What makes a good sequel? It’s a question that there isn’t really a conclusive answer for, because there are so many different ways you can approach it.
In the world of video games, we’ve had titles that completely reinvent themselves from their previous installments, games that simply offer more of the same, and series that evolve, change and improve over time.
The sequel to Azure Striker Gunvolt takes a combination of approaches, building on the good work of the original and expanding it considerably. And, like its predecessor, it’s a cracking good time, particularly for those who grew up in the 16-bit era.
Continue reading Azure Striker Gunvolt 2: Amping It Up
When I asked Inti Creates producer and localisation specialist Matt Papa who his favourite Inti waifu was, he was initially hesitant to answer, saying it was a “REALLY hard question”.
I can understand that response; over the course of the Cover Game features and our previous exploration of Gal*Gun Double Peace, it’s become abundantly clear that not only is Inti Creates a company good at producing high-quality games inspired by classics of the past, it also has plenty of people on staff with a formidable talent for creating waifus.
“I’m gonna have to say Joule/Lumen from the Azure Striker Gunvolt series,” Papa finally decided. “Because she is just the cutest, sweetest character, she was a big part of the first game I ever worked on, her voice actress Megu Sakuragawa is an absolutely delightful person, and the list goes on.”
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Joule and Lumen, The Muse
As we’ve already seen, one of Inti Creates’ biggest strengths as a developer is its ability to understand what made the games of the past great while simultaneously updating them with modern conveniences and conventions.
Azure Striker Gunvolt, a relatively new series from the company but one which has already gone on to be popular and well-received, is a great example of this philosophy at work. Adopting a pleasingly chunky but detailed late 16-bit pixel art look and combining it with delicious 2D art, excellent storytelling and a well-crafted world, the game provides a wonderful experience, whether you enjoy it on its original host platform of the 3DS, its port to PC or its most recent incarnation on Nintendo Switch as part of the Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack alongside its sequel.
Let’s take a closer look at where this game from and what makes it tick… or rather buzz, perhaps.
Continue reading Azure Striker Gunvolt: An Electrifying Action Platformer
I have a bit of a thing for robot girls, I won’t lie.
It’s perhaps more accurate to say that I have a bit of a thing for certain types of robot girls, particularly those as depicted in Japanese video games and anime. I am, to be specific, a fan of robot girls who speak Japanese in a voice that simultaneously sounds kind of emotionless but also infused with urgency; a fan of robot girls who deliver their lines with a delightfully percussive, clipped tone; and, of course, robot girls who are cute.
I most certainly, in short, have a bit of a thing for Call from Mighty No. 9.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Call
Mighty No. 9 is an interesting tale from 21st century gaming that has doubtless been very influential… though perhaps not in the way that was originally hoped for.
One of the earliest success stories of the crowdfunding boom in the early 2010s, the Kickstarter campaign for Mighty No. 9 promised something a lot of people were hungry for: a new Mega Man game in all but name. And oh boy, people were hungry for it; the campaign smashed through its initial $900,000 goal within days of its announcement, and the final total raised through crowdfunding cleared $4 million.
It was a game that should have gone down in gaming history. Instead, its lasting legacy was as an example of how not to manage a crowdfunding campaign, and a final product that had a somewhat mixed reception. But was it actually that bad?
Continue reading Mighty No. 9: “Better than Nothing” – The Game People Love to Hate
Blaster Master Zero for Nintendo Switch and 3DS is an interesting game in more ways than one.
Not only is it a loving remake of a very fondly regarded title from back in the NES era, it also incorporates elements of the Famicom game that was heavily reimagined to become Blaster Master. On top of that, it even acknowledges elements of the Worlds of Power novelisation of Blaster Master — which, in itself was something of an interesting curiosity in that it was later retconned into being “canonical” so far as the rest of the series is concerned.
None of this is required to appreciate the fact that Blaster Master Zero is a great game, mind you, but delve a little deeper into the lore and you find out all sorts of fascinating things.
Continue reading Blaster Master Zero: Retro, Reimagined
As gaming has evolved, the medium of “video games” has broadened considerably. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that a wide variety of disparate markets have started to overlap and mingle.
One of the most interesting things about gaming today is the wide variety of experiences we can enjoy from creators all over the world. Here in the West, for example, we can enjoy more quality games that hail from Asia than ever before thanks to the sterling efforts of localisation companies — despite the occasional controversy, of course!
But then there’s the odd company out there who does things a little differently; the odd company that “thinks global” right from the beginning rather than making sharply delineated distinctions between “East” and “West”. And one of those companies is Inti Creates.
Continue reading Inti Creates: On Being a Truly International Game Developer