The floor is lava.

During the absence of a true Megaman sequel, Inti Creates released a title by the name of “Azure Striker Gunvolt”, surprising critics and fans alike with a new IP that managed feel new and familiar at the same time. With deceptive deep and interesting combat mechanics and expert enemy/level design, it felt like the true spiritual successor to Megaman in many ways.

Its sequel, “Azure Striker Gunvolt 2” was a step above, upping the ante in every imaginable form- most notably with the inclusion of a new playable character in the form of Gunvolt’s rival, Copen. As a counterpart to Gunvolt, Copen’s movement and attack options were wholly unique to him and I ended up enjoying my time as him even more than the titular hero of the series.

So, when it was revealed that Copen would be getting his own spinoff game, I was excited to find out just what he was truly capable in a game specifically designed for him.

There’s a story but it’s not too terribly important.

MSRP: $14.99
Platforms: Switch, PS4, X1, PC
Length: 6~ hours

The war of dominance between those with special powers called “Adepts” and those without named, “Minos” comes to an end with the Adepts coming up on top. Not content with the new status quo, the leaders of the new world order decide that all Minos must be hunted down and executed. The one man standing in the way of their ambitions is the one they call “iX”, the brilliant scientist turned soldier.

While there is an underlying story arc that is revealed throughout the game, the focus is mostly on getting to the next level quickly and efficiently without much fanfare that even the pre-mission briefing is optional. Due to this fact, I felt the main push to keep going were the well designed stages and boss fights more so than trying to see what happens next in the story. This doesn’t take away from the experience but given that there is simplistic home base where I could talk to other NPCs, some better characterizations could have gone a long way to make me care about the ultimate fate of these characters.

Copen’s movement options are impressive and a joy to control.

Copen’s various movements options are nearly identical to how he was in Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 but the big difference is that each and every level as well as the various boss encounters were designed specifically with his tools in mind. Previously, Gunvolt would also need to have been able to navigate the stages and fight the same bosses but as a solo game, Gunvolt’s limited options no longer needed to be catered towards.

Thanks to this, each stage felt much more open with higher vertical ceilings that allowed me to basically fly throughout the whole level without even touching the ground. Using a dash charge would spend one of the limited “Bullits” but when dashed into an enemy, I was able to regain that charge and use powerful lock-on attacks to take them down while hovering in place. Then, I would simply dash into another enemy, chaining kills one after another. Doing this was easier said than done as I could damage myself by dashing into an enemy at the wrong times or get hit by other environmental hazards.

Copen’s handy “Prevasion” also automatically dodged most attacks as long as I had some Bullits handy and given that I was able to reload my charges relatively quickly, it was feasible to beat an entire stage without taking damage once. However, the true challenge of the game wasn’t in just beating it but rather how much “Kudos” points I could score while doing so. Based on the difficulty, Kudos points accumulated differently with the most common way being that it would reset after getting hit three times. As stated before, getting hit and getting damaged is different and trying to a full run on a stage without losing any kudos points was a difficult but satisfying challenge. Afterall, I even needed to skip over optional checkpoints in order to keep my points going.

Sing a song for me, Lola!

Staying above 1000 kudos points had the benefit of activating Copen’s companion Lola’s “Idol mode” which allowed him to use his various overdrive abilities. Should Copen fall in battle, Lola also had the chance to bring him back to life with her “Anthem” ability endowing him with infinite dashing ability as well as the overdrive skills. Lastly, Lola has access to a brand new “Darkness mode” which is unlocked after defeating a certain boss which greatly boosts the effects of Copen various EX moves he gains from defeating bosses with the caveat that he will constantly take damage whenever he’s not locked on to an enemy.

Each of the boss encounters felt unique and as per series tradition, all featured a powerful desperation move when the boss is on its last leg that was always a site to behold and a pain in the ass to dodge which added to dramatic appeal of these encounters.

The various boss fights remain the highlight of the experience.

While getting those kudos points was fun in its own right, actually spending the points to upgrade Copen felt a bit shallow as there were only a handful of useful skills to grab and after getting them, I had no reason to spend any more points. Also, even though I greatly enjoyed playing as titular hero with all his bells and whistles, there’s no denying that compared to Gunvolt 2, this game lacks the gameplay variety of having two playable characters and ends up being a bit on the short side with only one campaign. There were some special challenge missions that unlocked after completing the game but they felt like an afterthought more than a true endgame experience.


Despite some issues that makes it feel like a step below Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, Luminous Avenger iX is still a worthy inclusion in the Gunvolt Chronicles universe.

Fun Tidbit – Speaking of Megaman, I still haven’t finished Megaman 11. I’ll have to get to that at some point.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Fast paced, fanatic platforming action
  • High energy soundtrack that fits the game perfectly
  • Easy to grasp and hard to master game mechanics
  • Only one main character this time around
  • Shallow upgrade system
  • A bit on the short side
Written by
Jae has been a gamer ever since he got a Nintendo when he was just a child. He has a passion for games and enjoys writing. While he worries about the direction gaming as a medium might be headed, he's too busy playing games to do anything about it.