Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

The Gunvolt game series is made by Inti Creates, who specializes in mostly 2-D action games.  In fact, they helped make some of Capcom’s Mega Man titles and spinoffs, including the Mega Man Zero series.  Gameplay-wise, the Gunvolt games play a lot like Mega Man X, just a bit more anime-ish.  And now the newest in the Gunvolt saga is out, and stars a side character named Copen and his adorable android helper Lola.  But it’s still the same kind of 2-D action that Gunvolt and Mega Man X fans love.  Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avengers iX is available to download on all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

If you’ve played a previous Gunvolt title or Mega Man X game, you’ll know what to expect here.  Copen can run, jump, dash, jump up sides of walls, and shoot out rapid fire bullets in a straight line.  But while Gunvolt has to shoot out a tracer bullet to be able to fire homing shots at enemies, Copen just has to dash into them and then he can fire homing bullets for a while.  After dashing into a baddie, he’ll also slowly descend, which can allow you to perform combos.  Copen must complete missions in the form of stages, and at the end of each one is a tough boss.  By beating these bosses, you’ll usually get a sub weapon assigned to the circle button, and some of these sub weapons are more effective against other bosses.  So it’s a bit like Mega Man in that regard, too.  Although while you can choose the order you play some missions, this game is a bit more linear.  Between stage missions you can talk to the other characters and buy upgrades with money collected from defeating bad guys in the stages.

The stages themselves are pretty easy as there were only a couple of tricky jumps that slowed me down a bit.  But it’s the bosses that are super hard.  Luckily if you are defeated, Lola can randomly transform into a cute anime girl and bring you back to life with a bit more power for a second chance at the boss.  And that was my saving grace most of the time.  Although at the end of the game, you have to fight all the bosses in a row, and that’s when the difficulty spikes way out of control.  But other than that, this is a fun 2-D action game for fans of Gunvolt and Mega Man X.

Kid Factor:

Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood, Fantasy Violence, Language, Suggestive Themes, and Use of Tobacco.  You do shoot all manner of 16-bit styled robots and enemies, but I didn’t really notice any blood at all.  There is some bad language in the text, and some of the anime female characters wear skimpy outfits.  But the best reason why this game is best enjoyed by older gamers is the high difficulty.

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