Love is in danger.
Inti Creates is being kind by giving Azure Striker Gunvolt early buyers a present wrapped in 8-bit platformer: Mighty Gunvolt. And since they have been helping Comcept to develop Mighty No.9 –another Mega Man spiritual successor– the backers also get this retro side-scrolling. It’s intriguing to understand their motive in creating such smaller game to sell later in December, so I participated to find out my own answer.
Mighty Gunvolt itself is basically an Azure Striker Gunvolt spin-off –in a parallel world – where Ekoro from Gal*Gun and Beck from Mighty No.9 slip in. Sumeragi Group once again searches for another “Muse” idol; even female schools are targeted. Together with Ekoro and Gunvolt, Gunvolt strikes back to claim the occupied city facilities.
Precisely, there are three characters we can use; all of them are depicted in chibi form. I don’t need to tell you about Gunvolt since you can read about him here, so let’s start with introducing Beck and Ekoro. As you might already know, Beck is Inafune’s newborn baby for his love to Mega Man. He gets his buster here, his signature charged-dash move –which reminds me to Blade Armor’s similar move from Mega Man X6– and the ability to crouch-dash. Beck’s charged-dash is imbued with invincibility, yet he will be bounced back if the enemy hasn’t been damaged enough to destroy in one go.
Ekoro is less famous since she was region-locked back then in a rail-shooter game called Gal*Gun, also developed by Inti Creates. You may see her as a cupid spreading love wih her love arrow-releasing gun. When her weapon of choice is charged, she will shoot a big, pink heart to charm enemies. Successful hit will turn the enemy as your guardian, with a halo added to the enemy’s head. It’s cute to see the enemy loiters around to back you up, though the charmed enemy is still vulnerable. Her another ability is to hover for a limited time – another Mega Man X series’ move.
Gunvolt gets his dart gun back here, a double jump –which most platformer fans love– and a simple, short voltic chain –not that screen-hitting onslaught– shoot from his gun you can direct in some degree.
There are five stages we can barge in, with Ekoro in slightly different pattern (since her first stage is School, unlike Gunvolt or Beck). Psychic bosses from Azure Striker Gunvolt will be awaiting you in the end of the stage, and even Copen makes a minor appearance. It is a bit hilarious to see sweets and fruits scattered throughout the stage, but you can collect them as a Kudos-like system to multiply your score (presented by a decimal number on the low-left corner). Dying or taking too long time in a stage will decrease or even reset the number to zero, so keep on your toes.
Maybe Inti Creates intend to make a light version dubbed from their recent self-published title, so they made the stages not really challenging. The problem here is that Kudos-like system doesn’t reward us with anything, so I don’t really care about it. Spikes don’t act as a permadeath, also you will get a long health bar. Psychic bosses’ pattern is pretty much the same, but with less bullets since our move is also simpler. If you’ve played Azure Striker Gunvolt, you will not have difficulties to defeat them, but might be a bit hard for a newcomer.
The music is fine after all. I like the Character/Stage Select Theme, but my ears couldn’t hear the truest retro feel composed for each stage. The how-to-play screen is helpful, but if you are into retro games, you might already know that trying moves for yourself is what makes retro game a retro game. But it doesn’t mean that Mighty Gunvolt lacks the retro element: the premise told only by three paragraphs gave me a good understanding about what the game is about. Yeah, I guess Mighty Gunvolt needs a bit more might.
PS: Inti Creates have been developing DLC for Mighty Gunvolt. Buying the game itself will cost $3.99, so if we have to purchase the DLC, let’s see whether the DLC is worth buying.