Over the years, Japanese developer Inti Creates has pushed the 2D action platformer genre to new heights. With years of experience, the team at Inti Creates has delivered some of the greatest titles within the genre and that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.
With their newest title Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX coming to PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC-via Steam on September 26, we had the chance to chat with Inti Creates’ Producer and Localization Editor Matt Papa to learn more about the game as well as other titles in the developer’s portfolio.
Azario Lopez: You recently announced Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX’s release date and platforms, what led you to branch off of the main series and tell this side-story?
Matt Papa: A lot of people wanted more from Copen. If you look at the original Azure Striker Gunvolt, you’re able to play through it as only Gunvolt, but Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 was split between Gunvolt and Copen. While Guvolt series director Yoshihisa Tsuda continues to build his vision for a potential Gunvolt 3, we wanted to use this time to give Copen a bit more of the spotlight. That’s where the idea of this spin-off title came to be.
AL: When first introducing Copen to the series, did you think that Copen would become a character who fans loved?
MP: I’m sure Tsuda-san could answer that the best, but I would imagine that the team had aspirations for Copen from the beginning, which is why they made him such a big part of Gunvolt 2. He plays so differently from Gunvolt that it actually feels like you’re playing through two different games altogether. I couldn’t say for certain that the plan was to have Copen be the star of his own game, but I think it was on their minds based on how much thought was put into his playstyle.
AL: How does the team go about writing for this character who is pretty unlikeable, but yet you can’t help but think he’s so cool?
MP: That’s a good question. In the earlier Gunvolt games, Copen has a lot of conflicts that he’s dealing with. He feels an impending sense of danger with the idea that Adepts are going to take over the world and ruin everything. He sees them as a threat, which makes his actions extreme. This is also what originally gave him the character tagline of the “Adept Slayer”.
What you will see in Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX is Adepts basically run the show. Those like Copen, who aren’t Adepts, are being hunted down and exterminated. So, I don’t know, maybe he was onto something, but maybe not.
AL: This is the first Gunvolt title that hasn’t been developed for the Nintendo 3DS and then ported to other platforms, how has that experience been?
MP: I’ve said this from the very beginning, the Switch is a very developer-friendly system. After having to port many games to it over the years, it was a great experience to finally build something natively at 1080p and then have the option to easily port it to other platforms. The 3DS is nothing compared to a home console in terms of resolution. Not having the limitation of the 3DS hardware, it’s easy to see the differences of the user interface and the visuals, which we were able to do so much more with for Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX.
Compared to the other titles, it’s a night and day difference. I geek out over the special attacks of the boss enemies, where their illustration cuts in. Oh my god, it looks so much nicer. I should also add that we are able to have so much more happening on the screen at one time because of the higher processing power.
AL: Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX also marks the first time that the series will be released on a PlayStation platform, is this exciting for you?
MP: It’s really exciting to me personally to be able to introduce the world of Gunvolt to a whole new group of gamers. I’m not sure how many people own PS4’s also own Switch’s, but we are trying to introduce our flagship IP to millions of new players.
What’s great of Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX, is that, sure, it’s a spin-off, but we look at it as its own series, a standalone title. This gives PS4 players, who have never played a Gunvolt title a chance to experience this series. Obviously, if you’ve played the other titles you will appreciate things a little more and understand the winks and nodes that we’ve included in the game, but it is very much its own standalone title.
AL: With the naming convention of Gunvolt Chronicles, can we assume that there will be more stories to tell within the Gunvolt universe?
MP: I definitely think there is more to tell. The director of Gunvolt Chronicles is Toshiaki Tai, who was the scenario writer for the previous Gunvolt titles. This gives us the opportunity to tell multiple stories within the series. Tai-san is definitely a huge fan of the series, so I think as long as he is able to, he will want to continue making Gunvolt games. I can’t make any promises, but I know as long as he gets his way, I believe he has many more stories that he’d like to tell. So not confirmation, but the desire is definitely there.
AL: Does Inti Creates still plan on supporting the speedrunner community with Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX?
MP: We absolutely love the speedrunner community. I love watching GDQ. So naturally, Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX, along with the other Gunvolt titles, are built for speedruns. Copen is so good at too as he is able to fly around and bounce off the wall. This game is begging for a speedrun. I think that those who enjoy speed running 2D action games will feel right at home with Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX.
AL: Recently, Inti Creates began porting their titles to PC. How has this been for you?
MP: It’s been really cool. We have so many games in our library that haven’t been ported to Steam. The Steam user base is very passionate and we see requests for PC releases every day. What changed for us, that sparked this process, was the developer home pages on Steam. The team really liked it. Going to a page and having a one-stop Inti Creates shop helped with visibility so much because it allowed us to point people to one place for all of our titles. I hope one day the other platforms offer something like this one day because its great for the developers and users.
AL: Let’s shift to your recent title Dragon Marked for Death. How is this title doing in terms of community?
MP: The Dragon Marked for Death players are really passionate. Thankfully, the game sold well enough that we are pretty happy with how it’s going so far, but we aren’t done with this title. We announced two new playable characters incoming as well as an update where characters can equip new weapon classes. The team has been working on new updates non-stop since launch. We want players to jump in at any time and have something new to play with.
AL: Each character has there own campaign, will the two new characters also have their own story?
MP: All I can right now is that there will be new playable characters.
AL: I don’t think this would be a proper Azario X Matt interview unless I brought up the Gal Gun series. Can fans expect a new entry in the series?
MP: The Gal Gun series has done so well for us. I remember pushing hard for it years ago to get Gal Gun Double Peace in the west. The Gal Gun fanbase is passionate and they want their Gal Gun. As long as I keep getting my way, I will do my best to keep delivering that Gal Gun content to them for as long as I draw breath. The Gal Gun team is always looking at new ideas to see where the series can go. While I can’t allude to anything, I have no intention of letting Gal Gun end. I think the team definitely wants to do more and will come up with some cool stuff when the time is right.
AL: Blaster Master had a variety of DLC characters, will we see this with Blaster Master Zero 2?
MP: I would certainly like to. We definitely received a lot of feedback about that because its something that fans really liked. While I can’t confirm or deny anything right now, its something I am personally working towards and I would love to be able to make. The best thing I can say right now is, stay tuned.
AL: I mean Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon would be pretty cool.
MP: That would be, but we’ll see what happens.
AL: Inti Creates creates these new IPs and then turns them into a series. Do you have plans to develop new IPs in the future?
MP: Making an original IP is a lot of work, but because they have always worked out well for us, its something that we will continue to explore and look at.
AL: Is there anything you’d like to say to fans of Inti Creates?
MP: We have a lot of cool stuff coming on the horizon. Our fan community has been phenomenal. I’ve been with the company for five years now and seeing this community grow has been awesome for me. Thank you very much for your continued support for us, we have big plans and dreams for Inti Creates. Come check us out at PAX West 2019, where we’ll have our biggest booth ever. We want to keep growing and delivering awesome games.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.