For fans of insanely difficult scrolling shooters with an arcade theme, Treasure’s acclaimed Ikaruga can be plucked from Xbox Live Arcade for 400 Microsoft Points, half of its original price which now equates to only £3.40!
This deal for Ikaruga only counts for the duration of the week, so snap it up while it lasts! With Microsoft being the sole vendor for Live Arcade games and products, the half-price deal for Ikaruga is the only one available. However, if you’re reluctant to dip your toe into the stormy waters of rock-hard Japanese arcade shooters, a trial demo can be downloaded for free, along with numerous premium themes and pictures.
A port of the popular Ikaruga games on the Dreamcast and Gamecube, the Live Arcade version enjoyed modest success, earning an 88/100 on MetaCritic, with perfect scores awarded to it by 1UP and Destructoid. Ikaruga is a traditional scrolling shooter, with players piloting the eponymous Ikaruga, a Hitekkai vessel designed by the Tenkaku federation to oppose Tenro Horai and ‘The Chosen People’s’ conquest.
So far, so ho-hum Japanese plot. However, Ikaruga’s gameplay is what so endeared it to the masses. The Ikaruga can change colour, and in turn absorb projectiles of the same hue. However, different coloured projectiles can damage it, so the player must constantly juggle the Ikaruga’s polarity. Absorb enough fire to perform special moves, and a combination of spatial challenges and screen-filling boss-fights add enough variation to the formula.