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Ikaruga

by Atari
GameCube
Rating Pending
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews) 85 / 100

Price: $109.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Ikaruga (斑鳩 Ikaruga?, lit. Japanese Grosbeak) is a shoot 'em up video game developed by Treasure. It was released in the arcades in 2001 on the Sega NAOMI, subsequently released on Dreamcast in Japan and then worldwide on the Nintendo GameCube, and was released on Xbox Live Arcade on April 9, 2008. It is a spiritual sequel to Radiant Silvergun. The gameplay consists of shooting enemies who come in one of two polarities: either black or white (sometimes called red or blue). The player's ship can be either polarity, and can be switched at will. Treasure previously experimented with colors and polarity in the title Silhouette Mirage, released for both the Sega Saturn and the PlayStation. Ikaruga was well received by critics.
  • Ikaruga's gameplay centers primarily around the polarity mechanic. Only bullets of an opposite polarity can kill the player. Same-color bullets are absorbed and converted into energy for the game's special weapon, a homing laser. Switching the ship's polarity also changes the color of the ship's bullets, and shooting an enemy using opposite-polarity bullets will cause double damage. Thus, much of the challenge of Ikaruga comes from careful polarity-switching, choosing between high damage and (relative) invulnerability. This is especially true when fighting bosses, as they often fire bullets of both colors in overlapping patterns. The game also presents navigational challenges where the player must maneuver through continual streams of weapons fire, using their shields to absorb one color while avoiding the others. Stage 2 boss fight; the player uses the polarity system to absorb the enemy fire. Skilled players may also perform combination "chains" for points. A chain occurs when three enemies of the same polarity are destroyed consecutively. The more sets of three enemies that are dispatched in a row, the more points are acquired, eventually rewarding the player with an extra chance/life. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the entirely original "bullet eater" or "dot eater" strategy, wherein the player does not shoot enemies, including bosses, which retreat after a set period.
  • Despite the fact that only four people are responsible for its creation, Ikaruga features full three-dimensional landscapes and a soundtrack. The home console releases also feature TATE mode - the ability to rotate the game's display by ninety degrees while the player's monitor rests on its left side, for full-screen arcade size. This same mode can be used without rotating the monitor by configuring the controls, in essence changing the game from a vertical scrolling shooter to a horizontal one. When the game is played with the display in a normal orientation (YOKO mode), the sides of the screen are blank because the game field itself is taller than it is wide. If it is turned on its side, it can take up the whole screen and still have the same aspect ratio. An interesting feature of the arcade release, which is also included in the home formats, is the 'Trial Game' mode, where infinite lives are awarded for a single credit on the first level, but only the first two chapters of the game can be played, offering a good way to practice. In addition, Ikaruga features a two-player simultaneous mode, an in-depth slow-motion tutorial mode, with stage tutorials becoming accessible to players who reach them in the main game, and an in-game art gallery featuring character and mechanical designs by Yasushi Suzuki, who did designs for Treasure's Sin and Punishment: Hoshi no Keishōsha for the Nintendo 64.
  • Developer(s) Treasure G.rev Publisher(s) WW Treasure JP Sega JP ESP Software JP/NA/PAL Atari Director(s) Hiroshi Iuchi Producer(s) Masato Maegawa Designer(s) Yasushi Suzuki Programmer(s) Atsutomo Nakagawa Composer(s) Hiroshi Iuchi Platform(s) Arcade, Dreamcast, GameCube, Xbox Live Arcade, Android, Microsoft Windows Release date(s) Arcade JP December 20, 2001 Dreamcast JP September 5, 2002 GameCube JP January 16, 2003 NA April 15, 2003 PAL May 23, 2003 Xbox Live Arcade WW April 9, 2008 Android WW January 18, 2013 Genre(s) Shoot 'em up Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer Distribution Download Cabinet Upright Arcade system Sega NAOMI Display Raster (Vertical)
  • Reception and legacy[edit] Although it garnered modest sales, it is among the most successful and recognized arcade shooter ports of the 2000s. GameRankings places the average review score for Ikaruga at 86%.[4] Metacritic gives the Gamecube version a metascore of 85/100.[5] On release, Weekly Famitsu magazine scored the Dreamcast version of Ikaruga a 36 out of 40,[6] and in its first week (2002/9/2-8) the game sold about 18,596 units to debut 5th on the magazine's "Top 30".[citation needed] The following week it dropped off the chart. In its first week (2003/1/13-19), the Gamecube version of Ikaruga debuted at number 20. It sold about 6,916 units.[citation needed] By the next week, it dropped off the chart. Though the official online scoreboard is now defunct, players to this day exchange high scores and game play videos in online forums.[7] ScrewAttack voted Ikaruga the 2nd greatest 2D shooter of all time,[8] while IGN voted it the 3rd greatest.[9] ScrewAttack also declared it #9 on Top Ten GameCube Games, along with Gametrailers rating it #5 on Top Ten Most Difficult Games.[1] Ikaruga was used in Trial Mode as a competition between two 2-player teams for the Final Round of the Omegathon at PAX East 2011. Another testament to Ikaruga's enduring popularity are the model kits created by Japanese model manufacturer Kotobukiya. Three models of the Ikaruga have been released, and in September 2012, the second-player ship, Ginkei, was made available.[10]

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Ikaruga + Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem + Resident Evil - Gamecube
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Product Details

  • ASIN: B00008VFBV
  • Item Weight: 5 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: May 28, 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,113 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Amazon.com

Ikaruga is a 2-D scrolling space shooter (with options for either a vertical or horizontal display) set against a 3-D backdrop with a combination of rich Japanese storytelling and high-powered fighter-pilot heroics. Players take the role of hero Shinra, the lone survivor of a freedom federation that was massacred by the evil, power-hungry conqueror Tenro Horai. Now Shinra, in his newly-built ship, the Ikaruga, must fight for aging, exiled people who are depending upon him for their survival. Join the sole warrior as he battles the evil Horai in the hopes of restoring peace.

Those already familiar with Ikaruga from the Japanese Dreamcast release will appreciate vital game upgrades such as enhanced graphics, a new demo mode that clues players in to the "perfect" round and private passwords; high scorers can post their accomplishments on the official Ikaruga web site and establish bragging rights within the worldwide Ikaruga community.

Product Description

Ikaruga is a 2-D scrolling space shooter (with options for either a vertical or horizontal display) set against a 3-D backdrop with a combination of rich Japanese storytelling and high-powered fighter-pilot heroics. Players take the role of hero Shinra, the lone survivor of a freedom federation that was massacred by the evil, power-hungry conqueror Tenro Horai. Now Shinra, in his newly-built ship, the Ikaruga, must fight for aging, exiled people who are depending upon him for their survival. Join the sole warrior as he battles the evil Horai in the hopes of restoring peace. Those already familiar with Ikaruga from the Japanese Dreamcast release will appreciate vital game upgrades such as enhanced graphics, a new demo mode that clues players in to the "perfect" round and private passwords; high scorers can post their accomplishments on the official Ikaruga web site and establish bragging rights within the worldwide Ikaruga community.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Miracle with Massive Gameplay March 28, 2003
If you'd have told me a year ago that Treasure's Ikaruga, the unofficial sequel to Radiant Silvergun, Grand Opera Master of Shooters, would make it to the States on Nintendo's Gamecube, I'd have called 1-800-LOONEYBIN personally and asked them to take you away quickly and quietly. This kind of thing just isn't supposed to happen these days, right? And least of all on the Gamecube - the seeming last place for a 2D Japanese old-school shooter.
But here it is - it's a small miracle that it's happened at all.
Treasure's opus Radiant Silvergun was released for the Sega Saturn in Japan only, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest shooters ever created. Ikaruga was released for the Japanese Dreamcast last year (a miracle in itself whose authenticity was the matter of message-board debate for months before it finally happened). Rumors then started about a Playstation 2 and/or Xbox port. But to have it finally arrive not only for Nintendo's Gamecube, but also to be released domestically, is quite an event.
Especially when you consider that the game itself is practically as legendary as its predecessor.
Ikaruga uses a color-swapping mechanic very similar to Treasure's PSX game Silhouette Mirage. Your ship can change color from black to white with the press of a button. There are a couple reasons for this. All enemies in the game - from swarms of drones to massive multi-form bosses - are black or white as well. Like any good shooter, they flood the screen with bullets, which are also black or white. If your ship is white and is hit by a black bullet, you're dead. However, if your ship is white and is hit by a white bullet, your ship absorbs the energy, and your super weapon is charged.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry in Motion September 20, 2003
Ikaruga is one of those games, Like Disgaea or Wario Ware Inc., that seemed unlikely to ever get a release outside of Japan.
So, let's all take this as a sign that someone up there still cares about the good things in gaming culture, because Ikaruga is downright legendary, and was saved from becoming "the best game that nobody will ever get to play" by the quick thinking (and remarkably tasteful) folks at Atari.
Here's a fast history of Ikaruga. Treasure, a company that has a devoted cult following won with classic 16 and 32 bit titles (Silhouette Mirage, Gunstar Heroes, Guardian Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, MC Kids, Dynamite Heddy, et al.) makes a truly stunning arcade title named Ikaruga and releases it in Japan for the Namoi board, which is essentially a variant of the Sega Dreamcast. The game rapidly generates a buzz as being one of the most well-constructed and finely-tuned arcade titles ever made, and the clamor begins for a home port in the Japanese market.
Treasure, who originally had zero intentions of releasing the game in a home console format, responded with a quizzical statement that informed the public that, while they didn't plan on releasing the game, acknowledged that it wouldn't be very hard to put it out for the Dreamcast system, as Namoi and Dreamcast are really the same thing.
The second this hit the internet, it became "Treasure is releasing Ikaruga for the Dreamcast!!"
The game pre-sold a remarkable amount of copies before it was even announced. Hype was off and running, and there was no stopping it.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, yet insanely challenging September 8, 2003
Ikaruga, if you haven't heard of it (and many of you probably haven't) is a rare breed these days -- an old-school 2D scrolling shooter, in the same vein as Raiden (or, going back further, Life Force, Gradius, and in some sense all the way back to Galaga/Galaxian). However, this is the 21st-century version.
The first impression you get when you fire up Ikaruga is how polished it is. Everything -- from the title screen, to how the ships move, to the zen-like fractal beauty of the bosses' energy blasts -- is flat-out gorgeous. Although the game is a top-down 2D shooter, almost everything is rendered in real-time 3D, which allows for some fantastic special effects.
The second impression you get is how insanely difficult this game is. The first level isn't hard to survive, although you'll probably get a terrible score ranking your first few [hundred] times through it. Level two is difficult. Levels three through five are crazy. The game is short -- very short -- but it's the kind of experience that video game junkies will play again and again (and again), trying to eke out a few more points each time.
Finally, you may come to realize how ingenious this game is. They've stripped away all the extra stuff that's crept into shooters over the years -- there are no powerups, no "bombs", no bonus point items to pick up, and not much of a storyline (there was a bit more in the version released a few years back on the Dreamcast, but they dropped it on the GCN instead of translating it). The only "gimmick" they have is the polarity system -- every enemy ship and projectile in the game is either "white" or "black", and you can toggle your ship back and forth nearly instantly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Vertical Shooter!
This is a great gamecube game! It is an excellent vertical shooter. With great backgrounds and cool technoesque music. Excellent to add to the collection!
Published 1 month ago by Prince of Peace
5.0 out of 5 stars Experience the Hardcore.
This game is awesome. Period. It's so difficult, and that's why I love it. Play it with a fellow gamer who is dedicated. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pacal, L
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic arcade shooter
If you love top-down arcade shooters, this game is as good as they get. Though it's a very short game (5 levels I believe) it's tough as nails and each defeat only makes you want... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars A Polarizing Classic
Ikaruga is a fairly well known vertical-scrolling game in the STG or Shooting Game genre and a polarizing one at that (Ignore the pun). Read more
Published 9 months ago by Branden Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars hard but worth it
i got ikaruga because i heard of it's legacy of being hard and somewhat rare. i love it. i'm not a fan of these type of games but ikaruga breaks my case
Published 10 months ago by megamat
5.0 out of 5 stars Bullet Hell legend
This is the game that people take about when they say bullet hell. Originally released on arcade and Sega Dreamcast this widely known game is now available for you on Gamecube... Read more
Published 16 months ago by anita reichmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Tricky shooter game for the Gamecube
Fans of arcade shooters should not miss this game. Ikaruga is extremely punishing but through the high difficulty, it still remains entertaining. Read more
Published on April 25, 2012 by Joeb
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game
this is a great and fun game. the person who shipped it and owned it before me failed to tell me the game had residue on it and it was in a cracked case. Read more
Published on March 13, 2012 by jess
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This game is amazing, probably one of the best ones offered for the gamecube. The graphics are beautiful, the gameplay is solid and flows nicely, and has a pleasant arcade style of... Read more
Published on February 18, 2011 by madusajellyfish
5.0 out of 5 stars She will kill you and you will love her for it.
In the early days of home video games, storage was limited and games simply couldn't afford to be 40+ hour long quests. Read more
Published on December 16, 2010 by Amazon Customer
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