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Showing posts with label Ikaruga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ikaruga. Show all posts

Dreamcast pad working on Nintendo Switch


We here at the Dreamcast Junkyard love our sometimes unfairly maligned controller, however have you ever wished you could use your beloved VMU housing beaut on your Nintendo Switch? Well, no me neither, but now you can anyway.

Forced to use a screen shot of a YT video? You betcha!

A Quick Look At Ikaruga: Dreamcast & Switch Comparison

The Dreamcast's stable of shoot 'em ups is legendary and is up there with the best line ups of any console ever released. Sitting proudly atop that stable, like a shimmering diamond is Treasure's marvellous Ikaruga. Ikaruga was initially released in the arcades as a NAOMI powered coin-op, before being published on the Dreamcast in 2002 as a Japan-only title. Like many late era Dreamcast shmups, the lack of a release outside its native territory has given Ikargua an almost mythical status amongst its peers, and the general scarcity of the title has inevitably pushed the price up.
Click/tap for full size version
A Gamecube port was released in the west later in 2003, allowing Ikaruga to reach a wider audience, but even that version commands a healthy price tag in today's climate; while further releases for the Xbox 360 and Steam followed in 2008 and 2013 respectively. Much like Zerodiv's re-release of Zero Gunner 2, Ikaruga now heads to the Nintendo Switch and brings with it a whole lot of history and reputation. Being dusted off and put out on Nintendo's hot new hybrid system can only be applauded, especially when offered at a budget price point - original copies of the Dreamcast game can reach into the hundreds of pounds depending on condition of disc, manual and case.


Before we get ahead of ourselves though, let's take a look at the game itself, its main features and selling points. Then, once that's all squared away we'll investigate how faithful a port this new Ikaruga is, and what - if any - differences there are between the Dreamcast / NAOMI original and this brand new resurrection for the Switch generation...

The Ultimate Ikaruga Run

Think you're good at Treasure classic Ikaruga? Well it's time to think again!

Check out this video from the recent Summer Games Done Quick 2015 event, where a simply insane Ikaruga run was demonstrated by TASBot, a machine that specialises in completing tool-assisted speedruns.

Running for maximum score, TASBot proceeds to run two-player Ikaruga while hitting Max Chain bonus all... the... smegging... time! Yes, its a machine executing code ripped from emulators but, just, god-damn!

If you are at all into shmups then this will blow you away. Some of the movement patterns on display are simply insane and, when both the Ikaruga and Ginkei team up for some high-level bullet eater tactics, things just get beautiful.

You will never be good enough to play like this, however if you want to get better at Ikaruga, then watch this spectacular run. Excellent commentary is supplied too for the uninitiated. The run proper begins at 3:00.


We're aware the version being played is the Gamecube port, but Ikaruga will always be associated with the Dreamcast too!

Fame/Infamy

Well, it's that time again - the kind of time when I, your venerable host, like to take you, the venerable reader on a magical trip. A trip through a kingdom of unimaginable delights, of vomit coloured skies and shit coloured meadows. What is this place I speak of? Why, it's New-Games-Off-eBay-Land, of course!

Whilst that opening paragraph probably made very little sense to all but the most highly sedated Broadmoor resident, you'll no doubt have some kind of idea what I'm on about - more stuff flopping through the Stargate (letterbox) and claiming squatter's rights in the galaxy-sized library of awesomeness that is the Dreamcast Junkyard (tm).

Before I go any further though, I must bring your attention to this:



I had an email published on teletext's Game Central! FAME IS FINALLY MINE!!! X-Factor? Pfft...fuck that shit - I've had my name (well, my Blogger ID) on Game Central! I can now die happily. Although if I did, right now, you'd never find out what crap I've recently added to my collection.

So I won't. Die, that is. Yet.


Spawn: In The Demon's Hand
Have you played Heavy Metal: Geomatrix? Spawn: In The Demon's Hand is a game in the same vein - you run around  3D maze-like levels shooting, punching and kicking the crap out of every other character who's trying to do the same to you. And that's it, really. As the name suggests, it's based on the Spawn comic books/film and features characters from the Todd McFarlane scribed canon, but to be honest it could be a game based on any comic series with different characters pasted in. My knowledge of Spawn begins and ends with the rather shit film from a few years ago so I'm not really equipped to say whether this game and it's environments are authentic to the comic series, but I wasn't really that impressed by the experience contained on the disc. The graphics are OK (but it doesn't support VGA, dammit) and the music is of the typical rock type, but it's just, well, a bit boring.


Worms World Party
I don't even know why I bought this. Probably because it was a quid, but thinking about it that quid could have been spent on something else. Like a chocolate chip flapjack and a copy of The Sun. Oh well. Anyway, back to Worms. Like Armageddon, World Party sees you take control of a team of sadistic worms who must defeat a similar team with all manner of outlandish weaponry. These (turn based) battles take place in some very strange Lemmings-like environments and most of the explosions take huge chunks out of the floors and walls meaning that you can shape the landscape to your benefit or hindrance of the enemy team. The thing is, Worms is meant to be played as a multi-player game so if you have no friends (like me), it can be an unrewarding experience. Aesthetically, World Party is very colourful and even though it looks quite basic, the visuals perform their function perfectly. The 'World Party' moniker comes from the fact that when it was released, the game allowed gamers from around the globe to battle each other online. I'm not sure if you still can, but considering the Dreamcast has been defunct for nearly a decade now, I'm guessing the servers are now lying in a pool of effluence in an alley somewhere.

The following games I got off that lovely chap known only as Gary, and so arrived in the form of a CD-R titled Dream Shooter 5. Here's a (pretty crap) flip video of the clever interface bit:



Don't tell the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). They'll probably get that fat twat to brand me with that red-hot poker and then lock me up for funding terrorism like all those ne'erdowells selling copied DVDs down the market.


Under Defeat
An awesome helicopter shoot 'em up set in an alternative timeline from our own, Under Defeat is one of those new-ish DC releases. I'm quite new to the whole 'shump' scene so wasn't really expecting much from Under Defeat, but I have to admit that I was quite taken aback by how cool it is. The graphics are all fully 3D and you can change the aspect of the screen from portrait to landscape for a full screen experience (although you have to put your telly on it's side). The best thing about Under Defeat though is the tempo of it all. Wave after wave of brilliantly designed enemies come at you and you can modify the angle that your chopper flies at in order to attack bogies from the side (which helps if they are firing a constant stream of projectiles to their front). The difficulty level is perfectly balanced and the special effects are imply stunning (check out the special screen-filling super weapon!). All in all, one hell of a shooter.


Zero Gunner 2
Another helicopter based shooter, Zero Gunner differs slightly from Under Defeat in that you can fully rotate your craft in order to destroy enemies that come at you from the left, right and behind. Again, the 3D graphics are mightily impressive - as are the end of level bosses. Basically, they start as various pieces of hi-tech military kit (stealth bomber, submarine etc) and when you've worn enough of their energy down they transform into a big fuck-off robot. Kind of like Power Rangers, but without an actor in  shoddy rubber suit. You also get to choose one of three different types of chopper, each with a different pattern of fire and strengths and weaknesses. It's not as good as Under Defeat, but it's still a corking shooter.


Ikaruga
Now we're talking. Ikaruga is one mother of a shoot 'em up - and possibly one of the most imaginative ever created. How? Well, it's all about opposites. You see, in Ikaruga, enemies come in two varieties - light and dark. Your ship, Ikaruga, also has the ability to change between the two different polarities meaning you can shoot dark and light missiles. The clever bit is that even though you can destroy either type of enemy with either type of ammunition, you can only be destroyed by enemy fire of the opposite type. If, for example, you are in the dark polarity and are hit by a dark enemy's fire, you simply absorb it and it fills up an energy bar enabling a special attack. If you are hit by opposite fire, you take damage. It sounds a bit confusing when it's written down, but in practice it's actually very clever - especially when you're fighting a boss who is filling the screen with patterns of different coloured projectiles. Switching between the light and dark polarities becomes a test of skill in these situations and death is usually down to your own ineptitude rather than unfairness (for that, see below). As with most of the shooters I've recently acquired, you can alter the orientation of the screen in Ikaruga and in effect get it to run full screen if you want to put your TV on it's side, but playing it with the borders is totally acceptable. And, like Under Defeat and Zero Gunner, the graphics are far beyond what you would expect to find in a shoot 'em up of this ilk - everything is modelled in 3D and the backdrops can be breathtaking in places. Quite simply, Ikaruga is an ingeniously creative and beautiful-looking game. Awesome.


Trigger Heart Exelica
Bit of a weird one this. Rather than pilot a spaceship or helicopter like in most shooters (with the exception of Gunbird 2, where you can pilot a magic carpet), in Trigger Heart Exelica you get to control a Manga schoolgirl in a flying battle-mech outfit. A sexual fantasy fulfilled for many people, I'm sure. It also differs from the rest of the pack in the way that you can fire a sort of grappling-hook thing at enemies in order to 'capture' them. Once captured, you can either use them as a shield or spin them around and throw them back at other enemies. Two birds, one stone. There is a story of sorts that seems to be an integral part of the game - characters are always popping up to chat shit, but seeing as it's all in Japanese I haven't got a clue what it's all about - and even less of a clue as to why, when you destroy them, enemies turn into gold nuggets that then get absorbed by your little character. There are a few different play modes (story, arcade, attract, training etc) and two different characters (with different shooting patterns) to play as, but it's all fairly middle of the road stuff. Trigger Heart is also quite difficult simply because it relies on completely filling the screen with fire at times making it impossible to avoid death, and also has end of level bosses that you have to defeat up to three times before they just fuck off. It's a fairly decent shooter, but nowhere near as good as some.


Psyvariar 2
Another shooter that has you in some kind of battle suit rather than a ship, Psyvariar is probably my least favourite of all the games on the Dream Shooter disc. Graphically, it's quite good - everything is very crisp and it features interaction with the background (the first level boss smashes a hole into the ground and them you do battle whilst hurtling down in), but it's lacking that vital something. It does feature a unique 'buzz' system, where you power up your suit by glancing enemy bullets, but it all moves just a bit too lowly for my liking. Also, there are no extras - all you get is the main game, which is a bit stingy. On the plus side, the music is of a very high standard and mirrors the action brilliantly. And that's it, really. Psyvariar 2: Painfully average. Although, it's better than Trever McFur in the Crescent Galaxy on the the Jaguar, so it's got something going for it.

And if you actually read all that guff, congratulations - it was hard enough writing it all whilst still suffering from a Beck's induced hangover. Next up: Capcom Fighting Collection!

Finally, to the abhorrent cunt who stole my Shepherd's Pie (yet left the beer!!) out of the fridge: I'll find you, and I'll kill you. Make no mistake. Just incase you're, y'know, reading this. Erm...

X-box Live arcade gets some updated Dreamcast goodness.



See that picture?

The cat represents the X-box 360.

The corn represents Dreamcast games like Rez and Ikaruga.

As you can see the X-box 360 is really enjoying the Dreamcast goodness. And I am sure gamers will too.

...Ok fine. I just wanted an excuse to post that .gif. But really a HD edition of Rez and an updated version of Ikaruga are being released on X-box Live. Rejoice.

-Articles linked from Kotaku.

EDIT: Racketboy has a much better article up about this that I somehow missed before. Go. Read. It.

Btw: One of these games (Rez) was mentioned in an article that Gagaman(n) wrote awhile back. Of course he said it should be remade for the Wii, not the 360. Still I think 1/2 points should be awarded.

Father K's Dreamcast Round Up!


Well, dear readers!

What a great time it is for the Dreamcast Junkyard! Our esteemed leader, Tomleecee is back and posting again. The Gagaman(n) is coming out with some amazing posts including Fideo Friday, Dreamcast DIY furniture guides, and another bout of sublime Bleem analysis. Caleb (The American Dreamcaster) has made his first stunning post regarding Scumm Emulation, so I think its about time I chipped in my 'two penneth's worth' and updated you all on what's been happening in my Dreamcast recently.




First off, Caution Seaman. If you've never experienced this title, then its high time you did... Indeed, the first time I ever posted on this hallowed blog, it was to postulate on the virtues of this particular title. However, I only got approximately half way through the 'game' before I gave up. This summer, I decided to play the game through it's conclusion. Believe me, that's quite a commitment. It means being attentive on a daily basis, being careful about your care package and the order in which you do things.




The care and attention has reeped rewards however. My Seaman is now in the final stages of its evolution and become the frogman merely hinted at on the cover of the box. Like all good naturalists, I have taken photos of these rare and sought after creatures. So enjoy! There are loads of pictures on the Internet of Seaman in his fish stage of evolution, but until I'd raised the little tyke myself, I had never seen his amphibious persona... If you don't know about this game, have a look here... and here...



OK next up, Chef's Luv Shack. This game is somehing of a 'virtual game show', with South Park's Chef as your genial host. I love South Park, but having been extremely underwhelmed by South Park Rally, I wasn't expecting much. The game pits opponents against each other in a 'first to the buzzer' quiz, with crazy categories, and general knowledge questions. In between rounds, opponents have to play simple arcade mini games against each other. This is a perfect party game, something which non-gamers can pick up and play, and a title which actually delivered far more than I had hoped for. I played it at about four in the morning with a mate, after a few ales, and I would suggest the game is best appreciated in this manner. For a better review look here...







Third is Fighting Vipers 2. Originally a Saturn game, this fighter was given a second outing on the Dreamcast. Because I'd enjoyed it so much on the Saturn, I was very keen to accquire its Dreamcast incarnation. I ordered it for (I think) £6, from the wonderful Chips. However, like Daytona USA 2001, when I eventually got it, it didn't live up to my expectations.



First of all, it felt 'light'... a strange description I know, but it's the only way I can describe it. Punches and kicks didn't seem to connect in the way that other Dreamcast fighters like Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive or even Virtua Fighter 3tb did. One of the great and innovative features of this game is it's characters. Unlike the usual stereotypical fighters we see in the affore mentioned games, Fighting Vipers has a skater, buxom rollerblader, BMX rider, guitar axe-man and so on... And they'll use those attributes on you, whilst performing show boating tricks at the same time. Its also rather nice when you smash your opponent through the 'ring' thanks to a particular lethal combo. I re-evaluated my opinion, when playing it against my games nemesis Tay. Its much more fun in 'versus mode' than playing it on your own... For a much better review, look here...











Number 4. Ikaruga. No, I've not re-mortgaged my house to buy an original copy, but I have had a CDR of the game for years, which has never been played. My recent purchase of Last Hope has turned me into a bit of a 'shmup' fan, and finally popping into my Dreamcast left me very pleasantly surprised. This game is fan-fucking-tastic! The first thing you notice is the visual gourgeousness of the 3D backgrounds.





Depsite it's retro gameplay, the visuals look very current gen. A top down shooter, (based on the switching between black and white enemies and your response to them...) Ikaruga rocks... The trick is, using the L and R trigger to switch your absorbtion potential... If your enemy is white, then you become 'white' and you can absorb the white enemies attack. Geddit? I only found this out after several plays, where I died repeatedly... Literally translated as 'speckled dove', Ikaruga was released in 2002, and was heralded as the LAST Dreamcast game, ensuring it sold out almost instantly. It eventually got a release on the Gamecube, but still remains a much sort after title for the Dreamcast. Warning!





This game is fucking ROCK hard, but worth the perseverance... For a much better review, look here...


High five? Tech Romancer... This is a 'mech' game from Capcom. If you don't know what a mech game is, its a giant robot game. Think Transformers or Ed 209... Beautiful anime graphics, Japanese dialogue with English sub-titles and lots of weapon based combat. Each character comes with its own story mode. You can also play in 'vs. mode' against a pal... I've only dipped my toe in the water of this title, but I like what I see so far... To find out more look here...


So there you have it! That's my recent Dreamcast activity in a nutshell. I've recently scored Ill Bleed, and am about to receive Zombie Revenge and Godzilla Generations (plus the Space Channel 5 soundtrack CD) , so I should have something else to talk about soon... Incidentally, my Wii really hasn't seen much action... I did think it was gonna rock my world, and so far it hasn't. The Dreamcast still holds my attention and the lion's share of my console love. However, for my musings so far on Nintendo's run away success, please check out Father Krishna's Wii-kly Sermons. If I may also shamelessly plug another couple of sites, for all Saturn related nonsense, please check out mine and Caleb's, Saturn Junkyard. For anything Master System (the Dreamcast's great grand father) related, please check out a collaboration between me and Gnome... The Master System Junkyard!



This is FK, for News At Ten, signing out! Good Night dear children, wherever you are...