Ikaruga Review

August 11, 2009 at 1:12 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | 1 Comment
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Link to review

’It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white…’’

Those of you who had seen the review I recently wrote on Triggerheart Excelica will know that I’m not the biggest fan of scrolling shooters from Japan that hardly make no sense at all and the ‘easiest’ difficulty falls between Veteran COD3 and Ninja Gaiden. So a lot of you may have guessed by now I’m not going to be giving this one a 10/10. However with Ikaruga there’s something about it, which I actually enjoyed. Now, pick yourself up off the floor and read why.

Now, having said that, the game still comes with some flaws, a game which only uses about a third of the playing screen and any form of text to explain your story and situation so small, by the time you’ve figured out the first sentence its gone and your in the action. For those interested, I took the time to get a general idea story-wise for the beginning of the game.

The Ikaruga is a plane, however no ordinary plane, designed by former engineering genius Amanai with the help of Kazamori and the village leaders. It was hidden in a secret underground bunker and launched via the transportation device called the “Sword of Acala”, its the first fighter built that integrates both energy polarities, and is capable of switching between the two. Polarities you ask? More will be revealed about that below. Visually the game is clean and very smooth running with its fast pace, the only thing that might slip up is you trying to keep up with everything.

With most scrolling shooting games the idea is simple. Let the computer guide you, as you avoid and shoot down as many enemies as you can. Sorted. Though a slight difference is being that all your enemies are black and white, not the old school sense however. You’ll soon realize that with the tap of a button you too can switch from white or black. This in the game is known as switching polarities, and makes the game a lot more fun than first expected.

This creates a lot more strategy within the game, as you can absorb shots from enemies the same colour as you. Meaning if there’s two giant robots in front of you, one black, firing a big plasma beam at you, and the other white. If your polarity is white, you can freely pass through the beam, absorb the energy and happily shoot away. Then switch the black and take out the other guy, obviously, white enemies are weaker to black polarity and vise versa. Absorbing the energy allows you to perform large attacks with a press of the trigger.

Its also possible to play 2 player throughout the levels to give you a hand to make it through those tough sections, or if you just wanna play it with a mate.

Other than the shooting and explosions the sound in the game wont be testing out your surround sound speakers any time soon, however the sounds fit well with the game and don’t sound out of place. As with most arcade titles and retail games, Ikaruga is custom soundtrack enabled.

The game itself is extremely short but increasingly difficult. With only 4 levels, each featuring a boss at the end, the only thing making the game longer is the desire for someone to want to make it through all 4 levels with all their continues and lives intact.

As a surprise this scrolling shooter is a nice little game, but the coin op style credits and life’s in the game severely limits as to how big this game could actually have been. Had it been longer and less restricted it could have been much better.

Rating: 5.2

Published by: Treasure
Developed by: Treasure
Genre: Shooter
Number of Players: 1-2
Features: 720p Support, Xbox Live, Mic/Headset Voice Support

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1 Comment »

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  1. I liked this a lot more than you did, even though it is incredibly hard. The music is great and Treasure always makes fun, fast-paced games. It might be short but the replay value lies in learning the ins and outs of the game so you can beat it on its higher difficulties. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but for the small niche it caters to, it does a great job.


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