I almost wish I had an Xbox 360. I almost wish I didnít buy a Wii. I REALLY wish I had a time machine. And itís all because of Ikaruga.
See, I got the game the very week it came out on the Gamecube, as a birthday gift I specifically asked for. Around the same time, I also bought a beautiful, amazing, and VERY useful Airflow controller as well. Did anyone else have one of those? They were wonderful things, controllers with fans built into the holey handles designed to keep your hands from getting hopelessly sweaty during hardcore gaming sessions, and I got it SPECIFICALLY for Ikaruga. Okay, it was flawed, any time it rumbled, the fan would go off, so I eventually just turned that off and kept the fan on the highest setting at all times, but it was nice, and I canĎt find any pictures of them online, so you probably donĎt believe me. Dammit.
And then my Gamecube coughed up a lung and died. So I traded it in to Gamestop and got an Xbox, but, being a stupid 9th grader, I also got rid of all of my games, controllers, and memory cards. Even the Airflow. Everything went to Gamestop EXCEPT for Ikaruga, which I sold to a friend from school.
Hereís where I wish I could have a time machine, to stop myself. Oh, if only I had the foresight to know Iíd be getting a completely backwards-compatible Wii!
In the years that passed, thereís been an Ikaruga-sized hole in my heart, a longing to go back and play that wonderful game. And then I see itís been released on XBLA. I hate every single one of you who downloaded it, just so you know, because I CANíT.
So I tried to fill that hole, and just the other day I went out and bought an Xbox game called Xyanide, 5 bucks at Blockbuster.
No, itís not Ikaruga, but itís still pretty good. It didnít come with the instruction manual (damn you Blockbuster!), so I donít really know anything about the subtleties of the weapons and such, but I can tell you that even on the second-lowest setting (because I refuse to play as Novice until I get the pride kicked out of me), it certainly provides its share of bullet hell moments.
Plus, itís the first shmup Iíve ever played that has CINEMATICS. Theyíre not great, mind you, but theyíre still pretty cool. The story is that your warship was supposed to be transporting this witch that just looks like a pale little girl to someÖplace that looks like a huge void. An asteroid made up of a substance called Xyanide crashes into the ship sheís on, and impales her, infusing her with the stuff, which happens to have the wonderful ability of materializing her thoughts. So she attempts a daring getaway, creating and sending lots of ships to destroy you.
While Iíve never played Geometry Wars, all the reviews I see compare it to that, since you control the ship with the left stick and shoot in all directions with the right stick. Things get freaking hectic and I die a lot.
As I said, itís not Ikaruga, and I plan on calling up that friend I sold my Gamecube copy to in the hopes that after 5 years he still has it, so I can buy it back from him. But still, if youíre a fan of space shooters, you should at least give Xyanide a shot, especially since itís pretty damn cheap.
Now excuse me while I go weep about the loss of my beautiful Airflow controllerÖbut at least I know Treasure is developing two completely new 3D games for the Wii. Hereís hoping for a Sin & Punishment sequel, eh?