Copen has a similar ability to Mega Man. After defeating a boss, you gain the power that can then be used whenever you want. Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX is a 2D side-scrolling action platformer. It looks fairly retro and the artwork is nicely done. There is a whole bunch of content to unlock and several missions. You have a gun but you’ll be dashing into enemies a lot doing massive damage with your abilities. The missions are pretty easy; the bosses are where the real challenge lies. You have an ultimate ability that destroys anything in your path. Will it live up to Mega Man or just be a failed attempt to mimic the genre?
Here’s what I liked:
Mega Man Clone — Love playing games like Mega Man? You’ll probably enjoy this quite a bit. It has a similar setup. You beat bosses and gain their powers. Other bosses are weak to certain abilities that you obtain. What’s really cool is how you can switch them on the fly. There are colored orbs that circle you which indicate which power you’re on. If you’re not good at switching on the fly, you can simply pause and pick which you want. My absolute favorite is called Orbital Edge. You use saw blades that circle around you to decimate enemies.
What to Do — There’s an absolute ton of content within Gunvolt. Besides the main campaign, you can buy abilities, level up, and there are lots of extra modes including boss rush. There are secret emblems you can collect that help your kudos score as well as unlock songs to play during missions. You can spend countless hours playing. I was able to obtain all achievements in around 11 hours. I didn’t find even half of the emblems and never got a higher score than a B ranking. I also didn’t use the customize menu to make the game harder. I felt content with what I played.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Zig-Zag — A lot of the combat revolves around dashing. Your attacks lock onto the target once you’ve dashed into them. The main issue I had was not being able to go upwards or down. It’s always in a diagonal motion. There are too many times I couldn’t avoid attacks because of not being able to dash upwards or downwards. This holds especially true when facing certain bosses. Having to zigzag up into the air and try floating can be a major headache. It takes a lot of movement freedom away from you.
Humble Beginnings — It takes a while to get into the game. You have a few stages to choose from, but it seems like you have to level up a bit before you can beat the second one. The boss battle can be pretty hard, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. There isn’t much explanation of how the abilities work. In fact, for a while, I was only shooting the gun. I didn’t know you had to dash into enemies and hold the trigger. Don’t even get me started on the kudos system. It resets to zero every time you get it. I had no clue how it worked at first and, in the end, it never really mattered. This could just be me, but I didn’t feel I had any direction given to me. I did enjoy it later on although it was a few hours before I really got the hang of it.
What’s Going On — The story can be a bit confusing. This isn’t the first installment of the franchise so it can be a bit overwhelming. When you’re at the base area, you can talk. It’s literally the option. You talk and it’s a very short conversation that doesn’t seem to add much to the story. Afterward, it says Copen feels a warm feeling inside. What does this even mean? The only thing talking seems to do is give a boost to the chance of reviving after death. It’s just really strange and very offbeat. The designs of the characters are cool but their personalities really lack anything special.
At the beginning, you’ll feel the sluggish drag of figuring things out and believing there are just four short missions. After competing them, suddenly the game opens up. It’s like picking though a junk drawer and finding out there’s a secret compartment inside. The way you can melt bosses with the ability they’re weak to is awesome. I love feeling over-powered. The story isn’t anything too great, with underwhelming character development and a boring plot. Not being able to control up and down for dashing feels like it’s an attempt to make the game more difficult. Overall, I enjoyed what I played but there were a few letdowns.
Score: Reader’s Choice
Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX was published by and developed by INTI CREATES on Xbox One. It was released on January 2, 2020, for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.