Still on the fence wether to get Ikaruga or not? What about free Ikaruga? Xbox360Fanboy and Joystiq are running giveaway contests to 1 and 3 redemption codes for Ikaruga, respectively. All you have to do is leave a comment At either XBox360Fanboy or Joystiq stating your favorite Treasure-develop game, the contest ends 12pm ET on Friday, April 11th.
[UPDATE] We are not running the contest, so don't enter here for the contest.
The Gamerscore Blog brings word that this week's release is the much anticipated classic shmup Ikaruga. Originally released as a Japan-only title for the Dreamcast it was later ported for the GameCube for a worldwide release, and this Wednesday, April 9th, it arrives to the Xbox Live Arcade service.
Officially announced back in September 2007 (rumored existence since February 2007), Ikaruga is known for the nerve-inducing mechanic of your ship having 2 color schemes, which you have to manage in order to deal maximum damage and shield yourself from the enemy fire.
Costing the standard price of 800 Microsoft Points (~10$USD), Ikaruga on XBLA will feature 2-player coop (offline or over Xbox Live), HD graphics, video replays and online leaderboards.
Full press release and some screenshots after the jump:
Continuing the ridiculous trend of Microsoft not letting anyone know when games are coming out, we have been waiting for months now, wondering when we would get to play Treasure's masterpiece on the Xbox Live Arcade service. In what can only be described as Karma at it's best, it seems that MS themselves are to blame for the latest leak. According to their Japanese Xbox site, it seems that we now know that Ikaruga will be gracing the service in a little less than two weeks (April 9th, to be exact). While I know it's going to be a agonizing wait, here's a couple of screenshots to keep you pacified:
Coming in at 800 points, it seems that Xbox is certainly becoming the home of the shmup! (now if only a North American publisher would pick up the remaining Japan-only ones).
[Thanks to Buster for the heads up]
Eagle-eyed forum reader tancredo points out that Mr. Driller Online also has pricing and release date info on the Japanese site. Looks like we'll be seeing Mr. Driller next week (April 2nd) for the same price of 800 MS points.
MyGamerCard reveals the complete list of achievements for the upcoming XBLA title Ikaruga.
11 of the 12 achievements in the game are the standard for a shoot-em-up title (to be honest, they could have been more original about them), with 5 achievements awarded when you beat each of the game's bosses (10-15G each), 5 for getting a good score on each stage (20G each) and the last 2 awarded when you beat the game without continues (15G) and the other when you finish a stage without shooting (10G).
From: Inside MyGamerCard
Looks like the game will be out very, very soon, as the magazine states the game release date as "Out Now". However this is the April issue being released in March, so the actual release date is anyone's guess (but one can assume it will be released before the end of April).
OXM gave Ikaruga a very awesome score of 9 out of 10.
Not only do they get to play games filled with exiting, extending, shooting, more shooting, and even trigger hearts (whatever those are), but they decided to post up their impressions just to rub it in my face. That's right. To spite me. Specifically.
Ikaruga. Revered by many. Reviled by some. It is an exercise in precise control and lightning-fast decision making. But perhaps you have not had the pleasure (or pain) of experiencing it first hand. To ease your pain, I bring you two fresh videos of the XBLA Ikaruga. One now, one after the break.
Framerate? Locked. 3D models? Gorgeous. Looking difficult as ever? No doubt.
(And yes, I realize that this video is not nearly as hard as it gets.)
You may want to check out the Hi-Res versions of these videos by clicking below (worth it) and while you're over at IGN, you could always check out their Hands-on with the game.
We already heard that E4 won't be coming to the US until Q1 2008. Now, Kotaku has confirmed that Rez HD, and Ikaruga will be joining the fray (in the US) around the same time (Q1 2008).
On one hand, I am disappointed that I won't get my hands on these games before the end of the year. On the other hand, I am already so backlogged with games that the thought of adding more to my plate is scary. Oh yeah, and there's a certain game that I might be playing quite a bit of very soon.
Luckily, we can take comfort that Ikaruga's new visual bar is "head and shoulders above the original." I guess that's a good reason to be patient. Then again, January would be much better than March.
Now, 1UP got some face time with Masato Maegawa (President of Treasure) and he has added that the Ikaruga team is hard at work and are "adding worldwide rankings, online co-op play, and the ability to share movies of your best play sessions." Amazing news.
Then, after some prodding about bringing Radiant Silvergun (Ikaruga's Saturn-based predecessor) to XBLA he mentioned that "it's something they've definitely been thinking about doing, perhaps after Ikaruga is finished." Faint-worthy news.
Oh and in case that wasn't enough, Treasure still has plans for a full blown 3rd game in the series but it is under delays while they try to push out Ikaruga.
Anyway you shake it, shmup fans can find a comfortable home on XBLA.
Okay, so we all know now how wrong I was about the Brutally Fun site. However, it was not a total loss. Alongside the announcement of Ninja Gaiden 2 was a bevy of Japanese themed XBLA games that are coming.
And guess what is among them? Ikaruga. It even says "available soon."
As awesome as it is to hear Ikaruga's solidly confirmed (not that we didn't expect it), I must say the surprise story for me is the announcement of Rez coming to XBLA. Then again, maybe it shouldn't surprise me after all.
The full list of mentioned XBLA games is as follows: Every Extend Extra Extreme (Q Entertainment), EXIT (Taito), Ikaruga (Treasure Co. Ltd.), OMEGA FIVE (Hudson Entertainment), Rez (Q Entertainment), Triggerheart Exelica (Warashi), Braid (Number None Inc.), Castlecrashers (The Behemoth), and Schizoid (Torpex Games LLC).
I'm too tired to say anything else of value, so just read the details after the break and let all this all sink in.
News Flash from xbox.com after the break.