Shoot! Dodge! and... Get Hit!? "Ikaruga" is a vertical shoot 'em up that features an unique polarity-switching gameplay. Switch the ship's polarity and "get hit and absorb" enemy bullets! Achieve High Score with the chain bonus!
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (20 reviews) - 95% of the 20 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (961 reviews) - 96% of the 961 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 18, 2014

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About This Game

Shoot! Dodge! and... Get Hit!?

Ikaruga is a vertical shoot 'em up that features an unique polarity-switching gameplay.
Switch the ship's polarity and "get hit and absorb" enemy bullets!
Achieve High Score with the chain bonus!

Features

  • The player ship, all enemies and bullets are black or white.
    Player's polarity can be switched at will.
  • Your ship can absorb enemy bullets of the same polarity.
    Filled energy goes to fire powerful homing lasers! (Release Power)
  • Defeat 3 enemies in a row of the same polarity and get the chain bonus!
    Building up high scores feels like a puzzle game?
  • Spectacular 3D graphics. Fast and smooth game play.
  • 2 Players game (Local) and
    Double Play Mode: You can play 2 Players game with one controller.
  • 5 levels. Tactical level design and boss battles.
  • 3 difficulty levels: EASY, NORMAL, HARD.
    Change your tactics depending on the difficulty.
  • 2 Game modes: ARCADE, PROTOTYPE (not hidden).
  • Replay data save is available.
    You can also download them from the Leaderboards.
  • Vertical screen mode support.
    You can also play the game like a side-scrolling shooter by rotating only the game screen.
  • Xbox360 controller, Keyboard and Mouse support.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 8 / 7 / Vista / XP
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo / Athron64 X2
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c support (256 MB VRAM)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c support
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel or AMD multicore processor recently 5 years
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA or AMD in recently 5 years
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c support
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (20 reviews)
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (961 reviews)
Recently Posted
POTATATATATO
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
One of my favorite arcade shoot em ups! Really challenging when you first start but it gets really fun!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Stin
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
I lose in less than two minutes and its great! I am bad at it and its super fun!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TomokiTheKid
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
This is Touhou right?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lyra
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
This game is very hard

It gives no mercy

But it's amazingly addictive!!

Plus it has some very awesome music!


If you think you might be disapointed or you are hesitating, JUST DONT DO THAT. Buy Ikaruga no matter what. I hesitated myself in the past and when I bought it, I saw why I shouldn't have done it in the first place.

Easily one of the best shoot'em ups of ALL-TIME

10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Flameheart
( 5.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
Fairly nice game however won't recommend to buy. The gallery has a bug to fix: it does not show up descriptions for each character.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cisstrd
( 7.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
tl;dr for the obsessive type a must have, well designed and fair but challenging game.

Infamous Ikaruga, if you haven't seen some videos online, do so. Quite obviously this is a game for people who have the tendency to be perfectionists, who love to grind every last bit out of levels and don't mind starting over quite often.

There are many games which are difficult because they are poorly designed, have stupid controls, weird hitboxes, are unfair, have too much random elements, distracting visuals... not the case here!

Controls, Gameplay, Hitboxes, Visuals, everything is perfect. The hitboxes are very well done, so it really has to hit your ship for you to die, so no frustration in that regard, just as it should be.

The game mechanic:

While being white you can absorb blue enemy fire to charge your special attack and red fire will instantly kill you (the other way around when you are black). You can switch back and forth as you wish. But here the twist: If your "polarity" (the game uses this term) is different from your enemy, you do twice the damage. So being black shooting white (or the other way around) does twice the damage to your enemy, but dodging enemy fire then can be really tricky (as a single shot of the opposite polarity will instantly kill you), this also means you can't charge your special attack by absorbing enemy fire while being of a different polarity.

And another nice feature: Changing polarity is very quick, but not instant. So if you are white and want to change since there is some red fire incoming you can't possibly dodge, you have to anticipate that slightly before.

So the mechanic is quite simplistic, but also somewhat brilliant. You have to concentrate quite seriously at times and there are various strategies how to approach different enemy formations.

Especially if you are striving for a highscore the game immensely rewards playing well, and punishes mistakes brutally. So it doesn't matter how long you are able to survive, 20 seconds of good play will trump 2 minutes of dodging everything. And that's how it should be. Having chains of streaks (shooting 3 enemies of same polarity in a row) will boost your score immensely and the goal is to keep this up as consistently as possible (and the enemy formations allow you to keep this up if you play perfectly).

That being said: I can only play it on hard, everything else feels like cheating. Enemies not firing back, way less to dodge... it's doable on hard, but the progression is brutal. First chapter easy, but from there on... be warned.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
flatluigi
( 10.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 17
A classic gets a fantastic PC port. Even supports turning your monitor sideways!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheDukeofJuke
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 15
I've never beaten this game in my life and may not ever.

10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sergius
( 2.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 12
I used to think I was good at bullet-hell games, clearly this is not the case.

I'm not sure how anyone can beat certain parts of this game on three lives, but fair play to them. I had to turn on free play to see the end :)

This is a pretty shoot-em-up, with a fairly unique feature of absorbing similar colour projectiles. If you like old-school shooters definately give this title a look - though it's very difficult.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Reimu Ream my Asshole
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 8
Can't get past stage 2
Love it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
Logged many, many hours on the Dreamcast. When it comes to shmups, Ikaruga is still the best of the best.

Play it on Easy. Learn the game, beat it a few times.

Start to learn how to chain. This opens up your eyes to the game's brilliant and meticulous design. Spend hours gittin' gud.

Then try Normal and Hard difficulties. You'll be playing this game for months or years by that point.

This game is a gold standard and has never left my top 5 favorites of all-time, even when I got bored with it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 17
A classic gets a fantastic PC port. Even supports turning your monitor sideways!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
This game is very hard

It gives no mercy

But it's amazingly addictive!!

Plus it has some very awesome music!


If you think you might be disapointed or you are hesitating, JUST DONT DO THAT. Buy Ikaruga no matter what. I hesitated myself in the past and when I bought it, I saw why I shouldn't have done it in the first place.

Easily one of the best shoot'em ups of ALL-TIME

10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
413 of 476 people (87%) found this review helpful
300 people found this review funny
Recommended
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
Buy Ikaruga if you think Dark Souls is too easy.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
203 of 223 people (91%) found this review helpful
99 people found this review funny
Recommended
70.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 5, 2015
Ikaruga is a harsh mistress. She is a love you cannot conquer, she is a complex beauty who demands perfection. Your best will never truly please her, she will make you feel inadequate at every moment, and yet you cannot stop trying to win her heart. When you are with her, any mistake you make will sting a thousand times worse. And she will make you furious, she will make you cry, she will drive you crazy, but you cannot stop loving her, because there is nothing else in the world that can compare to what she is.

Pros:
- She is perfection.

Cons:
- You are not.

Other thoughts:
- achievements are not broken down to different game play modes (easy/normal/hard/prototype mode). Also, Dot Eater is not linked to any level, you can get it in any mode.
- extra "double play" game modes not found in the console version.
- almost every combination of screen rotations are supported, which is great. It looks incredible on a pivot monitor.
- the game select at the start does not show the player character anymore (it uses the high score screen background instead)
- no training mode options to restart a level (you will need this a lot), or to start mid-level (GCN version had this I believe).
- to unlock a level on any difficulty, you just have to credit feed the game on easy mode. This also gets you the achievements for beating a boss. On the Dreamcast, you could only use training on levels you managed to reach with 1 credit, on the specific difficulty you reached it with.
- you cannot define analog axes as buttons, so on a non-xbox pad you may not be able to configure a trigger for the laser release. But the game supports just about any non-xinput pad other than this, which is great.
- when using level select to play the Final stage, the Stone-Like sequence is omitted! Boo!
- Downloaded replays tend to desync more often than not, what is up with that?
- tip: some levels are easier to get S++ score on with prototype mode.
- where's Radiant Silvergun?
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
196 of 227 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
25.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 18, 2014
After roughly 4000+ hours in this game over all the console versions. I still feel like nobody ever quite explained it as well as Greg Kasavin did, so here's his review. Notice this is the GameCube version he's reviewing, and all versions have very slight differences, but the XBLA version added the most "features" so to speak, and that's mainly what we got with this version. It fixed a lot of things the XBLA port got wrong from the arcade and DC/GC versions. My only nitpick is, they didn't include online co-op which the 360 version had, which hopefully they'll patch in at a later date. And there are people who have latency issues with the game at the moment so hopefully that's fixed fast. I also really hope Treasure VAC protects the game at some point as well. Another sad thing I guess is, the previously announced Trading Cards are now no longer happening, apparantly, the store page isn't even listing them anymore even though Treasure themselves confirmed them...

So, best review of the game ever - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4fzFvQzWtw

Go buy it!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
270 of 338 people (80%) found this review helpful
339 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 6, 2015
Beginners guide to Ikaruga:

Step 1 - Install the game.
Step 2 - Choose Normal difficulty, Chapter 1, press Start.
Step 3 - Witness your ship explode.
Step 4 - Cry.
Step 5 - Choose Easy difficulty, Chapter 1, press Start.
Step 6 - Behold the explosion again.
Step 7 - Cry some more, bow down and despair.
Step 8 - Uninstall, go and play this game for casuals you heard about called Dark Souls 2.

10 exploding ships out of 10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
151 of 184 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 18, 2014
As bullet hell shooters go, there isn't one as excellently realized as Ikaruga is. In this one, you are able to freely change the polarity of your ship between light and dark. Doing so allows you to absorb enemy attacks of the same color as you, and do additional damage to enemies of the opposite color. Destroying an enemy of the same color as you will produce suicide bullets (which you will either need to avoid or absorb). Absorbing shots charges a special attack, which once activated, sends a volley of polarized missiles across the screen.
This polarity mechanic takes a shooter that would have been excellent on its own, and makes it so much more.
If you're at all a fan of this particular genre of shooter, and haven't played Ikaruga, this is an excellent version of the game to play it for the first time. It lacks the online multiplayer which was found in the Xbox Live Arcade version, but is 5 bucks cheaper (and seeing how the XBL coop was a laggy mess, it isn't a huge deal for it to be missing here.)
What's added in this version is the ability to solo man two ships (if you think the game is a cakewalk as it is or something), local multiplayer support, as well as numerous screen rotation options.
It's a great version of what is quite possibly one of the best video games ever made! What're you waiting for?!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
79 of 90 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 24, 2014
My Opinion: As a long time hardcore gamer, Ikaruga manages to deliver to an experience that is unparalleled in it's execution, and is the purest embodiment of a just plain fun arcade game.

Now, I proud myself on being a pretty decent gamer. I'm the type of guy who bumps up the difficulty on a game I've never played before because it wont be fun otherwise, who tries for 100% completion on the harder difficulty and the most backbreaking tasks. If there's on thing that you have to know, is that this game is hard. I'm sorry, I'm understating it. It is difficult. Unyielding. Strenuous. It is harder than trying to teach your mother how to use a computer (or mine at least). When I first started this game, I was placed balls deep in the most hectic and brvtal experience of my whole gaming career, even more so than Dark Souls. There are five levels in this game, and in the four years that I've owned this game, I have never beat level three. On easy.

I don't mean to deter you by talking about how difficult this is. If you don't like difficult games, then this is definitely not the game for you. But the thing is, I enjoy twitching my thumbs and smashing my keyboard while I play this. It's not difficult in the sense that it's cheating, but that the game mechanics are so cleverly put that you need to gain an ultimate mastery of it. In the screenshots you see of the game, it may seem like all hell is breaking loose and you'll have no idea what's going on, but in reality you do. This is an easy to learn hard to master game, and game that is on the top of my wishlist now that it's been ported to PC.

So how does the game work? You pilot a ship, and the whole game is built around it's ability to change 'polarities'. It can be either negative or positive, red and blue correspondingly. When you're negative, you fire negative bullets, and so forth. The enemies also work like this, with the grunts being locked in one polarity and the bosses being able to switch. Now at practically all times, the screen is full of red and blue bullets, lasers, missiles, anything. There's no way you can avoid them all, and that's where polarities come in. When you are in a negative polarity, you're immune to negative fire, and vice versa. This idea, this game mechanic opens up for one of the most creative gaming experiences I've ever played.

Want to continue reading for a more in depth review? Head over to my website to continue and to find much other stuff! {LINK REMOVED}
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317 of 445 people (71%) found this review helpful
199 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
Hello steam sale detectives
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