that Gunvolt actually taught me, because when I got to control the character the game felt immediatly worse then any sidescroller I've ever played. It was so akward in fact, that I stopped playing the game halfway through the intro stage to compare it to some other sidescroller I had.

I never really had that problem, and haven't seen it voiced anywhere else.

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Good review, however the next thing is incorrect:

"Unlike Copen, the only way GV can get around it is using offensive skills, which require using SP that re-charge over time."

That' not the only was GV can cause damage. If you use your electricity field near Copen (near enough to cover him), he loses invulnerability and you just need to shoot him and kip shocking him. I'm not sure but I think you have to tap the button twice: one to make him be vulnerable and the other one to lock on him, but you can definitely damage him without the use of special attacks.Try to take distance inmediately after he's locked on since he'll try to dash against you or shoot you with the dark spheres. Both fights are easy once you figured out that, however Copen's fight against Gunvolt is easier indeed. It seems no gameplay video on youtube shows that, but please try it for yourself, I'm sure of it. Sorry for my english.

Edit: I just tried it again, you don't need to tap the buton twice, as long as Copen is covered by your electricity field he becomes vulnerable to the shots and you are able to shock him.

Edited by roy130390

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Good review, however the next thing is incorrect:

"Unlike Copen, the only way GV can get around it is using offensive skills, which require using SP that re-charge over time."

That' not the only was GV can cause damage. If you use your electricity field near Copen (near enough to cover him), he loses invulnerability and you just need to shoot him and kip shocking him. I'm not sure but I think you have to tap the button twice: one to make him be vulnerable and the other one to lock on him, but you can definitely damage him without the use of special attacks.Try to take distance inmediately after he's locked on since he'll try to dash against you or shoot you with the dark spheres. Both fights are easy once you figured out that, however Copen's fight against Gunvolt is easier indeed. It seems no gameplay video on youtube shows that, but please try it for yourself, I'm sure of it. Sorry for my english.

Edit: I just tried it again, you don't need to tap the buton twice, as long as Copen is covered by your electricity field he becomes vulnerable to the shots and you are able to shock him.

Didn't know that- thanks.

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It's not a matter of visuals and graphics, it's a matter of gameplay. For a fast action game, especially a 2D game like this that requires a lot precision, 60 fps is utterly fundamental. And this is something that Gunvolt actually taught me, because when I got to control the character the game felt immediatly worse then any sidescroller I've ever played. It was so akward in fact, that I stopped playing the game halfway through the intro stage to compare it to some other sidescroller I had.

I don't know how the PC version is holding up, but the 3DS versions run smoothly.

Anyway, as for Gunvolt 2 itself, I thought it was... short.

[spoiler=about the stages. Not really spoilerish]There are only 4 stages per character and then the final 4 stages, which are shared by both GV and Copen. I don't think it was necessary to lock stages because as far as I've seen GV and Copen could play through them without the level design being trouble. There were only a few parts that required a particular character's skill, but adding a platform or something could fix this easily. Inti Creates didn't even use this opportunity to make unique stages that perfectly match each character's skillset, unfortunately

I finished the game with GV on a few hours (didn't complete challenges though, I just rushed through the game as some stages weren't much fun. I'm looking at the digitized stage and the orbital elevator stages in particular), and I'm currently at the second final stage with Copen.

Speaking about him, I'm really slow so it took me some time until I figured out how to use him (well, kind of). He makes things easier with the homming shot and dashing at an incomming enemy (which is easier than dodging for some insane enemies that love to rush, like the pre-teenager girl Adept), but it's just that enjoyable to bullet dash at an enemy, then fire and dash to the other enemy. I also like his biometal-ish companion and the custom skills, which remind me a bit of the boss skills used in the main Mega Man games. also did I detect a sound effect that was used on Megaman ZX on the intro stage, when that siren's alarm goes off?

So far, it's been a good game. I want to get my hands on the collection with GV 1 & 2 (I lost my copy of GV 1, which is a good opportunity to play through the first game with uncut dialogue) when it's released on October 3 (or 4, I don't remember).

Edited by Rapier

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I don't know how the PC version is holding up, but the 3DS versions run smoothly.

Anyway, as for Gunvolt 2 itself, I thought it was... short.

[spoiler=about the stages. Not really spoilerish]There are only 4 stages per character and then the final 4 stages, which are shared by both GV and Copen. I don't think it was necessary to lock stages because as far as I've seen GV and Copen could play through them without the level design being trouble. There were only a few parts that required a particular character's skill, but adding a platform or something could fix this easily. Inti Creates didn't even use this opportunity to make unique stages that perfectly match each character's skillset, unfortunately

I finished the game with GV on a few hours (didn't complete challenges though, I just rushed through the game as some stages weren't much fun. I'm looking at the digitized stage and the orbital elevator stages in particular), and I'm currently at the second final stage with Copen.

Speaking about him, I'm really slow so it took me some time until I figured out how to use him (well, kind of). He makes things easier with the homming shot and dashing at an incomming enemy (which is easier than dodging for some insane enemies that love to rush, like the pre-teenager girl Adept), but it's just that enjoyable to bullet dash at an enemy, then fire and dash to the other enemy. I also like his biometal-ish companion and the custom skills, which remind me a bit of the boss skills used in the main Mega Man games. also did I detect a sound effect that was used on Megaman ZX on the intro stage, when that siren's alarm goes off?

So far, it's been a good game. I want to get my hands on the collection with GV 1 & 2 (I lost my copy of GV 1, which is a good opportunity to play through the first game with uncut dialogue) when it's released on October 3 (or 4, I don't remember).

Well, while both individual playthroughs are slightly shorter than a playthrough of the first game, together they're definitely longer than it with a lot of unique stuff to it.

It took me 8 and a half hours to complete everything, though that was with grinding for challenges and skills. The first game with the same playstyle took me about five hours (logged about 60 hours into it overall).

And I really like Teseo's stage- though yeah, the Orbital Elevator stage is the plainest of the bunch. In general, despite what you'd think Copen sucks at precision platforming- skytether band GV is still king.

It'll be interesting going back to the first game whenever they update the digital version (they've been saying "soon" pretty recently, so I'm hopeful).

As I noted in my review, it's almost hilarious how much more profanity the sequel has- not even the Japanese Voice Mode seems to have that much cursing.

Also, note on the endings:

The first time with both characters you'll get the bad ending. Redoing the last mission after that will send you to the true final fight. Do Copen's first, as it's much easier- and there's an exclusive artwork that only appears in GV's ending if you've gotten both true endings (meaning if you go GV->Copen you'll miss it entirely).

Now, to hope for a Tenjian and Zonda drama CD...

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I think the game could've longer and more satisfying if the stages weren't split among them. I mean, if they allow us to do that on Runner Mode, showing that level design limitation is not the reason for the stage locks, why not allow it right off the bat? It'd give more opportunity to read the midstage dialogues and know the characters better, all the while making our experience complete from a gameplay pov.

Lol, the orbital elevator stage exists to make Copen air dash through it and get to the boss (who I really like, for some reason. She reminds me of Jota). The others don't suffer from this (or I haven't tried to air dash through the stage again, otherwise it'd be boring).

About Zonda...

I thought it was kind of cheap to make a comic relief, unimportant character into a sudden Big Bad who's more than she seems. That's like making Scooby Loo the villain-- wait, they already did that.

I don't really like how Sumeragi is ditched to below the carpet while Zonda takes over. What was she doing on the first game, anyway? I'm ok with her being the Big Bad, but I'd like to see some stuff from Sumeragi's side as well. They must have other lieutenants/whatever like Nova and they should be posing a threat to Gunvolt from somewhere. The Eden group doesn't even seem like such a threat compared to Sumeragi on the first game.

That said, I actually like the story. They gave a reason for Copen to participate on a personal level and they gave Gunvolt a chance to save what was left of Joule while being aided by a nerfed Lumen. I just wish they'd show more about the world and the characters because they look interesting but the game doesn't expand much into them. I'd like to get back to some old Megaman Zero/ZX story and cutscenes, but I guess that's asking too much.

about the artwork, are you referring to

Gunvolt wearing casual clothes, hanging out with that girl, when Mytyl comes and asks if she knows him

or maybe the one that comes after, showing GV and Mytyl looking away from each other as if they had been in an argument, while each navigator accompanies GV/Mytyl respectively.

I did what you said and this is what I got.

By the way, I still like GV's character, but I can't dig into Copen. I can understand his reasons, but they're illogical and derpy most of the time. Like with his ending:

He figures out his sister is an Adept, and then pretends he never knew her. He leaves with Lola and goes on hunting other Adepts despite recognizing that his line of reasoning is faulty. It was an opportunity for some character development after GV was nice to let him leave and get his sis to the hospital, but it was wasted. He remains the same unreasonable, stubborn zealot through and through.

EDIT: Oh yeah, the anime! I hope they expand on the story elements/characters as I wished they would.

Edited by Rapier

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I think the game could've longer and more satisfying if the stages weren't split among them. I mean, if they allow us to do that on Runner Mode, showing that level design limitation is not the reason for the stage locks, why not allow it right off the bat? It'd give more opportunity to read the midstage dialogues and know the characters better, all the while making our experience complete from a gameplay pov.

Lol, the orbital elevator stage exists to make Copen air dash through it and get to the boss (who I really like, for some reason. She reminds me of Jota). The others don't suffer from this (or I haven't tried to air dash through the stage again, otherwise it'd be boring).

About Zonda...

I thought it was kind of cheap to make a comic relief, unimportant character into a sudden Big Bad who's more than she seems. That's like making Scooby Loo the villain-- wait, they already did that.

I don't really like how Sumeragi is ditched to below the carpet while Zonda takes over. What was she doing on the first game, anyway? I'm ok with her being the Big Bad, but I'd like to see some stuff from Sumeragi's side as well. They must have other lieutenants/whatever like Nova and they should be posing a threat to Gunvolt from somewhere. The Eden group doesn't even seem like such a threat compared to Sumeragi on the first game.

That said, I actually like the story. They gave a reason for Copen to participate on a personal level and they gave Gunvolt a chance to save what was left of Joule while being aided by a nerfed Lumen. I just wish they'd show more about the world and the characters because they look interesting but the game doesn't expand much into them. I'd like to get back to some old Megaman Zero/ZX story and cutscenes, but I guess that's asking too much.

about the artwork, are you referring to

Gunvolt wearing casual clothes, hanging out with that girl, when Mytyl comes and asks if she knows him

or maybe the one that comes after, showing GV and Mytyl looking away from each other as if they had been in an argument, while each navigator accompanies GV/Mytyl respectively.

I did what you said and this is what I got.

By the way, I still like GV's character, but I can't dig into Copen. I can understand his reasons, but they're illogical and derpy most of the time. Like with his ending:

He figures out his sister is an Adept, and then pretends he never knew her. He leaves with Lola and goes on hunting other Adepts despite recognizing that his line of reasoning is faulty. It was an opportunity for some character development after GV was nice to let him leave and get his sis to the hospital, but it was wasted. He remains the same unreasonable, stubborn zealot through and through.

EDIT: Oh yeah, the anime! I hope they expand on the story elements/characters as I wished they would.

The choice was probably to make each playthrough feel different- you're going through different stages with different characters, and not just the same stages with different characters.

I can appreciate that, though making them eachother's post-game bonus stages instead of bringing back the Gauntlets is something I have mixed feelings on.

Zonda

Well, pre-release material for the first game really hyped her up as being "as strong as GV and Nova"- she wasn't really meant to be a comic relief character as much as "we'll save them for later". It probably wasn't something random- the lead writer seems to have a gigantic universe bible with a bunch of details on every character (including Gino's Septima).

I think the biggest problem is that -to quote TVTropes- Eden is a Nebulous Evil Organization. They're just there somehow completely taking over other country's infrastructures for their own gain.

Sumeragi didn't have much, but it was established early on that (a) they started out as a power company that (b) branched out into other fields so that © when Adepts started suddenly appearing and wrecking stuff they were able to keep Japanese society afloat.

But yeah, I kinda wish Inti would try and make a RPG or something that allowed for a lot of characterization and worldbuilding. There's a lot of teases in here, but nothing solid.

For instance, in his rematch with GV Tenjian refers to Zonda as his sister, before saying that though they aren't blood relatives they may as well be. When GV kills Zonda, what does she say in her death throes? "Onii-sama... ." There's a lot that could be explored there.

In the same vein, they released a short story not too long ago that tells of GV and Quinn's first meeting. The biggest takeway? GV had dismissed Joule as a hallucination after the events of the first game.

No wonder she's so possessive of him. But that detail isn't revealed in-game.

Really, we'll just have to wait for artbook scans/drama CD fansubs. What I would give for a Gunvolt Complete Works about now... .

As for the artwork:

It's the one with Quinn and GV walking one way and Nori and Myttyl walking the other.

And Copen...

Yeah, he's a massive hypocrite. But I think that's what makes him more interesting- he hates all Adepts due to the damage they've wrought upon the world, and yet now his sister is revealed to be one.

There's a reason he flips his shit when he thinks Myttyl has died- she's the only family he has left.

I want to see him face himself, his hypocrisy, and realize things. He's jumped off the deep end- I want to see him climb back out.

Though much less likable, he's more interesting. Also, I guess I'm a bit more forgiving of him and his flawed reasoning because he's 14/15 and his family may as well not exist anymore- his dad's dead, his mom's stuck with her family wallowing in depression, and his sister may as well not be his sister anymore. All because of Adepts.

He just has so much potential that I want them to capitalize on.

Honestly, I don't really like GV's story all that much. I feel like getting rid of Joule one game after we just started to get to know her was way too soon. It feels like they're torturing him because they can- he's from an even more messed-up background than Copen, but he's pretty well-adjusted. He hasn't really changed or developed at all.

Honestly, there's enough stuff here for fan RPG- it really feels like they're limiting themselves on how much they can include because it's an action game primarily aimed at a 10-14 year old demographic (in Japan at least).

As fore the OVA... initially I wanted it to be purely backstory on GV, but when the first real trailer came out and I saw the animation my hopes plummeted.

However, with people pointing out a shot of young GV I'm somewhat hopeful that the OVA will flesh him out as a character.

Edited by The DanMan

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My opinion on Copen:



Copen actually has character development and it's pretty well written in my opinion. The thing about the ending is that despite discovering that the person he loves the most is an adept, he can't get rid of that hate. It seems unreasonable to most people, but it's actually quite understandable since all his life and efforts were focused on two things: taking care of his sister and having his revenge on adepts fow what they've done to him. A person going through such a big change won't modify instantly his behaviour, specially when he hated adepts so much and for such a long time. He did a reasonable thing, which was getting away of his sister since he thinks it's too late to change ideals and that if he follows that route he'll eventually have to eliminate her, something he isn't capable of doing despite his hate against adepts. You can see that Copen is actually gentle to the people that he appreciates, but just as his extremist religious beliefs prove, he's quite close minded. That's the huge difference between Gunvolt and him, and that's why he thinks he can't change. Accepting such thing would mean a whole turn to his life and excusing himself by saying that "it's too late" is actually easier than accepting the guilt. Notice that I'm not saying that he should follow that route, but it's good to see such a huge conflict in a character before doing the ideal thing.

Edited by roy130390

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My opinion on Copen:

Copen actually has character development and it's pretty well written in my opinion. The thing about the ending is that despite discovering that the person he loves the most is an adept, he can't get rid of that hate. It seems unreasonable to most people, but it's actually quite understandable since all his life and efforts were focused on two things: taking care of his sister and having his revenge on adepts fow what they've done to him. A person going through such a big change won't modify instantly his behaviour, specially when he hated adepts so much and for such a long time. He did a reasonable thing, which was getting away of his sister since he thinks it's too late to change ideals and that if he follows that route he'll eventually have to eliminate her, something he isn't capable of doing despite his hate against adepts. You can see that Copen is actually gentle to the people that he appreciates, but just as his extremist religious beliefs prove, he's quite close minded. That's the huge difference between Gunvolt and him, and that's why he thinks he can't change. Accepting such thing would mean a whole turn to his life and excusing himself by saying that "it's too late" is actually easier than accepting the guilt. Notice that I'm not saying that he should follow that route, but it's good to see such a huge conflict in a character before doing the ideal thing.

Exactly this, basically. I don't like him as a person, but he's interesting as a character and someone I want to see develop and come to terms with things. Not everyday you get to see an anti-villain protagonist.

Edited by The DanMan

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