Mighty Gunvolt Burst Review
A Burst of Nostalgia
Mighty Gunvolt Burst is the follow-up sequel to Mighty Gunvolt which was released on the Nintendo 3DS back in 2014. The original game initially came as a free bonus download for purchasing Azure Striker Gunvolt on the 3DS. The first game was as mini as it was mighty, as it only contained five levels and could be beaten in 30-45 minutes in an initial playthrough. Burst really expands on the Mighty Gunvolt series with a lot of new features.
Burst most notably stands out for its weapon and ability customization feature and the fact that you can play as either Beck from the Mighty Number 9 series or Gunvolt from the Azure Striker Gunvolt games. Beck plays a lot more like the typical Mega Man character. While the player is given different looking shots (Fire, Laser, Ice, etc.) in their customization menu from the get go, the player will only earn the enemies weapon ability once they've defeated each specific boss. By contrast, Gunvolt has the same Dart weapon from the start but will be able to customize it and enhance the weapon throughout his journey. Gunvolt will also learn four unique super attacks that are earned as the player progresses through the campaign.
The Customization menu varies greatly. Players will earn CP (customization points) as they play through the levels. There are hidden items that boost the player's CP in each stage and the player can get an extra 300 CP for defeating each boss. Some of the things you can customize in the game are: weapon type, elemental impact, the number of bullets, method of fire, trajectory, bullet size, attack power, etc. This really can make a difference in how you play through each level or boss fight. Early on, I struggled with one boss that was hard to reach with normal fire so I customized my weapon so that my bullets would float up towards the ceiling. By making this adjustment, I was able to defeat the boss much easier than before. It's this type of customization that really allows the player to figure out their own strategies.
Another new addition to the series is the Burst combo ability, which is where the game gets its namesake. The player is rewarded with a Burst point for every enemy that they defeat within close range. If the player manages to get several consecutive Burst combo points in a row it will really boost their final score at the end of every level. The player receives a scorecard at the end of each stage with a Ranking (S through D). This really encourages those that are speed runners or players that love to try and get the highest score. Unfortunately, there are no online leaderboards, so it's mainly just competing with oneself for the best score.
The stages and chip tune style music are well done in this game. Most stages felt unique from one another. Players will climb ladders up and down stages just like classic Mega Man games. Some levels had a few cheap death points, but mostly those just happen when trying to run through the level without patience. Each stage has multiple hidden walls that can be destroyed that will either lead to secret collectible items or different paths that the player may take to complete the level. There is an extremely useful ability called "Dowsing" that'll make good use of the Joy-Cons HD Rumble ability to alert the player of any secret breakable walls.
For those that played through Mighty No. 9, the bosses in this game will look familiar. All eight Mighty No. robots are back. The plot involves Beck and Gunvolt trapped in a VR training simulator where they must take on the other Mighty Numbers to escape. The same elemental weaknesses that worked in Mighty No. 9 will work in Mighty Gunvolt Burst. The bosses patterns are fun and challenging, especially while playing as Beck. Gunvolt has a damage reduction ability you can unlock very early on in the game which makes the game far too easy in my opinion. The bosses will also change their pattern and add new attacks once they've lost about 50% of their health.
Overall, the game took me about 3 hours and 45 minutes to beat as Beck and that included playing through every stage twice in order to get the 300 CP bonus and again to get the weapon element from each boss. Because of Gunvolt's damage reduction ability, it only took me about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete his playthrough. I got over 70% of items and collectibles in both playthroughs.
Inti Creates does a great job of capturing a classic Mega Man type feel with Mighty Gunvolt Burst but puts a different enough spin on it to make it fresh and unique in its own way. The ability to customize each weapon with unique variables like bullet-reflection, spread shot, or double damage adds an extra facet to the game's strategy. And having multiple characters to choose from makes each playthrough unique.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 just came out for PS4, Xbox One, and PC but is noticeably absent from the Nintendo Switch and 3DS. All those fans that feel left out, should definitely pick up Mighty Gunvolt Burst. At only $10 the game is well worth your time and money. The game is a lot of fun and brought me back to the 80's and 90's where I grew up playing Mega Man games. The best compliment I can give the game is it feels like a true successor to Mega Man.