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My Ikaruga XBLA Review - Destructoid

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Remember, Ikaruga is pronounced "Rape". Don't make the same mistake I did.

EDIT: Transcript for the youtube impaired.

There are games, there are gods, and then there are games that gods are made from. Treasure's Ikaruga just happens to fall into that third catagory.


Originally on the Arcade and Dreamcast back in 2001, Ikaruga has caused many gamers a great deal of frustration, while others study the game carefully, learning the complex patterns of the waves of enemies and frightening amount of bullets. You play as the ship "Ikaruga", and your goal is to stay alive, take out the bad guys, and rack up your score by linking combos. Sounds simple enough, right?


What makes Ikaruga stand apart from other shooting games of its kind, is the "Polarity" system. Some enemies are colored black/red, others are white/blue. Your ship has the ability to switch between both black and white, and you can absorb bullets of the same color as your ship. These bullets are then converted into a large enemy seeking bullets. The more you absorb, the more you can fire (though there is a limit). Just don't let an enemy bullet hit you that is not the same color as your ship, or you will die. And lives are a precious resource. However, if you shoot an enemy with an opposite color bullet than they are, they will die faster. There are 5 stages in all, which may not seem like much but they will keep you occupied. This game is still as hard as ever, and may leave some of you in tears as the game makes you its bitch. You will definitely be seeing a lot of deaths.


For those of you who owned the Dreamcast or Gamecube release will notice that this game is practically the same. Gameplay is the same, graphics are for the most part the same, though now in HD resolutions, sound is the same, etc. The only major difference is your menu options. Conquest mode and Practice mode from the gamecube game are gone, though the "Prototype" game mode can be unlocked. The game will let you choose any level you've been to previously even if you didn't beat it, so you can still practice that level you can't get past. The mode select screen from the gamecube version is gone, instead replaced with a simple menu that lets you get straight to the action. You can also change your screen settings, allowing you to set your zoom level, screen orientation, and your HUD position.


New to the Xbox 360 version is Online Co-Op, which is relatively lag free, Achievements, Replays, and leaderboards. Also, unlike the gamecube version which had text untranslated and removed from some parts, this game has all text intact, in all of its engrish glory.


For 800 MS Points ($10) you are getting the same game you've been playing which may turn off some players but there is no doubt this kind of release will bring the game to a slew of new players who were unable to find or afford a dreamcast or gamecube copy. Ikaruga is as great a game as ever, and feels right at home on the Xbox Live Arcade roster and is no doubt worth your money. Just remember, don't let the game get to you too much.



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