It’s a little late to mend childhoods
The time has come for the peasants to revolt, as Ikki Unite has hit PC.
The original Ikki launched in arcades in 1985 and was quickly followed by a Nintendo Famicom version. The Famicom version is famous for being one of the first games to have had the title of “kusoge” (literal translation: crap game) bestowed upon it. The creation of the kusoge nomenclature has sometimes been attributed to Jun Miura writing about this game, but the origins are a little murky.
It seems like a strange game to return to, but in Japan, kusoge is more celebrated as a shared suffering experience. Ikki’s Famicom iteration actually sold quite well, which only solidified it in the minds of young games.
Ikki Unite, however, is a largely different beast, more akin to the horde-filled gameplay of Vampire Survivors. Attacks are automatic, and the emphasis is mostly on positioning and buffing your character to take the hordes down faster. Ikki Unite shakes things up by laying the focus on its 16-person multi-player, which has multiple teams working their way through bosses and objectives. That’s quite a significant change, but anyone who has played Vampire Survivors is no doubt going to have trouble shaking the feelings of deja vu.
I may circle around and review Ikki Unite, but the half-hour I spent with it this morning was mostly positive. However, despite being multi-player focused, the latency was ridiculous. I found that it wasn’t a huge barrier, but it’s definitely not the best first impression. I also wound up playing with a lot of Japanese night owls; which was fine since Ikki Unite isn’t a game that requires or even allows for much communication. However, it probably didn’t help the ping.
Ikki Unite is going to be a game that will live or die depending on how well it retains its player base. While I was able to join two full teams with no player overlap, the Ikki brand doesn’t exactly have name recognition over here. It’s a rough product, but with my love of series revivals, I can’t help but root for it on some level.
Ikki Unite is available now on PC via Steam.