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If you're a fan of "bullet hell" shooters, the day you've been waiting for has arrived: the celebrated arcade and Dreamcast title Ikaruga is now available on Google Play after a brief Japan-only period. But hold your horses, nostalgic gamers - it's also one of the more expensive titles out there at a whopping $9, with no demo available. Still, for those who love this gem of a shooter, it's worth the high price tag.

If you're unfamiliar with Ikaruga, it's an old-school space shooter made for the Sega NAOMI system (basically an arcade Dreamcast) and released to home markets in 2001. It's almost single-handedly responsible for the revival of the 2D shooter genre that we now enjoy, and is believed by some fans and critics to be the best bullet hell shooter ever. Gorgeous 2D sprites and 3D backgrounds don't hurt, but what makes Ikaruga stand out from the crows is its dual play system, which allows you to literally reverse your polarity and switch between black and white enemies and bullets.

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If you're balking at the price, perhaps you should recall that a brand new copy of Ikaruga cost $50 is 2001... and imports of the original are still demanding $70-90. It's 175MB to download, and compatible with most devices, with a few notable exceptions including the Transformer Prme TF201.

Thanks, Connor!

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Chris Guanche

    It also comes up as being incompatible with my Inspire 4G, but works with my inferior Samsung Gravity Smart.

  • htowngtr

    Someone post the video of that guy playing two ships at once with each hand

  • http://twitter.com/EightRooks Matthew Lee

    It seems to run fine on my Nexus 10, but Christ, the UI's impenetrable in its current form. Yes, I owned the original (had it on Japanese Dreamcast and Gamecube too) and I'd call Ikaruga unplayable with auto-shot on. You can't work any of the intricate scoring systems in these games properly with the default mobile controls (uless you're some kind of fifty-fingered god), but at least people like Cave adapt their titles to let you have fun and still get a decent challenge even if you're not playing it "properly".

    I always felt Ikaruga was a game where if you weren't chaining every level, switching colours every three seconds etc. you were doing it WRONGGGGG, and this just makes that even worse. At least, as far as I can see inside the fifteen minute window. Refunded for now and wishlisted just so I can check to see if they patch it at all (though given G-Gee still haven't fixed Espgaluda and DoDonPachi to work properly with Jellybean, I'm not holding my breath).

    EDIT: To be clearer about the controls, I mean that as far as I can see it would be near impossible to play it properly on a large tablet, sitting down comfortably and using one hand, and it'd still be fairly awkward if you had the tablet resting on a table or something. It was only a few minutes but IMO you can just tell if a control system isn't going to cut it pretty quickly. Still, it did look pretty good, and ran fine, so presumably some people will be happy with it.

  • onpoint G

    I just saw Dreamcast and I clicked on the link...unrelated I know but please bring Powerstone!!

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Dear God, yes. Capcom, I would buy a new Power Stone game on ANYTHING. You hear me, you Resident Evil jackasses? I would buy a freakin Wii U for a new Power Stone.

  • Aaron Berlin

    Awesome! Another chance to fail miserably while playing Ikaruga!

  • sdzero

    It's a no go on my Droid DNA, sad.

  • astaroth

    Sadly it crash on my Tegra 2 phone. And annoying G-Gee runtime thingie.

  • FadyMahfouz

    I'm amazed that no one cares that it's stupidly overpriced!

    • Adam

      It's not overpriced. We're just used to paying tiny amounts for tiny games.

  • whiteinge

    Instabuy. $9? Worth it!

  • Olaf

    Ikaruga's not a bullet hell. It's a SHMUP. Sorry, just wanted to state that.

  • manlisten

    I think I and my blood pressure will pass on this.

  • http://www.yepi250.com/ yepi250

    Thanks Jeremiah Rice.Your article is very attractive.I will download and play this game.

  • http://www.hopy1.com/ hopy

    A new game, I've always been curious what this mealy. Hoping to discover it gives me a sense of opinions and interesting adventure.