Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Shmup

To quote 'Team America': Fuck yeah!!

My eyes are bleeding. My thumbs are blistered. My brain is tuckered.
And it's only been one hour.

No, I haven't been on a date with Mrs Palmer and her 5 daughters.
Nor have I been on an extended trip to drop the kids off at the pool.

No.
Today, my copy of Ikaruga arrived in the post from Sweden.
I am now Hard Core.

"What's Ikaruga?", I hear you ask. Well, let me show you first:


And another level:


See, Ikaruga is a shoot 'em up. More importantly, it's globally recognised as the shmup.

Released in Japanese arcades back in 2001, then on the Dreamcast in 2002, and finally making it's way to the Gamecube in 2003 before disappearing from production forever, it's become somewhat of a rare collectible nowadays.

Nothing has since come close to the brain-meltingly difficult optical assault of gameplay that this title exhibits. There's not much available these days also has the same sense of "must.. try... again..!" addictive replayability.

Like most 'brilliant' things, the concept is extremely simple:
  • The ship you pilot can change polarity (from black to white) at your command.
  • The rules dictate that, whilst you are (say) white, you will be damaged by the black bullets coming from the enemies, but you can absorb the white bullets and store them as 'energy'. (A bar up the left side displays the amount of energy collected.)
  • The same applies in reverse; whilst you are 'black', white bullets will harm you, but black ones can be absorbed.
PS: When I say 'harm', I mean kill. Yup - one hit and you're D.E.D.

To add further to this, the amount of damage you cause to an enemy varies. Hit a black enemy while you are white, and you will do double damage. And vice-versa.

Next, you can release the stored energy (the bar up the left side) in the form of homing missiles. The more energy, the more missiles at your disposal, up to 12 of them max.

Finally, you can score 'chains' by consecutively eliminating three enemies of the same polarity. The more times you do this, the more 'chains' you achieve, ultimately leading to a bonus extra life.


Knowing all this now, watch the videos closely to see how it affects the gameplay.


What's incredible is that the team responsible for this classic game was made up of only four people.
Nerds. :D

So yes - I'm thoroughly chuffed to be able to own a piece of gaming history in my hot little hands. Even more-so that I can simply throw the (Gamecube) disc into my new Wii and play it in backward-compatibility mode without fuss, on the big screen.

And to give you an idea of the sort of money people are wiling to throw into the ring to acquire this title: eBay
And in case it disappears - thats USD$199.00

There's just one more thing to show you..

..hard enough as it is, the game can be played by two players (which ramps things up significantly). Imagine if you were freak enough to be able to play it 2 player, by yourself??

Imagine no more:



Okay - so maybe I'm just 'soft-to-medium-core'.. *gulp

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16 Comments:

At 12:00 am, July 18, 2007, Blogger Zarres said...

Oh and I forgot to mention..
after that 90mins of playing I still wasn't past Stage 2.

Now, after another couple of hours, even on 'practice mode' with '1/2 speed' activated..

..I'm still not past Stage 2.

I've relegated myself to the rank of 'soft-core' as a result.

 
At 4:42 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous Shooter said...

I bought it when it came out on Dreamcast. It took me a month to get past level 2 on easy mode.
Its the best shooter ever made. Wait til you get to level 5 on hard mode. Best with a joystick.

Grats on your purchase.

 
At 4:52 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous MMORPG Veteran said...

I dont get it. It looks like a pile of electronic mess to me. How is that fun? I got a headache watching the vidoe.

 
At 5:00 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous Shoot The Core said...

it's called 'surgical presicion'. something you MMO-types would have no idea about.
the sense of satisfaction pulling off something this insanely difficult is hard to describe to you MMO-types.

laymans terms:
its a severe challenge
you achieve it
you feel great

hilarious and far fetched concept isnt it?
i mean, who'd want to *grind* in a game? oh wait..

go back to your auto-attack fantasy faire mmo-boy.

 
At 5:13 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous RB Fan said...

Ikaruga is technically Radiant Silvergun 2. Treasure made RS1, then RS2 (Ikaruga) and have always said they planned the series to be a trilogy.

Supposedly RS3 is coming out on Xbox Live sometime soon. Here.

 
At 5:22 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous anon-e-mouse said...

I love your blog you go from railing out your friends to bashing cristians to shooting up shit!!!! It's the most entertaining read ever!!

So post more regularly dammit!! :D

 
At 5:28 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous now here said...

word. its my homepage for morning coffee at work.
sharp tongue but fucking hilarious. smart guy, Zarres.
peace.

 
At 5:31 pm, July 19, 2007, Blogger Zarres said...

LOL wtf? How come the sudden influx of comments? Who's linked me somewhere I don't know about.. hmm?

PS: Still not past Stage 2 aarggh!!
Looking fwd to a sequel if it somes out on XBLA for sure.

=) Z.

 
At 5:34 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous Ikaruga said...

best.shooter.ever.

 
At 6:43 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Batsugun was my first bullet hell game. It was on Sega Saturn in about 1998 I think.

If you want pure hell, get Mushihime-sama (available on PS2 now).
Check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP-mePr1-ZQ

 
At 7:02 pm, July 19, 2007, Anonymous KOF said...

holy crap thats insane

 
At 7:56 am, July 20, 2007, Anonymous Fanboi Hater said...

This is the same guy who's now famous on the LOTRO boards for beting the crap out of fanbois over there.
And I'm right behind him. Did us all a fucking favor. Those idiots need a bullet and he gave one to them daily.
Zarres I hear you've hung up your boxing gloves over there? How come?

ZFTW

 
At 8:14 am, July 20, 2007, Anonymous Elendilmir said...

LOL he's the best. Even though I'm what you might call a 'fanboi' even I used to get a chuckle out of his posts on the official forums.

Hey Z: take it from a fanboi like me. We're not all 'rabid and delusional' (as you put it) but most of them are!

Seriously, it's embarassing somethimes having to read the shite that they write. They had no idea what hit them when you came on the scene, and I don't think they'll ever recover either!!!

Sad to see you moving on, but your farewell post has had the most hits of any parting post ever. And, hypocrites that they are, the fanbois are all over it, posting that they 'dont care' LMAO.

Good luck in the WAR beta. I'm jealous as all hell. You better be planning to post about it here my man.

 
At 8:00 pm, July 20, 2007, Blogger Zarres said...

Haha thanks guys.

Seriously? The LOTRO community are a bunch of lunatic fucking fanboy wankers. It's totally unbelieveable - scary scary folk.

But all I've done is depart the forums (in a blaze of glory! lol!) - not the game. I'll be keeping my sub going for the time being, so yell out if you're on Elendilmir.

Yes it's true - I've just been accepted into the Warhammer Online Beta. I'm rapt!

Downloading it as I type this.. :D

Take a look here to see what the developers are aiming for (about as anti-LOTRO as you can get) and to see some in-game footage.

Back on topic: Still haven't busted through Stage 2 on Ikaruga! /trying

 
At 6:24 pm, July 21, 2007, Anonymous nerdinator said...

I bet you're stuck on that last boss of stage 2? The one with the two 'weak points'?

Go to youtube and search for ikaruga stage 2 and you'll find tons of videos showing how to defeat it.

 
At 2:10 am, July 27, 2007, Blogger Zarres said...

Yep that's where I was stuck gorram'it!!

Happy to report I finally made it through to Stage 3, although not in the most stylish way possible (read: zero health/lives left, so all I did was unlock it..)

The challenge continues..

 

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