A few years ago we saw the release of Mighty Gunvolt on the Nintendo 3DS, which was a spin-off to Azure Striker Gunvolt. Just last year we saw the release of the unfortunately bad Mighty No. 9. Now, Nintendo Switch owners have Mighty Gunvolt Burst, a sequel to Mighty Gunvolt, featuring two playable characters from Azure Striker Gunvolt and Mighty No. 9, those being Gunvolt and Beck respectively. It’s not as confusing as it sounds, honest.
Despite Mighty No. 9 receiving such a bad rep and being such a huge let-down upon release, Mighty Gunvolt Burst sees you jumping and shooting your way through eight main stages, all based on that very game, to a surprisingly good end result. Most of the levels are your standard Mega Man-type stages, which you would, of course, expect going into it. Some levels certainly aren’t as well designed as others though but, all in all, I can’t complain about the levels on show and there were none that I absolutely hated. They vary from one another too with really striking pixel art backgrounds and enemy/boss designs (even if the enemies repeat far too often).
The levels are fairly challenging for the most part too, with certain sections unquestionably tricky to navigate through unscathed. However, if you are a bit of a Mega Man veteran, then you should have no major problems in making your way through each level. You are given an infinite number of lives too and at first I couldn’t help but think that it was such a bad decision to do this, but then my mind became a little more acceptant of the feature because if you are somebody who hasn’t played many of these types of games and is really struggling, then at least once you get to a checkpoint, you know you are going to start at that point no matter how many times you die going forward.
Whereas the original Mighty Gunvolt was something you could quite easily breeze through in 30 minutes to an hour, Mighty Gunvolt Burst has a little more going for it in that respect. Sure, you can still get through the levels fairly quickly but there is more substance to them this time around.
Replaying levels is not something I tend to like, but here, the ability to earn upgrades and with secrets seemingly everywhere, it was actually something I quite enjoyed doing. By doing this you are also able to learn each levels patterns and which enemies will appear at certain times. Something that some people don’t care about sure, but if you are somebody that always like to best your previous times then you will have a ton of fun replaying levels. Overall, finishing the game took me around 2.5-3 hours to complete, but again, there are reasons to come back and play through it again, because along with other aspects, you do have two playable characters and you do unlock a harder difficulty once finishing the game once, so it certainly warrants at least two playthroughs.
Boss battles are a staple of Mega Man so of course, they pop up at the end of each level here too. Whereas Mighty No. 9’s bosses were sometimes a little broken and just not always fun to fight, here you have bosses that not just look cool, but are super fun to fight too. They can be tricky though and sometimes it’s a case of trial and error as you try to work out and understand their patterns and attacks whilst knowing yourself when to launch a big flurry of your own. They also all have weaknesses too so it’s always fun to try and work out who is weak to what, but also gratifying when you defeat a boss with something other than their weakness.
Mighty Gunvolt Burst has a customisation feature which is pretty ridiculous, in a good way. Basically, as you make your way through the game, you will earn various new features or additions to the customisation editor. So, for example, you can alter things on your weaponry like bullet trajectory, speed, size, and element, among other things. So you can have flaming, upward swerving, fast, large bullets, and its super fun trying out different things. These do cost CP, however, and at first, you only have a maximum of 1000 CP to work with, so you can’t start adding every single thing, you have to pick and choose what will work best for you. I never knew that having bullets that swerve up and down could be such a fun way of playing.
After the exceedingly sub-standard Mighty No. 9, you can understand feeling a bit uneasy playing a game using the same character in the same universe. But I have to say that I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed playing through Mighty Gunvolt Burst. It’s not the longest game in the world, sure, but it’s a fun one. The controls feel really tight, platforming, shooting, it feels good, it feels as if it was a Mega Man game, and that’s the biggest compliment I can give it. So if you’re a retro fan and are itching for a Mega Man-type experience to play before the actual Blue Bomber comes along himself then you can do mightily worse than Mighty Gunvolt Burst.