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[First Impression] Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX
The Gunvolt series has an amazing Pixel Art and gorgeous Character Desing!!
Luminous Avenger iX is side-scrolling action like MegaMan series. This entry is a side story of the Gunvolt series, is set in its own timeline, you play as Copen as he saves the Minos from the cruelty of the world's rulers. Below is my First Impression of the game, playing the Nintendo Switch version.
In the Luminous Avenger iX's timeline, the organization of Sumiragi controls the world. People who have Septima powers, "the adepts" rapidly became the majority. The Sumiragi group controls these adepts. People without Septima powers are called Minos. When they became the minority, the Sumeragi group started hunting them down for the sake of the new world.
Copen under the identity "Luminous Avenger" travels from one town to another and fights for the sake of Minos. At the start of the game, he saves a group of kids. Seeing them as the only survivors in their town, he decides to make their home his new base.
The gameplay of Azure Striker Gunvolt & Luminous Avenger iX has a unique charm to it. The side-scrolling action part has a lot of unique stuff that the game doesn't feel like a Megaman clone. Copen's ability relies more on Dashing than shooting, compared to Gunvolt's ability that needs to mark targets before electrifying them!
The kudos system in these games allows for multiple playstyles according to the goals of the player. There are three modes "Gutless," "Cautious" and "Fearless" that affect the way you earn points in the game. If you want a high rank you must avoid hits, but the story still progresses as long as you finish the levels regardless of the points you have. Because of that, it's easy to complete the main story of the game if you don't care about getting the best rank.
The Anthem mechanic saved me from losing a level many times, especially against bosses. It's helpful when beating the story is my only goal. Though, I don't know how Copen assistant the Combat Pod Lola got her Muse ability, which is supposed to be only for Lumen. I hope that gets explained later in the story.
Bosses are as fun! From a story perspective, each of them feels like they have their own story to tell and we only see a glimpse of it. From their pre-battle conversation alone, I could feel Rebellio's hidden frustration for being a prisoner and Stella's bond with her butler, who's too good to be a side character!!
...I didn't encounter many difficulties facing my first boss, "Rebellio." I did rage quit after losing against the second one *"Stella" *many times. Losses were mostly from my mistakes.
I'm more used to how to deal with Gunvolt series bosses after spending many hours trying to reach the true ending of Gunvolt years ago. Now I know what to do in a boss fight: I have to memorize the Boss' patterns, which requires intentionally playing for that rather than winning. So, my strategy is to observe each time the boss changes strategies, which also means dying at least two times. That's fun!
In this First Impression run, I didn't form an opinion on the story yet. Copen seems to be searching for something called "The Butterfly Effect" but I don't know what's supposed to be. From my understanding, this game is set in an alternate timeline from the main Gunvolt series, but I don't know if these timelines are connected in some way.
The English version doesn't have Dubbed voices, and that accompanied with localization decisions led to a result I'm mixed about... The Japanese voice acting is cool, though the character names are different between the voiced & translated dialogue. The main character is being called "Akira-kun" all the time, so it's jarring to see them call him "Copen," in the subtitles. Gunvolt series always had this quirk, but it only bothered me here.
Please, if you're localizing a game, don't make the localization liberties so obvious!
Gunvolt series is getting big. There are currently 3 titles and 2 more upcoming. The creators of this series are good at their craft. (Inti Create is also responsible for MegaMan Zero series.) At first, I wanted to finish this game by the time the sequel comes out, but I have other games in my backlog, so I'll see you in the next review.
First Image is taken from the Game's Nintendo Page. All other images are screenshots of the game taken by me. (Switch Lite's Share Button.)
This article is crossposted here on Read.cash & on Hive's PeakD. w/Different screenshots.
For more Gunvolt posts you can read my Hive article about the True Ending Boss of the first game.