Every week on The Free Cheese Podcast, we begin with a segment called Now Playing where we talk about the games that we’ve been spending time with. In this article, we’re bringing a bit of that conversation to the written word because it isn’t dead yet.
We’ll share what we’ve been playing and we encourage you to ask questions or share your own thoughts on what you’ve been playing in the comments.
I fired it up and made the rounds of what I’d already installed on the machine, but quickly found myself browsing the eShop looking for something new. I ended up with Mighty Gunvolt Burst on my Switch and so far, I’ve played a few levels of the followup to Mighty Gunvolt from 2014.
I’ve enjoyed my time with all that Inti Creates has developed under the Gunvolt moniker, and I’m surprised that Mighty No. 9 didn’t pan out the way we had all expected. The 3DS games have been nothing but spectacular platformers that really embody the essence of the best sidescrolling shooters, and thankfully Mighty Gunvolt Burst matches those very well.
It has the expected level selection that we’ve come to recognize in these types of games, with a central theme that leads you to an equally themed boss fight at the end of the stage. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock new ways to customize your weapons. After just a few completed levels, I’ve been able to completely change how I enter combat and what types of attacks my version of Gunvolt has at his disposal. It really becomes part of this game’s identity, along with the great sprite work and catchy music.
It’s not me technically playing a game, but I’ve watched a lot of the regional qualifiers for The International, which is the big yearly tournament for DOTA 2. It’s bizarre to think this time last year I tried to watch the tournament and couldn’t understand a thing that was going on. Fast forward a year, and now I’m watching being able to understand most of what is going on. There are still a large number of heroes I’m not familiar with so I don’t understand everything. However, the ones I have played as, I really enjoy being able to see how they are used at a professional level. It’s also nice to know what’s going on when the shoutcaster on stream just starts yelling about an epic play. None of that tops the time at the beach though, so let me get back to that.
The game plays similar to older side scrolling exploration games. Think Metroid or Zelda II. It even has this retro aesthetic to it without it coming off as something forced. With options that let you choose the color palette (I went with true NES colors), what kind of tv you’re playing on, and the frame movement, you can make the game look and feel more like an old DOS game or something a little less older like an NES game. There is lore to this game and it’s handled well. It’s the not the first to scatter pieces of the story through books and notes you find throughout the game, but the way it’s presented and how it’s written actually has me interested in reading them. So far, it’s been multiple diaries by past tenants who’ve lived in the castle in order to make it what it is how. Other notes you’ll find are manuals about traps. They’re written like self-help books. Why would these be here? It’s great.
The gameplay is simple but unique enough to keep you on your feet. Some minor enemies you’ll just take turns attacking no problem. More unique enemies bring you into duels. Almost played out like a WarioWare mini game, you’ll do various forms of inputting attacks like timing when to strike, mashing the d-pad to escape an enemy’s grasp, or timing consecutive meters to do an efficient amount of damage.
Everything about this game is uniquely simple enough to keep me playing. So far, it’s a doing a pretty okay job balancing the core/casual seesaw and I’ll be perfectly fine it if decides to lean more on either side. At the time of this post, the game is on sale for about $5 on Steam. I implore to check it out. Trade Marc’d.