We probably should have seen this coming, really.
Last week brought word that Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 and its predecessor would both be released for the Nintendo 3DS at retail under the publishing arm of Yacht Club Games, who are best known for their own hit independent title, Shovel Knight. In fact, the eponymous Blue Burrower has proven to be rather cameo-friendly in other independent titles in recent years, so it really comes as little surprise that one such appearance would be in a title that they are in some way responsible for.
A new trailer reveals that if you have one of the coveted Shovel Knight amiibo figures, you will be able to use it with Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 to unlock a battle with the shovelrous hero:
As you can see, both Gunvolt and Copen can take on the Ace of Spades using their own unique skills. And this collaboration between Inti Creates and Yacht Club spared no expense in bringing him into the world of Gunvolt, as a whole new sprite set was created for the encounter by Masaya Suzuki, whose works include Breath of Fire and Zero's sprite from Mega Man Zero.
Unfortunately, this raises the question of overall accessibility. If you don't have a Shovel Knight amiibo already, they can be kind of difficult to come by. Hopefully Yacht Club Games will have another batch released before the game hits, though.