What now-gen games can learn from Radiant Silvergun

If you've been playing games for a while, you will likely have heard of Treasure. This revered developer has created some of the best shooting games ever. True, it also gave the world Dynamite Headdy, but you gotta take the rough with the smooth. Gunstar Heroes, Ikaruga, Alien Soldier, Bangai-O - all magnificent titles in many ways. But all pale in comparison to the company's magnum opus, Radiant Silvergun.

Released in 1998 on Sega's dying Saturn console, the game was never given a western release. Being the spiritual predecessor to Ikaruga, the similarities are immediately apparent. But at heart it plays very differently. In fact it plays, perfectly. And every modern shooter, whether FPS or traditional scroller, could still learn from it. So here, in words and video, iswhy the game is still vitally important, ten years after its release.

Forgiving collision detection
Despite the game's incredibly hardcore difficulty level, the game mechanics are incredibly forgiving. If your ship is, say, 30 pixels wide, the game only registers the middle 12 or so as solid. Therefore, those ever-decreasing gaps between bullets are larger than they look - or you're smaller, depending on how you want to look at it. The result is a game that never leaves you screaming 'That didn't hit me!' at the telly. This makes failure easier to cope with - games can be rockhard without being unfair. A very simple lesson.

Above: Holding 'fire' slows your craft's movement, allowing finer control. We weren't just overwhelmed, honest. Er...

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine, Traxion.gg, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.