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July 5, 2017 / Jett

Mighty Gunvolt: Burst Review

Mighty Gunvolt: Burst is the amalgamation of two indie franchises that were heavily influenced by the Blue Bomber. Despite being conceived by Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune and backed by a multi-million dollar Kickstarter campaign, Mighty No. 9 will go down in history as one of the largest flops in gaming history. As for the Gunvolt half, Azure Striker: Gunvolt has been a more successful IP in terms of critical reception, though I’d never heard of the franchise until this mash-up.

Wouldn’t blame you for feeling skeptical about any game featuring the now-toxic Mighty No. 9 brand, even if it looks like the 8-bit platformer backers of the original Kickstarter wanted in the first place. While I can’t speak for the quality of that game, I can say that Mighty Gunvolt: Burst is actually a pretty decent game.

As you would expect, Mighty Gunvolt: Burst is an action platformer along the lines of Mega Man. Playing as either Beck or Gunvolt, you’ll blast your way through eight worlds, each featuring a boss at the end. Depending on who you play as, you’ll get a slightly different back stories and skill sets, but the gist of the game is the same.

Unlike the modern look of Mighty No. 9, this game goes all-in on its retro aesthetic. The game uses 2D sprites and chiptunes with decent results. Heck, it even presents the game in a 4:3 aspect ratio with borders. The game’s presentation is fine, but it didn’t really do anything in terms of music or looks to stand out.

What makes this game stand out from its source material is the gun customization system. Unlike Mega Man, where you gain a unique weapon for defeating a boss, you have the ability to customize a myriad of aspects about your weapons. Everything from projectile type, speed, direction, elemental damage and more can be adjusted. Over the course of the game, you’ll unlock a higher cap and additional variables to make the arsenal of your dreams.

It’s a great concept on paper. However, I played through much of the game feeling underwhelmed by it all. I had only unlocked a few power-ups and didn’t have fun with the few that I had. Turns out, I was doing it wrong. My rumble was off due to glitches in NBA Playgrounds, which caused dowsing to not work properly. Once I fixed that, I was able to find more power-ups that made the game much more enjoyable.

With a larger set of tools at my disposal, I was able to come up with some nifty weapons that shredded the competition. While this game isn’t nearly as binary in terms of which weapons do well against each boss, I did get some satisfaction from tuning my guns in ways that allowed me to optimize my damage or hit them at angles I normally wouldn’t be able to hit them in.

The game is a bit on the short side and definitely easier if you unlock the damage reduction options. However, its overall length is comparable to a standard Mega Man game and you could potentially extend your experience with it by playing as both characters or aiming to find all of its secrets. On top of that, the game is one of the cheapest on the eShop. If you’re in the market for a Mega Man fix and don’t want to play the dud that was Mighty No. 9, Mighty Gunvolt: Burst could fit the bill.

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