Ay Caramba! Ikaruga Is On Greenlight

Click click boom!
I am excited and I don’t know why! Ikaruga is begging for votes on Steam Greenlight. I only played Ikaruga about twice back in the Dreamcast days (my very first job was working on DC-UK’s website, and I lasted a month before complaining that I didn’t have enough to do – I was bolshy back then), and it was clear that I’d need new eyes to track the on-screen action, finger enhancements to make things happen at the pace the game required, and possibly a brain bypass so my thoughts of insurrection didn’t get in the way of reactions. I was aware that it was special and I was not.

It’s one of those lithe, but unforgiving top-down shooters. Your ship can swap between black and white states in order to fight enemies of the opposite hue. Depending on what polarity you’re in, enemy bullets can either hurt or help you. It’s all combos and bonuses and terrifying bullet dodging. The sort of pixel-perfect precision that I can’t do , but for everyone out there begging for Treasure to bring their games on Steam, you might want to get clicking on their Greenlight pitch.

Thanks, EG.


  1. beeboy says:

    I love this game even though I’m terrible at it.
    Here’s a guy playing a two player game on his own, like ambidextrous savant…

    • Mungrul says:

      Yeah, that’s still one of the most impressive gaming feats I’ve ever seen.

      • beeboy says:

        Yeah, I’ve seen the DVD version, where he (I assume, it’s a guy) does the whole game like that without missing a beat, score multipliers up the wazoo, oh a hard level too IIRC. I’ve never even got to the end.

        • zairekaboom says:

          I played the GameCube version for ~50 hours and I wasn’t able to get through the last level. It’s a pretty big time commitment if you want to get a 1 credit clear.

  2. Totally heterosexual says:

    Woah holy shit. Ikaruga is fucking great.

    This also means that there is a better bullet hell game then touhou on PC since I refuse to play that out of principle. Well aside from jamestown.

  3. beeboy says:

    What’s the issue with touhou? Not being facetious, by the way, just wondering.

    • MrUnimport says:

      Probably thinks the 100% teenage female cast is pandering.

      • rhubarb-crisp says:

        i’m not good enough to look away from the fireworks to admire at the art, and so maybe that’s why i think the games are great.
        can someone just swap the character portraits out to replace them with pineapples and apples for a g rated touhou?

  4. zairekaboom says:

    Vote for this if you don’t like shitty movies with cover system and bullet time. This is a game and it has melodies in its soundtrack.

    • xao says:

      Or even if you do like games with cover systems and bullet time! They aren’t mutually exclusive!

  5. Moraven says:

    Nice. Having played it on the Dreamcast, its one of the best out there. Wish I had picked up the Gamecube version (which go for $40+ dollars).

    Now, Radiant Silvergun is next? Gunstar Heroes? Gradius V?

    • Guvornator says:

      Gunstar Heroes is on Steam, right now, for £2

      • Moraven says:

        Meant Guardian Heroes! Which got a Xbox release in 2011 from Treasure.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      I will buy this the moment it’s released. But I must say, I’m more interested to know Treasure are releasing games on PC in the first place.

      My wishlist for more Treasure PC ports:
      Guardian Heroes
      Sin & Punishment
      Gunstar Super Heroes

      Sadly I suspect the latter two are caught up in agreement tangles with Nintendo…

      • Urthman says:

        Proper PC ports of the Sin & Punishment games, using the mouse for aiming, would be fantastic.

    • welverin says:

      “Now, Radiant Silvergun is next? Gunstar Heroes?”

      Those are two of the reasons I want an Xbox 360, unfortunately three or four XBLA games aren’t reason enough to pay hundreds of dollars for a console, so I hope this is sign of things to come.

      p.s. Ikaruga is awesome, have the Gamecube version myself.

  6. The Random One says:

    … “Ay caramba”?

  7. Don Reba says:

    Love this game. And, by the way, it plays perfectly well on a Dreamcast emulator.

  8. Vagrant says:

    I love scrolling shooters, but despite bullet-hell shooters. That said, Ikaruga is both borderline-enough (and easy enough) for me to enjoy it. I never understood why people think it’s hard when I can fly directly into enemy fire and take no damage.

    • Emeraude says:

      I think it has to do with the fact that mechanically, it doesn’t play like a straight shoot”em up – I mean it’s a shoot’em up in which you *want* to get hit by bullets.

      Glad to see Treasure games coming to PC… even if it’s there.

  9. trjp says:

    Ikaruga and not Radiant Silvergun!?!?

    That’s like offering someone some nice chips or a free sampler menu at The Fat Duck – you’d be foolish to shun either but there’s clearly a better choice…

    • epmode says:

      Radiant Silvergun’s weapon power level system ruins the game for anyone that isn’t screwing around with the chaining system. While I love how chaining gives Ikaruga and RS a puzzle element not found in other shooters, I much prefer how Ikaruga completely divorced scoring from your power level.

  10. Kolba says:

    On X-Box Live Arcade the pattern of release was Ikaruga, next Radiant Silvergun, and shortly afterwards Guardian Heroes, so here’s hoping that will repeat.

    I’d considered getting a second hand x-box 360 for these games before now.

    Update: Posted on the Treasure twitter:

    “New challenge! We are trying to distribute Treasure games on Steam.”

    “First, we posted Ikaruga information on Steam Greenlight today.”

  11. kelybui says:

    I think that your perspective is deep, its just well thought out and really fantastic to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts down so well. Kizi

  12. jrodman says:

    I quite enjoyed this game when it was brand “new” on the gamecube; though I was right shit at it. These days though I’m even softer, and to buy it I’d want to hear about a “complete loser” difficulty level.

    If it doesn’t have it though, you all please enjoy on my behalf.

  13. bill says:

    I always really wanted to play this on my Gamecube, but i never found a copy at a decent price.. at that time it seemed really hard to get hold of and second hand copies were selling for well over list price.

    I’m sure I’ll suck at it and never get past the first level, but if it shows up at a low price I’ll grab it.

    That said, why do Treasure need to go through greenlight? You’d think they’d have enough of a reputation and enough industry contacts to just go straight on steam.

  14. Eight Rooks says:

    Good to see a niche developer trying for Greenlight (“How come Treasure can’t get waved through Greenlight? They’re famous!” – uh, hello, random internet guy, millions of games players wouldn’t have a clue who Treasure are, sadly). I never really liked Ikaruga, though – I love bullet hell shooters enough my internet nick is taken from a support character in one of them (Cave’s brilliant Guwange) but Ikaruga just never felt like that much fun. I’ve owned it three times (Dreamcast, Gamecube, Android) and it always seemed to be a game that insisted you play it the right way or not at all.

    I know I’m not very good at Cave games, despite how much I enjoy them, and yet half-assing my way through a DoDonPachi or EspGaluda doesn’t feel that different on the surface from a master high-scoring it, despite the numbers at the end being vastly different. In contrast, once you’ve seen someone playing Ikaruga at a world-class skill level I don’t understand how you can do anything else and not feel small and pathetic. Both Sin & Punishment games are miles more entertaining to my way of thinking. Oh, well, like I said, great to see someone making the effort, and I hope it pays off, even if it’s just so the doors can be left open afterwards.

  15. Buemba says:

    Hope they release Guardian Heroes next. And while it’s unlikely I’d kill for a PC port of Mischief Makers…

  16. ThePragmatist says:

    This is the best review of Ikaruga that I have seen. It is a sarcastic guy from the south of the US who is really good at bullet hell shooters:

    link to youtube.com

    If you watch some of the stuff he does, it makes the game look pretty ridiculous.

    • squareking says:

      Watch all of Rob’s reviews. They are gold. I’ll spoil it and say he’s a great actor.

  17. squareking says:

    From a purist point of view, Ikaruga is terribly overrated. It’s a great puzzle game with one supremely optimal way to play for the best score, which A) flies in the face of what a shmup is at its core but B) helps give the genre more visibility. That’s not to say you can play it like a “regular” shooter, taking in the enemy designs and industro-punk thing, and enjoy it for that.

    Treasure’s trademark attention to detail and sleek style in here in spades, and that’s a big reason why Ikaruga got popular in the first place. I hope it gets greenlit (it will) and Treasure gets more stuff on Steam, but ultimately I would not mind if Cave took note of this estimated success and released everything they’ve done on Steam. And then maybe we could get the Raiden anthology, all the R-Types, Gradius V… And full disclosure, I voted Ikaruga up as soon as I saw it on Greenlight. Every bit helps!

    Also, guys, if you like this, do give Touhou and Jamestown a look. Shoot the Bullet in particular is a great experiment on refreshing the shmup genre and Jamestown is Cave Lite.