Ever since Mega Man Zero debuted, Inti Creates have proven themselves as masters of 2D action games. This Striker Pack includes both titles in the Azure Striker Gunvolt series so far and it makes for one incredible collection.
If you're unfamiliar with Azure Striker Gunvolt then allow me to explain what the series is all about. It serves up 2D action gameplay that's very similar to a Mega Man game. You play as GV who shoots enemies to tag them then unleashes a Flashfield in order to send electricity their way. This creates a distinct and ultimately satisfying gameplay dynamic that makes working through the lengthy stages filled with enemies and tricky platforming situations as well as fighting the epic bosses incredibly fun.
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 allows you to play as GV's nemesis Copen who controls very differently as he is much more agile and uses a mixture of various dashes and EX weapons in order to gain the upper-hand in combat. Simply put, Azure Striker Gunvolt offers unique and super-fun gameplay and Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 adds on to that formula by allowing you to play as an equally-capable yet very different character.
Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack not only contains both adventures, it also includes all of the DLC for both games. On top of this, there are additional stages, modes, and bosses as well as even more songs which is fantastic for people like me who already love Azure Striker Gunvolt's music. As a side note, I even bought the two Azure Striker Gunvolt soundtracks this morning after enjoying the music in this collection as much as I did. Anyway, the visuals are as appealing as fans have come to expect including gorgeously animated 2D sprites, detailed and distinct stage designs, and beautiful character artwork. Overall, these are superbly presented games.
Speaking of graphics, considering Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack is on Switch, you can finally play both games on the big screen which is just awesome. That being said, the in-game visuals can be very blurry and pixelated seeing as the two games originated on the low-resolution 3DS. Also, there is obviously no 3D support for the Switch version. On the plus side, the graphics for the story and dialogue sequences look super-sharp due to the fact that they're mostly composed of illustrations and text.
In addition to the extras and DLC, the Switch version of Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack features HD rumble compatibility which is handled very well. If you happen to own a Pro Controller (which I don't at this time) then you can use it, too. Of course, the Switch version only utilizes one screen as opposed to the dual screens on the 3DS. It does so by implementing a rather comprehensive single screen layout. However, I found the lack of touch screen capability to be somewhat perplexing. Whenever I played in off-screen mode, I kept trying to touch menu items then immediately felt silly for doing so. It's a minor annoyance but worth mentioning.
Finally, if you already own the Azure Striker Gunvolt games on 3DS then there aren't really that many incentives to purchase the Striker Pack on Switch. As I've mentioned, there are both improvements and drawbacks when you compare it to its 3DS counterpart so neither version clearly stands out as superior. All of that said, if you love 2D action games but haven't played Azure Striker Gunvolt yet then the Striker Pack is a perfect collection to purchase. The question is; do you prefer 3D or the ability to play on the big screen?
Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack is a wonderful collection of a couple of the best 2D action games ever made. If you're a fan of the genre and have yet to experience GV's adventures then this is definitely a must-buy compilation.
- + Two fantastic 2D action games in one collection with all of the DLC
- + You can now enjoy GV on the big screen
- + Plenty of added bells and whistles
- - May not be worth picking up if you already own the two included games
- - Visuals can be very blurry and pixelated