Ikaruga Review


Think back to the glory days of the arcades. Well, back to the mid 1980’s anyway. That was a time when you would head to the local mall and spend hours and hours pumping quarters into your favorite machine all in the hopes of gaining a few extra points or maybe to see the next stage. Ikaruga for the GameCube is like those days in the sense that you can really become a little obsessed with getting a higher score and trying to get one more stage completed. It is an arcade style shooter in every way. The question for us now to consider is if Ikaruga is worthy of your hard earned quarters…

Screenshots
Lots and lots and lots of enemies in this game.

Sometimes you have to wonder why certain games even bother to come up with a story. I mean really, does a pure shooter like Ikaruga even need to bother with such a silly thing? In a word, no. Yet it has one, but I’m not going to bother telling you what it is because it just plain doesn’t matter.

Here’s a quick run-down of what happens in the game. You have your one ship. They have thousands. You take your one ship and blow up thousands of their ships. Rinse. Repeat. There you have it, the basic idea behind just about all shooters and pretty much what you can expect from Ikaruga. However Ikaruga does throw an interesting curve into the equation with the concept of polarity, and it goes a little like this: Your ship has the ability to switch its polarity from black to white. As chance would have it, your enemies also happen to be either black or white and they fire bullets of the same color as their ship. Now if you happen to have the same polarity as a bullet that is about to hit you, you’re in luck because your ship will actually absorb the bullet. These absorbed bullets can then be used as very powerful homing lasers. However if your polarity is different from said bullet then the bullet will hit your ship and you go ka-boom! Adding even a little more excitement to the polarity party, if you shoot an enemy ship that has different polarity than your ship you will cause double damage! Switching your ships polarity is as easy as pushing the A button. You will find that you are switching your polarity almost as often as you are shooting.