Sept 21, 2007
Microsoft showed off more of Ikaruga at this year's Tokyo Game Show. Ikaruga put the "hard" in "hardcore" when it released in arcades in 2001. Enemies and their attacks come in two different colors: white or black.
As if dodging the hundreds of bullets and kamikaze spacecrafts you'd expect from your everyday shooter wasn't hard enough, Ikaruga forces you to switch "polarities" constantly on the fly to match up your ship's color with those of your enemies and their attacks.
Use the wrong polarity for the wrong colored enemy and you'll do zero damage and die. Use the wrong polarity when the screen fills up with a bazillion bullets and you die. In fact, expect to die a lot until you get the hang of Ikaruga's unique twist on the traditional shooter gameplay mechanics. Although it felts frustrating at first, we recall that the GC version of Ikaruga winning us over once we got the hang of switching our ship's polarities.