Earlier in the week, Famitsu revealed the existence of Mighty Gunvolt Burst to the world, with more info to come at BitSummit. But what more would we come to find out from the event? A price and release date, perhaps? Some clearer screens, for sure?
Oh, there is indeed that, and so much more -- enough that I felt it best to break it off into its own post from the Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack for Nintendo Switch announcement!
As many of you know, Inti Creates was the developer who worked closely with Keiji Inafune's company Comcept to create Mighty No. 9, and while the results unfortunately didn't set the world on fire, a lot of people still came away burned nonetheless.
To me personally, that makes this particular portion of the Mighty Gunvolt Burst press release so very interesting:
HOW MIGHTY GUNVOLT BURST CAME TO BE
We really enjoyed creating the original Mighty Gunvolt back in 2014, and with our duties with the Mighty No. 9 project being long over at this point, we began to miss working with these characters that we love, and wanted to share Beck and his mighty siblings with the world once again. Comcept gave us the OK to use the rights to these characters however we see fit (and free of charge too), and from there, we set out to bring them back to the stage in the best way we know how: 100% pure Inti Creates 2D side-scrolling action with excellent pixel art!
There's a lot one can take from this statement, but that's not what I'm here for today (that's what you're here for, in the comments). Right now, I'm just going to focus on relaying the rest of the information provided therein, starting with this trailer:
The overview of the game reveals that the worlds of Mighty No. 9 and Azure Striker Gunvolt are brought together in "a strange new virtual world." Looks like Gal*Gun's Ekoro may be sitting this one out after all.
As we speculated about whether this game was emulating 8-bit or 16-bit styled graphics in the comments of the last story, it turns out that they're actually meant to be somewhere in-between, "blurring the line" between the two as they take you back to "the golden age of 2D action games."
Mighty Gunvolt Burst boasts a revamped game system with lots of new additions, such as room for character customization "that lets you mold and shape your character into the ultimate hero that works best for you!"
You'll make your way through a variety of stages which contain their own "unique traps and perils" to take down the bosses awaiting within. Upon doing so, you can choose a reward when you return to the Stage Select screen; however, you're only able to choose one reward, so getting them all requires multiple playthroughs of the stages.
In a new twist for games of this type, especially from Inti Creates, there are no Game Overs. Instead, dying will see players return to the last checkpoint they reached, "giving players of all skill levels a chance to give it their all and complete the game."
The first new gameplay system incorporated into Mighty Gunvolt Burst is the eponymous Burst Combo. The way to activate this is by finishing enemies off up-close and personal, causing them to explode in a way that's more glorious than usual, earning you extra points in the process (though your score will go up even without landing a Burst).
Chain together multiple Bursts to form a Burst Combo, sending your score even higher. This applies to bosses as well, though you only need to worry about landing the final blow up-close for it to count. Upon beating the stage, a detailed breakdown of your score will tell you how well you did.
The second new gameplay system is the aforementioned Customization System, in which you collect various modules to add to your customization loadout. Your ability to utilize them, however, relies on how many Cost Points (or CP for short) you have, but as long as your chosen loadout doesn't exceed the number of Cost Points you have, you can make any setup you wish and change it at any time.
The early options (seen above) are described as "fairly orthodox," but with new modules, you can use piercing bullets (a la Mega Man Classic), homing shots, and more. You can even test them out on the Customization screen before putting them into practice in real combat.
The Character Growth system is related to the Customization System, as by clearing stages and collecting certain drops from enemies, you can gain more Cost Points, thus enabling you to further power up your character.
In addition to customizing your shot, you can also use Cost Points to increase your attack or defense, or enable other types of shot effects, such as diagonal shots and charge shots ("Not a charge shot!").
You can also earn a higher score when clearing a stage by taking on a handicap, which you do by taking on options which inflict negative status effects in exchange for lower CP consumption.
Another new addition comes in the form of "Pixel Stickers." These icons feature 8-bit styled renditions of characters from both Mighty No. 9 and Azure Striker Gunvolt, and can be collected by traversing stages, collecting them as rare drops from enemies, and "many other ways, too."
Plus, if you're sharing the game with someone else, the Pixel Stickers you collect from any save file will count towards the accumulative total across all files.
In addition to viewing them on the Collection screen, you can also use them as icons for your Custom Shots, too.
Exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version of the game is an ability called dowsing. The game contains many walls and terrain which look normal, but break open when shot. By spending CP to use the Dowsing item, the Switch's HD Rumble will go off when you're in proximity to a suspicious area.
The Dowsing Module can be found in the opening area, and apparently goes a long way towards hunting down the game's many hidden items.
By this point, you're probably wondering what the in-game story behind bringing Beck and Gunvolt together is, and this is where it gets interesting. From the press release:
Beck has successfully returned his 8 robot siblings who were rampaging all throughout the nation back to normal. Hoping to be better prepared for such situations in the future, Dr. White expedited the completion of an advanced weapon system that he had been researching for a while. Beck was training while deep inside a virtual world made my Dr. White, but when he completed his session, he wasn’t able to leave. That is when he meant a young man named Gunvolt, who by his own power, trapped Beck inside this virtual space. Will Beck be able escape this virtual world and reveal Gunvolt’s intentions.
A character profile is also provided:
Beck is a robot created by Dr. White who has the ability to think and feel. His ability to absorb Xel from robots and learn their abilities has been disabled during his training session, so he no longer has access to those abilities while stuck in this virtual world.
His only weapon is a new armament entrusted to him by Dr. White.
Then we have Gunvolt's story:
While on a mission to try to get back Joule’s powers, Gunvolt was swallowed up by a mysterious light. Next thing they knew, they were in an unknown new world where they had a chance meeting with a robot boy named Beck. It was at that point Beck forcibly entered Gunvolt into a competition called the Super Mighty Battle Showdown. Will Gunvolt and Joule be able to escape this world and discover the source of the mysterious light that brought them here?
And his profile:
He is an Adept, a person who possesses supernatural septimal powers, who can control lightning. The soul of a girl named Joule, AKA “The Muse”, resides within him. Ever since he was brought to this strange new world, his septimal powers have been severely weakened., although his gun and his Astrasphere skill seem to be in order.
When Gunvolt is in grave danger, Joule will appear to bestow her protective powers on him.
It sounds like someone may be playing our two heroes against one-another. Meanwhile, though Gunvolt's powers have been toned down, it sounds as though Beck has lost his signature abilities altogether for this adventure, making him closer to the Mega Man 2.0 that some people wanted all along.
We won't have to wait long to see how it all comes together for ourselves, though. Mighty Gunvolt Burst will be released on the Nintendo Switch by way of the Nintendo eShop on June 15th, 2017. The Nintendo 3DS eShop release won't be too long after, hopefully; I've seen dates saying June 15th, June 29th, and July 12th. I'll update with the truth as soon as I can.
Both versions of the game will cost $9.99 USD/€9.99/£8.99.