TGS hands-on: Ikaruga (XBLA)


There are many gamers that don't know of, let alone know how to pronounce, Treasure's Ikaruga. Unfortunate, considering it's the definitive shooter of the last console generation. With its arrival on Xbox 360, a whole new set of gamers can enjoy Treasure's masterpiece, which was previously only available on the Dreamcast and Gamecube.

Those that have already played the game can rest assured that the game is identical in every way to the original. Every enemy pattern that we've seen in our short time with the game remains exactly as it was years ago. There is one key enhancement: the video has now been upgraded to run in HD, making the game look as good as you remember it. Admittedly, you won't be concentrating at the backgrounds while playing the game, simply for the sake of staying alive. However, it's a good addition to know will be in this remastered re-release.

Those that haven't played the game will find Ikaruga to be one of the games that's easy to learn, but difficult to master. The game only uses two buttons: A and B. One button will let you shoot a barrage of bullets, while the other will let you switch polarity. Polarity becomes the big theme of the game, as your ship changes strengths and weaknesses when changing affinities. Being a white ship will allow you to destroy black ships twice as quickly, but it will leave you vulnerable to any attack from black fire. The opposite is true for black ships. Your ship can absorb the bullets of the same color, which you can then throw back at enemies. These rules are the construct for devilish enemy patterns and level designs that will have you memorizing each level just for fun. It's brutally difficult, but immensely satisfying, and easily one of the best additions to XBLA.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.