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Shock! Someone who dislikes: Ikaruga


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You know the drill by now...

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Review by SenseiNoMokushiroku

Pros and Cons

Pros:

+ Decent Dreamcast graphics

+ Nice orchestrated music and sound effects

+ It is a type of game that we Americans don't usually get from Japan.

Cons:

- Weird and frustrating gameplay

- Could of had more stages

- Lack of old-fashioned restart points

- Lots a useless extras

- Can easily finish the game without using any skill once you finally unlock free play.

- Makes you wonder if it is really a game developed by Treasure, or a Psikyo game in disguise.

Ikaruga, An Early 2003 Disappointment.

As a fan of arcade style shooters, I was highly anticipating the US release of Ikaruga since the Japanese gave this little title critical praise, the 12 people who was lucky to score a copy of the DC version hyped this game to those who may have not heard of it, and some guy on this site was repetitively saying great things about it. Unfortunately, this caused me to get sucked in to the hype. As a result, I eventually bought this game expecting it to be the masterpiece every ''hardcore gamer'' and Treasure fanboy makes it seem like, but once I finally popped this game in my GC, I started to get heavy deja vu about a certain PS1 launch title called Raiden Project. In reality, it is basically a mediocre rehash of the Raiden games minus the power ups, restart points, screen filling bombs plus some new gameplay ideas and updated graphics.

The Graphics

As usual, Treasure does a great job on the graphics department, but since this game originally ran on Sega's Naomi arcade hardware and was on the Dreamcast, it doesn't take advantage of the GC's graphics capabilities. The 10 diehard Treasure fanboys know that their past games (except Stretch Panic or McDonald's) always took advantage of the game system's hardware by adding more colors and tons of cool effects no one would think would be possible on that system. Gunstar Heroes bosses on the Sega Genesis is a perfect example. On the good side though is that the main ships and the enemies (especially the bosses) look great and unique. The stages are just as cool looking too especially when you hover down to a certain layer of a stage. The graphics were great, but Treasure could of took the time to beef them up to the maximum GC standards.

The Music and Sounds

The music seems like it is done by some kind of famous European orchestra that did some tunes for many movies. I am not a big fan of that type of music, but one thing for sure, it doesn't stay in your head like the tunes from the Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Castlevania, Gradius, or Contra games. Even Treasure's own Gunstar Heroes had a fair share of memorable tunes. The sound effects are very much like any other shooter (lasers, loud explosions, etc.). The robot announcer does indeed sound cool but understanding what he says is half the battle.

The Gameplay

Easily the worst part of the game which in my opinion is the most important part of any game out there. Treasure obviously tried to re-invent the shooter game by putting some puzzle game elements in this game. Sadly, it was an experiment gone totally evil kinda like that scientist in that old movie, The Fly. Your fighter somehow could switch colors, black and white. Your enemies are either of those colors. If you are the opposite color of the enemy, you can destroy it in a cinch. If you are the same color, you can eat up bullets of the same color enabling you to store up energy to fire some homing lasers that look like French fries, or freedom fries if you are French. That does seem cool, but I hate how the scoring system works. In order to get more points you have to do ''chains''. As you blast three foes of the same color, you bonus points multiplies. If you shoot a foe of an opposite color be mistake, you bonuses reset. What does that mean? You can't shoot everything in sight if you wan't a good score, but while trying to do that, you will repeatedly get killed by an onslaught of enemie sand enemy fire. That is dumb because what makes shooters fun is blasting everything in sight. That is an age old concept.

The Replay Value

Sadly other than unlocking unless modes, unlocking pictures of characters that you may care less about, and trying to master those impossible to do chain hit tactics, this game severely lacks any replay value. Once you finally unlock free play, you will be able to finish the game would trying to dodge bullets or doing those ''chains''. Then you would leave this game collecting dust.

Final Thought

I can't recommend this game at all. It is very disappointing that Treasure would make such a mediocre game although they did make the atrocities Stretch Panic and McDonald's Treasureland Adventure. It is a shame because they used to make the best action games. I can find better shooters that were released on the PS1 and Sega Saturn. Searching for the likes of DoDonPachi and Gradius Gaiden is more worth the hassle that playing this disappointment.

Reviewer's Score: 5 / 10, Originally Posted on 06/03/2003

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( NEG )

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I'm biased because I really like the game but I'd have to say that essentially the reviewer has missed the point, and how its meant to be played, no it hasn't got powerups or things like that, and yes there are only 5 chapters but its a game where you have to make the challenge yourself by putting in time and learning to chain, to be able to single credit the game is a massive achievement. When I do it (soon, very soon) it will be possibly my single greatest gaming achievement ever, and I've been playing the hardcoriest of games since the BBC.

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You know the drill by now...

You'll be the death of me, I swear. ;)

- Can easily finish the game without using any skill once you finally unlock free play.

"You can easily watch the credits on any game once you get through it first."

Baffling.

The graphics were great, but Treasure could of took the time to beef them up to the maximum GC standards.

IT SHOOD HAV BEEN TEH CEL SHADEDD ROXOR!!!11one

The Gameplay

That does seem cool, but I hate how the scoring system works. In order to get more points you have to do ''chains''.

Yes, it requires that stuff.. erm.. effort.

That is dumb because what makes shooters fun is blasting everything in sight. That is an age old concept.

Even thought they "tried to re-invent the shooter game by putting some puzzle game elements in"?

Excuse them for trying, then eh?

The Replay Value

Sadly other than unlocking unless modes, unlocking pictures of characters that you may care less about, and trying to master those impossible to do chain hit tactics, this game severely lacks any replay value.

So apart from "everything that is great about it" it lacks everything.

What have the Romans ever done for us?!

So to summarise:

It's easy - once you've gotten through it.

The whole point of it is to not have a point - despite having a point that is not easy.

It lacks everything - except for everything that it doesn't lack.

Well, at least this guy didn't lie and say it had 'TEH SLOWDOWN' or something.

Actually, this one isn't very funny at all. It's very nearly constructive.

Recruit better than this NEG, really.

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point that is

Well, at least this guy didn't lie and say it had 'TEH SLOWDOWN' or something.

Actually, this one isn't very funny at all. It's very nearly constructive.

Recruit better than this NEG, really.

I dunno, some may like an actual good argument from a review, like say...EDGE's 5/10 anyone?

But yes, I'll stick to finding stupid ones.

( NEG )

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In reality, it is basically a mediocre rehash of the Raiden games minus the power ups, restart points, screen filling bombs plus some new gameplay ideas and updated graphics

So, really, it's not at all like Raiden Project.

You can't shoot everything in sight if you wan't a good score, but while trying to do that, you will repeatedly get killed by an onslaught of enemie sand enemy fire. That is dumb because what makes shooters fun is blasting everything in sight. That is an age old concept.

Not just that you're shit at Ikaruga, then?

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Erm, free play is a time-limited unlock. It actually is possible to complete the game without skill once you've played it for long enough- about 25 hours, I think. I went from stuck-at-the-start-of-stage-4 to end credits in one day.

It only took 7 hours for me to unlock Free Credit mode.

Sure I've played through to the end, but I died about 40 times. There was no satisfaction what-so-ever, and I'd hardly say I'd completed it. I'm up to about the middle of Chapter 3, and then I die and start on my second credit. From that point on all I really press is the Start button to continue.

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Well, yeah, I'm just pointing out the technicality...

I prefer schmups where you go back to a checkpoint when you die, forces you to redo your strategy and think on your feet. Less wandering ahead into a bigger mess.

But then, on the GC version at least, you have Conquest* mode, where you can practice each section as and when you wish.

I know it's not quite the same.... but it is definitely similar.

I don't mean to be arguing with you or anything. I'm just pointing it out.

*Is it Conquest mode? Practice mode? Demo Play? I forget.

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*Is it Conquest mode? Practice mode? Demo Play? I forget.

Conquest seperates the chapters into say...1-1 to 1-6. Ideal if you want to practice combos and bosses.

Practice mode allows you to practice the chapter in full.

Demo play, depending on what screen size you chose, makes the cpu show you how its supposed to be done, perfectly.

But of course, you need to unlock these too by reaching the chapters ;)

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essentially the reviewer has missed the point, and how its meant to be played

;)

Every single fucking review that is brought up where the majority don't agree, someone aaaaalways has to say that.

"oh, it's not that he doesn't like, it... he just missed the point, he doesn't understand it".

Pleeeeease.

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essentially the reviewer has missed the point, and how its meant to be played

;)

Every single fucking review that is brought up where the majority don't agree, someone aaaaalways has to say that.

"oh, it's not that he doesn't like, it... he just missed the point, he doesn't understand it".

Pleeeeease.

Well, this guy clearly doesn't understand it.

He talks about "Chains" with disgust; he doesn't want to actually try and use any skill by shooting three enemies of the same colour consecutively and earning points. No, he just wants to blow everything up. If you gave this guy a game whereby every time you pressed A, everything on screen blew up, he'd be entertained.

It's not that people don't like it that others find annoying; it's when they miss the point of the game and deride it because it doesn't acheive what they think it should. It's similar in a way to those who were dissapointed with PN.03. "But, there's no puzzles, and nothing. I can't believe they thought this was going to be the next Tomb Raider..."

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I can understand why people think why Ikaruga is shit...

[please bear with the thoughts of a drunk/stoned student at twenty past three in the morning]

It is very hard. VERY hard. The day i got it a friend and I played it continuously in 2-player, but failed at the 3rd level boss every time. It was getting annoying. We enjoyed it, of course, but getting to that same boss nearly every time just drove me insane.

We loved how intricate the design seemed, how BLATANTLY there had to be a 'cool' way to play it, just like in Viewtiful Joe and Guitaroo Man.. but we failed however much we tried.. (we were playing on easy mode too...)

Of course we had not read the instructions - WE DIDNT EVEN GET CHAINS, MAN!! We saw the demo that showed the beginning of stage 2 (you know, the one with the planes) and gasped, almost came infact, at how cool you could be at this game.

After my friend left my flat, I read the instructions, and also tried the crazy-sounding 'conquest' mode, only to discover it was infact a training mode for the game!!!! FUCK ME! THIS GAME TOTALLY OPENED UP AT THIS POINT! (btw normal mode is teh WIN!!!11)

2-player faded away (albeit for a short time) and 1-player showboating commenced, it was great - my mate and i play on different TV settings, so we were influenced by different training demos, but still, we could both kick ass :D

Eventually we teamed up on my jap copy (my mate had the PAL version, even tho we got it at the same time -im so slow sometimes ;) ) and ABSOLUTLEY DESTROYED NORMAL DIFFICULTY (except for the ridiculous last boss - who i still dont even understand how you're supposed to have the 'reactions' to defeat even AFTER seeing the conquest demo!) HOORAH FOR US!

At the end of the day, the people who have reviewed this game plain just don't enjoy it. But I for one will always embrace games like these! Where old school dexterity and learning curves matter! I love the highscore!

Oh how I pray the Golden Axe reincarnation is brilliant. :)

night all,

dood ;)

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- Can easily finish the game without using any skill once you finally unlock free play.

Yup street fighter on the snes should have got -179.95% becuase it has infinite continues.

Actually i dont really like ikaruga either - its a memory test, where as 1942 is a pure reactions and skill test.

Does anyone know of any vertical shooter that area bit more like 1942, in that the formations cant really just be learned off?

P.S I not just saying this to be mega ultra super hardcore!

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Guest Cecil McBee

Don't worry, I don't think you're mega ultra super hardcore. Are you taking into account the hordes of secret formations in Ikaruga, you know, the ones you only get if you're skilled enough?

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