[Interview] Inti Creates on Azure Striker Gunvolt - scrapped ideas, amiibo interest, may revisit Mighty Gunvolt - Nintendo Everything

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[Interview] Inti Creates on Azure Striker Gunvolt – scrapped ideas, amiibo interest, may revisit Mighty Gunvolt

Posted on October 30, 2016 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, Interviews

Nintendo Everything recently caught up with Inti Creates for a chat about the Azure Striker Gunvolt franchise. We sent some questions to director Yoshihisa Tsuda and producer Takuya Aizu.

During our discussion, we talked about Azure Striker Gunvolt’s origins, scrapped ideas from the sequel, and the series’ we future. We even snuck in some questions about a potential amiibo and the anime OVA.

Continue on below for our full interview with Tsuda and Aizu.

Going back to the origins of Azure Striker Gunvolt, where did the concept come from? What were you hoping to achieve with that game?

Tsuda: Gunvolt was our contribution to the effort of reviving the 2D action game genre. We’ve had a lot of ideas for action games that built up over the years, so you could say that Gunvolt is a combination of those ideas. I played a lot of games in the past, and when playing these games I would always think “how would I take this one step further to make this even cooler?”. A bunch of those ideas went into the Gunvolt games. So, rather than creating a completely original type of game, you could say that I wanted to take the evolution of action games to the next level.

As for the concept of Gunvolt, on one front, I wanted it to be a side-view style action game that reflects the kind of fun that could be had from those types of games from the 1980s that sent a message to the gamers of today, particularly elementary-school aged kids, based on the worldview that we created for the game. (Although, it seems that our original targeted audience didn’t seem to be fans of the game, hehe…)

The Japanese Voice Mode will be included in the Striker Pack, but do you have an update regarding its availability for the standalone eShop release of Azure Striker Gunvolt (note: this is now available)? It was initially announced last year, so have you been encountering any specific difficulties with bringing the patch out to players?

Tsuda: The Japanese Voice Mode update for the digital version of Azure Striker Gunvolt on the eShop should be arriving shortly.

At first, we thought that most players from outside of Japan wouldn’t be interested in such a feature, but after receiving countless emails and tweets from people who expressed a strong desire for this, here we are. Due to many factors like the simple fact that the Gunvolt development team is rather small, the update is coming later than we would like. We apologize for making you all wait.

At what point did development begin on Azure Striker Gunvolt 2? Were you waiting to see what the reception would be like for the first game, or did you know right away that a sequel would be happening?

Tsuda: I’m happy to say that because of the positive results we achieved with Gunvolt 1 we decided to make Gunvolt 2. There’s nothing that spreads good will and powers up the development team quite like getting positive messages on our Twitter, blog, etc. Seeing messages like “Gunvolt is so much fun!” or “Gunvolt is so awesome!” truly makes our day, and we want to sincerely thank our fans for that.

However, while the the book is still not quite closed on Gunvolt 2, we really gave it our all when we developed Gunvolt 1 and used up all the ideas we had for the game at the time, so at the time when we finished the development for Gunvolt 1 we had no idea what we would do next.

If by chance Gunvolt 1 was a failure, at the very least I would have retired from game development. So with that being said, there is always a possibility that Gunvolt 2 could be the last one.

With Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, what led to the addition of Copen as a playable character?

Tsuda: Since gamers got the full experience playing as Gunvolt himself in the first game, we needed something new in Gunvolt 2 that would be able to catch people’s attention.

For Copen, as players got to see in Gunvolt 1, he was an enemy character that could copy the abilities of other characters, so at the very least, we knew we would be able to create playability that was very similar to another certain action game character. Another reason for his inclusion as a playable character was because Toshiaki Tai, our scenario writer, was a big fan of him, so we knew that if we made a story that features Copen, he would be in good hands.

Was there anything in particular you were looking to address from the first game? What would you say are the biggest additions/changes aside from Copen?

Tsuda: The addition of Copen (and Lola) is obviously the biggest change we made, but allow me to talk about some of the other changes we made too.

Despite the fact that we created a lot of vocal tracks for Lumen (The Muse), according to the way the game was designed, since you had to do pretty well in the first game to hear her songs, many players lamented that it was too hard for them to hear Lumen’s songs. We listened to that, and because of that feedback we created the system that allows players to choose one of three types of ways of accumulating Kudos. Whether you’re a casual a player, a hardcore one, or somewhere in between, being able to choose how you accumulate Kudos anytime you want is a pretty big change. We created a lot of new vocal tracks for Gunvolt 2 as well, and we think you’ll be able to enjoy them all this time around.

Just like with the original, Keiji Inafune acted as executive producer and action supervisor on Gunvolt 2. What was it like working with him during development? How much was he involved?

Tsuda: For Gunvolt 1, Mr. Inafune did not have a very deep involvement in the development of the game itself.

However, we did listen closely to the advice he gave us for Gunvolt 1. Furthermore, when I was at Capcom I worked with him on Mega Man X2 and Mega Man 7, and then of course once we founded Inti Creates we worked on the Mega Man Zero series and Mega Man 9 & 10, so the bountiful experiences I got from working on those games with him definitely have an influence on Gunvolt 2, that much is certain.

He checked over the ROM numerous times during development and never once came back with any big strikes against the game. It was hard to tell if he just thought the game was OK or if he was genuinely impressed, hehe.

Head on to page two for Azure Striker Gunvolt 2’s scrapped ideas, amiibo talk, the series’ future, and more.

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  • Alex Pop Tula

    I would love an amiibo of Gunvolt tbh

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  • JasonBall

    Hey, nice job securing the interview with one of the more known indie studios. I still hope to see any kind of Nintendo person interviewed someday.

    Love that Kirby reference.

    I was bored one day and played the demo, I was definitely mildly impressed. I’m glad people are enjoying the content, these guys working on it deserve it.

    • Velen (Not WoW)

      Kirby reference? You’re kidding right?

      They were referring to Mega Man.

      • JasonBall

        Oh yeah hehe

  • Reiianuo

    I really enjoyed both Gunvolt 1 & 2, they’re fun, striking a very good balance between the style of Mega Man Zero, and also being an original entity all on its own.

    Having said all that, it’s strange that I want to say that my experience with both games have also been very forgettable, and I don’t really know why I feel that way, or what I personally think could be done to change that. They’re fun, mechanically sound games that just never blew me away.

    I’d still buy a Gunvolt 3. I’d still buy a Gunvolt amiibo. They’re good games, I think they just come up short of great.

  • NintendoPSXTheSecond

    Shame there were no questions asked about the exact Shovel Knight talks.

    • Brian

      Come back tomorrow!

  • Lord Drieg

    I love that Mr. Tsuda made mention of the new Kamen Rider. With video games as its core theme, it’s a surprise more devs don’t speak about how inspiring or motivating the show can be.

    But, back to the topic, I quite enjoy the Gunvolt games. The second entry is way more inviting for first-timers and casual players than the first and I feel is a good launching point for those curious about the games. (Though if they could patch that difficulty modifier into the first game, that’d be stellar.) I’d be intrigued to see where GV and Copen would go as the endings, while kinda open-ended, feel conclusive enough to leave alone. I definitely enjoyed the little touches added to the game like the mid-stage dialogue and Japanese voice work (which is perfect listening practice for my Japanese class).

    My only gripe might have to be the Synth system. Now, synthesizing new gear to accomodate challenge or playstyle is fine but locking the materials needed behind a gamble sucks. That’s usually my dropping point, when I have to grind to get the goodies I want. It’s what made it so hard for me to love the Monster Hunter series.

    In conclusion, a great interview about a fun game series that isn’t perfect (nothing really is, y’know) but still definitely worth playing!

  • Roto Prime

    Yo get Toru Nakayama to do art for Azure Striker 3!!! Please inti creates <3

  • Addy

    I want to ask these questions:

    “Why did you let 8-4 rip apart the english localization?”

    “Why does the Steam port look like a slapdashed 3DS emulator & rom?”

    “Why did it take a year-and-a-half to re-insert the added dialogue, whereas the Steam version was available from the get go?”

    “Why can I not like this game?”

    • Bap

      Answer: Who cares.

      • Addy

        I do.

  • HeatPhoenix

    Would like to see more Mighty Gunvolt, a slightly more fleshed out game would be cool.

  • Christian Sosa

    I really like Gunvolt, because for me it’s a revisit of the MegaMan series I always enjoyed so much.
    You can feel how much effort they are putting into this game: graphics, music, level design, even a singer… This game its made with love.

    I also love the idea of not letting the traditional 2D plataform action die. Maybe kids this days won’t play it, but some old nostalgic guys like me sure do!

    Gunvolt is not a truly legendary or truly memorable game right now (like, for example, Megaman Zero was). But it has the potential. It’s great, and in the future, I want to be part of the people who could say: “I was part of this”

    Go for it, Inti Creates! I believe in you

  • Rodrigo Rocha

    I will pay for a Gunbolt amiibo, but i would prefer that comes out separately from a bundle pack. I would love to see a GV amiibo, and a Joule/Lumen amiibo as well.
    Talking about both games, i love them. the plot is fantastic on both, even that they play with your feelings on every ending. The conversations in the middle of the stages give the game more life, rather that just play any stage without see in the mind of the character, and wait for the boss battle and after-mission dialogue. I still see potential for a thirth game, for a couple of details left in the plot. Maybe with the formula of having 2 playable characters, or just focus only in GV.
    (just fix the “special mission 5” glitch of the eshop version of GV1 that shows up in the last patch 1.3, plz)
    i was kinda expecting more with the Shovel Knight battle, like more movements from him at the last 1/3 part of health, an EX skill, or something, but i enjoyed that battle.
    I can wait for a Mighty Gunbolt 2 too. And for that game i would like to see more variety on the playability of the characters (probably with more that GV, Beck and Ekoro, a new character, but i don’t know…), like having a pause menu with collectables and stuff. Fell the game more complete that just play a stage to the end, fight a boss and move on on to the next one.a more complete story, and so on. the first game was very cool, I am expecting more things on the second one.
    Thanks for creating an awesome videogame series. Keep it up!

  • Radish

    Azure Striker Gunvolt is a series of games I’ve been wanting to play because it seems so cool and reminds me of great games; but I can’t because I don’t have a 3DS. This is the sort of scenario where I hope the Nintendo Switch can shine. I would finally be able to play both handheld games and console games on the same machine.

    Please bring these games to Switch! 😀

  • Rob

    Bring back Morpho/Lumen.

  • Lk Kolz

    They didn’t think people would want the Japanese audio pack? What?!? lol.. Guess they never seen how people prefer Japanese voiced anime over those god awful dubbed version 90% of the time compare to the illiterate ones out there that have a hard time reading a single sentence.. I would definitely love more of this game easily. DLC, sequels, whatever. They do an amazing job with the game hands down.

Related Game Info

Platform: 3DS ESHOP
Publisher: Inti Creates
Developer: Inti Creates
Release date: September 29, 2016
OWN IT: 0 [I own this game]
BEAT IT: 0 [I beat this game]
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