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Fates are sealed as paradigms shift and a new era unfolds. What lies beyond the path toward hope?
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Azure Striker Gunvolt 3, known as Armed Blue: Gunvolt 3 /// Gibs (蒼き雷霆 ガンヴォルト 鎖環) in Japan, is an upcoming game produced by Inti Creates in development for the Nintendo Switch, and marks the return of the mainline Azure Striker Gunvolt series since 2016's Azure Striker Gunvolt 2.

Gunvolt once again returns as a playable character, with a seemingly overhauled moveset, lacking the Flashfield entirely. Joining him is a new playable character named Kirin, who uses a mix of ranged and melee attacks with her sword and enchanted talismans.

Pre-release Information

Playable Characters

Like Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, the game has two playable characters: Gunvolt, and a newcomer to the series, Kirin.

Gunvolt

Through unknown circumstances, Gunvolt has joined his past enemy, the Sumeragi Group.

Gunvolt's playstyle is similar to the preceding games in that he can tag multiple enemies at once, but instead now sends destructive surges of lightning at enemies in bursts (with the bursts seemingly ranging from one to eight based on the number of tags), instead of dealing damage over time like the first two games, the Flashfield seemingly being retired. Gunvolt can now apply tags in other manners as well, as his air dash can now "teleport" through enemies, placing a tag in the process. The traditional EP gauge is no longer seen as well, with it being replaced with a system similar to Copen's Bullits (in the development update of 2021, however, the Bullit gauge is gone, which may imply it was a placeholder), where the lightning surges consume these individual gauges and can be instantly refilled by tapping down twice.

Kirin

A shrine maiden possessing a septima capable of sealing others. This septima has yet to receive an official English name, but in the Japanese press release its name is 鎖環ギブス Chain Rings (Gibs). She is constantly accompanied by some sort of beast of unknown nature vaguely resembling Gunvolt.

Kirin is melee-focused, but is able to use ranged attacks in the form of enchanted talismans. She can throw these talismans at enemies, and it fills a bar below the health bar. Once filled, it can initiate a stun leaving the enemy vulnerable to her sword combos. Using this, she can deflect projectiles with a well-timed swing of her sword. Like GV, it seems she (or rather, the beast following her) can shoot surges of lightning at tagged enemies.

In the Digi Games Expo demo:

  • Kirin lacks certain actions seen in the trailer, such as the lightning attack.
  • Kirin does not possess Prevasion.
  • Hitting foes with a talisman and getting a red lock-on allows contact without collision damage. The same is true for bosses, but it allegedly requires more talismans.
    • While in this state, the boss's HP bar goes from red to light purple, and attacking them causes more damage.
  • Kudos bonuses come from quickly killing a foe after striking it with a talisman.

Bosses

So far two bosses have been seen, both wearing masks with glowing eyes, and surrounded by a purple aura with crackling dark energy.

SP skill cut-ins are in the style of Azure Striker Gunvolt games rather than Luminous Avenger iX. Boss health bars appear to feature a slot for a faction logo, but it is left empty in the Digi Games Expo demo.

"Grim Reaper"

Gv3 reaper skill screenshot.jpg
GV3 Reaper.jpg

The first boss to be revealed, with development of its sprites being shown in the 2020 October Inti Creates stream. A scythe wielder with drone bits assembled on their back in a bat-like wing formation. Reaper motif. Blue/Green boss. Ghostly powers.

SP skill is Death Processionデスプロセッション and involves trying to strike the player with the scythe while teleporting, followed by riding a skeletal horse motorcycle across the stage, and then again by returning from off-screen.

Death Procession's chant:

The frenzy feast, the emerald scythe flashes and dances
You have no means to fight back anymore
People can only pray in front of the approaching death

狂騒の宴 翠の大鎌が閃き踊る
その手に抗う術など残されておらず
迫る死を前に, 人はただ祈るのみ

Romaji:
Soukyou no utage, midori no ookame ga hirameki odoru
Sono te ni aragau sube nado nokosarete orazu
Semaru shi wo mae ni, hito wa tada inoru nomi

Gallery:


"Banchō Turtle"

GV3 Turtle Skill.png
Bancho turtle.jpg

Banchō (juvenile Japanese gang leader) motif. Turtle-like design. Red boss. Martial artist with flame/aura powers. Turns the walls into damage zones like Viper's fight, and shoots an aura that drags the player towards the boss.

SP skill is 喧唾領域展開タイマンはらせてもらうッ!, Brawl Field Deployment (Let's Have a 1 vs 1 Match!).

Although he is fought in the demo build, his moveset appears to be incomplete. What is assumed to be Brawl Field Deployment occurs in his second phase, and nothing happens after his skill cut-in in the third phase.

Brawl Field Deployment's chant:

I wanna brawl! Mighty and fairly!
The honorable end that blooms in the life being bet
A real man, the divine, bravely stands here

喧嘩上等! 威風堂々!
賭ける命に咲く花道
漢、神雄武ここに在り

Romaji:
Kenka joutou! Ifuu doudou!
Kakeru inochi ni saku hanamichi
Otoko, kami yuubu koko ni ari

Gallery:

Medium Bosses

Name Info Image
Plasma Legion variant A heavily modified and quadrupedal variant of the Plasma Legion is shown in trailers being fought in the Winter Christmas stage, although it is absent in the demo.

In addition to its new armaments and legs, the head has been expanded and now appears to have an opaque window instead of a robotic face. Suggesting that this variant is manned.

Gv3 plasma legion new screenshot.jpg

Common Enemies

Name Info Image
Soldiers Exactly what you'd expect. Fires red energy shots. They appear to have glowing red eyes beneath their helmets, which close or go out when they're stunned.
ASG3 Gameplay 4.jpg
Robotic dogs Jumps at the player. Like the Garms from the Neo Arcadia Shrine stage in Mega Man Zero 1.
Robo doggo.jpg
Flying robots Flies back and forth before firing an energy shot downwards, which splits in two and runs across the ground
Gv3 christmas screenshot.png
Floating robots Shoots slowly moving electric balls.
Gv3 hovering enemy screenshot.jpg
Totem Tower Respawning enemy. Like the Totem Cannons from MMZ1. Similar to the armed shutter in that it acts as an obstacle.
GV3 Totem Tower.png
Blade Mech A large robot that charges and swings an energized blade.
Blade robot.jpg
Rocket Robot Wheel with rockets equipped that charges forward.

Has an alternate version with rockets facing in opposite directions, which bounces around.

Rocket wheel B.jpg
Rocket wheel A.jpg
Stealth Moths Robot moths that use cloaking technology until the player is surrounded, at which point they reveal themselves and converge.
Stealth moths 1.jpg
Stealth moths 2.jpg

Stages

Name Info Image
Winter Christmas
(クリスマスの冬)
An urban area with snowfall and holiday decorations. Also features a well-lit underground tunnel. Simple and easy map. When it was shown in the announcement trailer, the decorations were missing. The modified Plasma Legion appears to be fought here (absent from the demo), while in the demo "Grim Reaper" is fought further in.
Winter Christmas.png
GV3 Winter Christmas.png
Lost Complex
(ロストコンビナート)
Derelict oil refinery. Part of the floor is on fire due to explosions, yellow gas permeates areas, and run down pipes collapse when stood on. "Banchō Turtle" is fought here in the demo.
Lost Complex.jpg
GV3 Lost Combinat.png
"Japanese-style stage" In the 2020 October stream, a background featuring traditional Japanese architecture can be seen.
Gv3 dev castle stage.png

Development

2019

After the release of Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, series director Yoshihisa Tsuda reportedly struggled with ideas for the third title[1], with CEO Takuya Aizu specifying that while the story had few issues, it was the gameplay that was holding back full-scale development, as Tsuda wanted to devise a new way to reinvent the series' formula, uncomfortable with simply reusing the same system with different stages and bosses[2]. This led to the announcement and release of Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX, directed by Toshiaki Tai, which was developed in order to tide fans over and give Tsuda more time to come up with ideas[3].

On November 22nd, 2019, Aizu visited a shrine dedicated to Raijin and prayed for Tsuda to be able to make Gunvolt 3.[4]

2020

Eventually, development would begin sometime in early 2020[5], with the game being announced shortly afterwards on June 27th, 2020 on stream at Bitsummit Gaiden, as is series tradition. Kirin's character design was finalized by March 30th, 2020.[6]

On October 20th that year, new in-development footage was shown, including a boss battle, in a live-stream talking about several Inti games.[7] On that same day, they announced that Inti Creates will showcase an public demo of Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 on November 29th. On November 12th, less than four weeks before the public demo, Inti Creates posted a image on Twitter showcasing Kirin in a different pose, possibly showing a new cover image for the game.

On November 29th at the Digi Games Expo, the game was purportedly said to only be 5% complete despite featuring two bosses and stages. The demo did not include any voice acting or story elements. On December 25, 2020, Inti released another development live stream focusing mostly on the Lost Complex stage and shortly the Winter Christmas stage. However, on December 28, 2020, three days after Christmas, 4gamer.net published an article showing the screenshots of the ASG3 demo, including the SP skill of the boss of Winter Christmas.

2021

On March 4, 2021, they announced in the New Game Plus Expo that they will release the game in 2022. Due to how they want the game to be the best game possible, they brought Hiroki Miyazawa, the "Curse of the Moon" series Director, as an additional Action Director. Miyazawa announced that with the help of Keiji Inafune, created a 'very satisfying' gameplay style for Kirin. Quickly afterward, they released a 'Development Update' trailer for Azure Striker Gunvolt 3, which showed new gameplay of both Gunvolt and Kirin. They showed the first public gameplay in the Expo that had two stages, Winter Christmas and Lost Complex, the latter of which was the first look into the stage. They used Kirin for the gameplay of those levels, which introduced us the bosses' gameplay. The 'Lost Complex' also showcased the second boss of the game as well as his SP Skill. However, it seems incomplete as the Banchō Turtle activates it during the 2nd phase, instead of the usual 3rd.

On June 5, 2021, the annual Guerrilla Collective presented a new trailer, this time demonstrating the combined gameplay of the announcement reveal trailer back in 2020, and the development update trailer shown in March 2021.

On Bitsummit 2021 on September 1, Inti Creates discussed the finalization of Kirin's gameplay design. They revealed that they created a new ability for Kirin that allows her to warp to enemies that are fully tagged and destroy them. They tentatively call it the "Warp Slash", which allows the player to instantly eliminate enemies anywhere on the screen. It can be used both on the ground and mid-air; it can also be utilized consecutively. After successfully executing the Warp Slash, Kirin can perform an extra air jump. If multiple enemies are tagged, Warp Slash will allow the player to defeat multiple enemies at once. Keiji revealed that, at the continued pace of work on the game, he estimates that production of the game will be completed and ready for release by Summer 2022. Additionally, they revealed a new game in production following the announcement, Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX 2.

2022

The game is estimated to be released at summer of 2022.

Soundtrack

The trailer theme song is played in the demo when the player reaches 1000 Kudos. Name unknown as of now.

Trivia

  • 3 sets a number of milestones for the franchise, being:
    • This is the first main series Gunvolt game to have a female playable character.
    • This is the first game to have an animal character.
    • This is the first game where a boss uses a vehicle for his SP Skill during an boss battle.
    • This is the first game where the bosses do not have their faces shown.

References

External Links

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