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Thread: Ikaruga Preorders!!!

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    Default Ikaruga Preorders!!!

    Just got this email in today!! YAY!! Its getting closer!!

    Dear NCS Customer,

    NCS will begin processing preorders for Ikaruga on Monday of next week.
    We will break preorders into 30 equal batches so that one batch will be
    submitted each day over the next 30 days. Preorders will be processed in
    the order they were received. As mentioned before, we are unable to process
    the large amount of Ikaruga preorders in one sitting or even within 2 weeks time.
    There are simply too many preorders to handle in a short time frame. A month
    gives us leeway and time to complete everything for an efficient ship-out of the
    game on September 05, 2002.

    Please note, this message is being sent to everyone on our mailing list for
    Ikaruga and everyone who has ordered the game online. If you have previously
    canceled your order for this game, please disregard this email and accept our
    apologies for sending this message to you.

    Regards,
    NCS, Inc
    www.ncsx.com

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    I'm trying to remember who I preordered it from... I think it was The Rage; I'll have to check on that. But it's only about a month away now!

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    What's that game about and what system is it on?
    My Gaming Collection (Now at Google Drive!)

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    i preordered mine in april from ncs and i didnt get an email.

    hmmm, they better still have my preorder.

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    @Kaine I think this is the final DC game to be released. I could be wrong though...

    -Hitman-

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    Is the game by Working Designs then? :P
    My Gaming Collection (Now at Google Drive!)

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    Here's an introductory look at Ikaruga. There's an informative review out there somewhere, but I'm too lazy to look for it.

    http://mb.vgdirectory.com/game092301e.htm

    I don't think it's the last major Japanese Dreamcast release, since The King of Fighters 2001 is still scheduled to hit later this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Fenris
    I don't think it's the last major Japanese Dreamcast release, since The King of Fighters 2001 is still scheduled to hit later this year.
    yup, and i sure hope it comes out.

    also there is a slim chance of metal slug 3 coming to the dc, very slim.

    everyone email playmore and tell them you want ms3 for the dc.

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    For those that haven't seen it:

    MMCafe:

    SNK successor Playmore has released an official statement of upcoming games to be released for the home consoles. The titles and their platforms goes as follows.

    NeoGeo (Home Console)
    Rage of the Dragons
    The King Of Fighters 2002
    Shin Gouketsuji Ichizoku
    SNK vs Capcom

    DreamCast
    The King Of Fighters 2000
    The King Of Fighters 2001
    PlayStation2
    The King OF fighters 2000
    The King OF fighters 2001

    Game Boy Advance
    Metal Slug Survival Mission

    Shin Gouketsuji Ichizoku (New Power Instinct) is developed by Noise Factory and produced/distributed by Playmore with license from Altus.


    No mention of a home console port of Slug yet (even though I'm CRAZY excited for KoF01)...

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    Mmmm... Ikaruga and KoF01... want so bad....

    So, when can we expect these two to hit the $10 mark? That's about the only way I'll get my fix on these two. Ikaruga would be great for when I'm all done with Bangai-O, too. *Must rob bank*
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    New England Classic Gaming - Violent fighting to come again!
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    Seeing as they are some of the last DC titles to be released, are titles that many gamers love, aren't being released in huge quantity, and are import only:

    The chances of them EVER hitting 10 bucks is pretty close to nill.

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    Anyone know who is still taking pre-orders? Apparently NCSX is not taking them any more.

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    http://www.videogamedepot.com

    very reliable store, btw.

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    thanks butta, i just ordered one

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    Y'know, right after I hit submit, I remembered Videogamedepot. I ordered a bunch of stuff from them before they were bought out by cart-mart and never had a problem.

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    There's an informative review out there somewhere, but I'm too lazy to look for it.
    Well, here are my arcade impressions I posted a few months ago....

    EDIT: Fixed the pics!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    First of all, a big thanks to Eggo who tipped me off to the only known location of an Ikaruga arcade unit in the U.S. Arcade Infinity did indeed have a NICE Sega Astro cabinet with a copy of the game. Directions to the arcade (in Industry, CA) are at the end of this post...

    ----------
    "Is it as good as Radiant Silvergun?" That's been the question on my mind ever since I first saw shots of Ikaruga on the internet. Everyone expects Treasure to blow the doors off their Saturn vertical shooter with this NAOMI board sequel. And it IS a sequel, no doubt about that. Well, after playing the game, I thought the answer to that big question was YES... and no.

    Arcade Infinity is tucked in the very far corner of the Diamond Plaza shopping center off Fullerton Road. It's in a sort of little Japan/Korea town area of Industry; the entire shopping center is comprised of asian stores. I didn't know if I was missing the arcade at first because I couldn't read the store signs. The majority are in asian characters. But finally I found the place, out of view on the second level and around a corner.



    You feel like you just stepped into a Tokyo arcade at Arcade Infinity. Every machine is the Asian market version, and they even have weird things like the elaborate Japanese photo booths and music games. I have to say that asian arcade cabinets RULE. When I found Ikaruga in the back of the arcade, it was in a Sega "Astro City" 29" Cabinet. It's like a cocktail-style machine, but raised up at a 3/4 angle so that it's almost vertical. The cabinet looked alot like the one below, only that the screen was oriented vertically instead.



    The screen was a good size with a brilliantly clear display, and the joystick and buttons were responsive and in good shape. Controls are at the bottom of the screen, and two stools were in front of it. Another player was playing it when I got there, but after I joined in he soon left and I played alone for over an hour. On to the game...
    DAMN, IT IS HARD. You're going to die many, many, many times when you first play this. I don't think it helped that I started during the third level (I replayed the entire game after finishing it). I got so tired of reaching into my pocket for another token that I just loaded up the game with credits and also set down a pile of tokens on top of the machine itself. "Niiiine, Eiiiight, Sev-on, Six..." This is a sound you will get very familiar with while playing Ikaruga. It's the robotic voice of the game counting down your chance to continue as it waits for you to put in more tokens. No one can tell me Treasure isn't making some kind of money off this shooter.

    The concept of Ikaruga takes a little while to get used to. I was familiar with it from endless discussions on the web and internet movie files, but I still floundered for a bit before getting it down somewhat. In a nutshell, you are able to change your ship from white to dark red in color at the press of a button. If you're white, the enemies' white bullets can't hurt you. Ditto for when you're red. This goes for the enemies as well, to a limited extent. You can kill a red enemy with red bullets, but he'll die a lot faster if you switch to white and blast him instead. But if he's shooting red bullets because he's red, you may want to remain red so you can soak those bullets up... You begin to see how much strategy is involved.

    In fact, you want to be hit as much as possible by bullets of your own color. They power up your homing lazer super weapon. Absorb a couple volleys of fire and you'll get a four or five lazer blast. Soak up more and you'll unleash a huge hail of lazers. Sometimes huge beams of enemy lazers come at you that will power you up to max in a split-second. Finally, some enemies release colored bullets as a "reward" when you blast them. There's a power-up meter at the bottom of the screen so you can tell when you've maxed out the super weapon.

    Controls consist of a joystick and three buttons. From left to right, you have normal shot, change color, and homing lazer. This setup is simple and just fine for gameplay. You find yourself constantly hitting that color change, so it's good to put it in the middle. Hell, the 1P start button might as well be an action button too for all the use it gets during continues... You can also play the game with only two buttons, hitting the normal shot and color change buttons together to trigger the super homing lazer.

    I loved the gameplay of Ikaruga. It really keeps you on your toes, because you have to absorb fire, blast enemies, and change phase all at once. Things get so frantic that you will lose track of what color you are once in awhile. Other times, I was just using that super lazer up as soon as I could power it to clear up some space, any space , on the screen. However, there is one minor thing about changing color--it takes about a half-second. This delay can very often mean the difference between life and death.

    I don't know about you, but when things get really hairy in a shooter and bullets and enemies crowd the screen, I tend to focus on the immediate area around my ship for survival until things let up a bit. You can't really do that in Ikaruga. You have to be aware of what's around you, but also of waves of fire coming toward you further ahead, because it will take some time to change color and avoid getting killed by them. It's a bit of a pain to get the timing down just right as you switch colors. If you're in the middle of a beam of red fire, and are going into a beam of white fire directly next to it, you can't switch colors too early or too late. You'll die if your timing isn't just right, and it's tough to gauge when to change phases.
    The color change delay was probably the most annoying thing about Ikaruga, but it just means that memorizing the levels and best spots for switching colors is a must for good players. That's a lot like the strategic play of Radiant Silvergun. I'm sure with time I'll get used to it, but it would have been interesting to see what instant color changing would do to the game's dynamics. Instead of being purely reactive, this delay makes Ikaruga a bit more strategic--but also more of a "memorize the best spot to do this" type shooter.

    Overall, I think I enjoyed the weapon & gameplay system of Ikaruga a little more than Radiant Silvergun's. There are less weapons to worry about, and although that was part of RS's appeal, I liked just having one shooter and one super blaster. It leaves you free to think about switching colors and soaking up as many bullets as possible. It is easier to chain combos than in RS as well, partially because there are only two colors of enemy. You really get a "shooter's high" when you are switching colors at precisely the right time to avoid dying, while also soaking up the maximum amount of powerup bullets and unleashing waves of lazers.

    Level design is a mixed bag. Honestly, I have to say this is an area in which I feel Ikaruga falls a little bit short of Radiant Silvergun. This is not to say that it's bad design, but the variety of landscapes and crazy camera work is not there to the extent that it was in the Saturn shooter. What you see in the screen shots is what the majority of the levels look like. They're mostly industrial or cityscapes. And there aren't a lot of moments when you come soaring through the clouds like in RS, or spiral into an underground "tunnel." The levels really weren't nearly as inventive, but the game is still very fun.
    There isn't a night level, or many parts when the background is whirling around at a ridiculous pace while you try to keep your bearings and fight through the game. I think the designers kept things a bit subdued because you really do have to focus on what you are doing at all times. But considering that Ikaruga is running on a board with a lot more horsepower than Radiant Silvergun had, I wished they had thrown in some more fireworks in regard to the backgrounds and camera moves.



    The opening of the Ikaruga's first level does have a great swirling dynamic camera as you spiral out of the mother ship high in the clouds and descend through the sky. The mothership is visible far behind you the whole time as you plummet down, and it's a great effect. But that's the high point in terms of those kinds of effects. Levels tend to blend together. Also, I believe there are only five levels, and the game runs shorter than Radiant Silvergun, which could take over an hour to finish. Ikaruga's over within 40-45 minutes tops. But it's a fun short ride.

    Boss encounters are good, but don't match the high bar of Radiant Silvergun either. I really love Treasure's flair for bosses, and don't get me wrong--Ikaruga has some of the best bosses around. And Ikaruga stays true to RS's form, with WARNING! transmission overlays before each boss, and a letter grade after the boss dies for your performance. But the bosses aren't as diverse or inventive as RS's. There's no moment such as the one in Radiant Silvergun's second level (the night cityscape) where the camera suddenly pans up into the moon as you swoop into a boss encounter with a huge bat mech boss, or when you descend into the "tunnels" to fight the twin boss ships. No radical change in graphics like the "vector boss" of RS. The bosses didn't make as distinct an impression on me. They're mostly different mech variations and some look a lot alike.



    Also, the boss encounters are less frequent than in Radiant Silvergun. That I considered a good thing, because it speeds up the pace of the game. One of the biggest complaints about RS concerned how it could get to be very slow with all the boss encounters, even though they were excellent. Here the focus is more on changing colors, avoiding waves of enemies, and avoiding/soaking up colored bullets. There are more regular enemies than in Silvergun, and I liked this pacing better in a shooter. Ikaruga isn't a completely boss-driven game, so the fact that the bosses weren't as spectacular as RS's didn't bother me that much.

    The coolest thing about the bosses is the way they use the red/white color dynamic. Sometimes they change color, and you better change with them! Or different colored bursts of fire rain down at you in timed patterns. I had trouble even figuring out how to kill one or two bosses and they eventually timed-out and self-destructed as they do in RS. Basically, any circular structured boss in the game is a bitch. They're usually surrounded by turrets spewing out bullets. Sometimes there will be one red portion and one white portion of a boss, or they'll be twins, as shown here:



    Ikaruga reuses a lot of elements from Radiant Silvergun. The upside-down "U" shaped enemies are back. As in RS, there aren't too many types of common enemy ships , but I did like their designs more. There is more variation in the look of small enemies in Ikaruga. I like these nautilus-looking ships:



    Your own ship looks very similar to the Radiant Silvegun model. Several bosses are almost identical too, such as the circular one with turrets running along the outside, and there's a boss that is preceded by an "elevator" type ascent rising up the side of a building as in RS. There are times when walls close in and you have to make sure to stay ahead of them. There are even extened sections of levels with colored blocks that you have to blast your way through as in RS (see picture above for an example of the blocks). The game has a chapter structure and a chain combo system as in Silvergun. The second level is a cityscape just like the same level in RS, although it isn't a dark night time setting this time:



    MILD FINAL BOSS SPOILERS, BUT NOTHING SPECIFIC. SCROLL DOWN TO SKIP-

    Ultimately, I was a bit let down by the final boss encounter. It really doesn't compare to the huge "Origin" Man at the end of RS, not even close. The camera was going insane at the end of RS, and they literally threw everything in the book at you. Not so in Ikaruga. It's a pretty straightforward boss and isn't even the hardest in the game. There are many bosses in Ikaruga that are more difficult.
    END OF SPOILERS

    There are only seven or eight production names in the credits! The credit roll is so short. This shooter was designed and programmed by only a handful of people. Interestingly, there is a special thank you to two people at SEGA at the very end of the credits.

    Overall, I thought Ikaruga was an awesome shooter, probably the best since the Saturn era. But maybe the hype for the game is doing it a bit of a disservice. The visuals didn't give me a "Wow!!!" effect as much as the first experience with Radiant Silvergun did. I really expected Ikaruga to have ridiculous camera moves, beautiful varied background design and innovative wicked bosses like in RS. It doesn't, not to the same degree. It's a more focused game, where the color changing dynamic and enemy and fire patterns take the central role. And I liked this approach to the action more, even if the bells and whistles aren't there as much.

    It's possible Treasure is cooking up some extra areas and a wealth of finishing touches for the home port. The arcade version of Radiant Silvergun didn't hold a candle to the Sega Saturn mode, which added entire levels, voice acting, a plot line with characters and additional bosses among other cool modes and options. So perhaps Ikaruga will undergo a similar process and will be much improved in its Dreamcast version. They're certainly taking awhile to release it, so I hope something extra is in store!
    My pre-order awaits...

    ----------
    Arcade Infinity
    1680 Fullerton Rd.
    City of Industry, CA 91748
    Phone: (626) 964-9140

    Website: www.arcade-infinity.com/index2.htm
    From Los Angeles, take the 10 interstate East. Exit onto route 60 East (Pomona Freeway) and then take the exit for Fullerton Rd. Arcade Infinity is in the Diamond Shopping Plaza directly across from the exit.
    Once in the plaza, go all the way down the parking lot to the end. You'll be in front of an Asian supermarket. Look up and to the second level of the strip mall and you should see the arcade around a slight corner. Go up the stairs to the right of the market and you're at Arcade Infinity! Ikaruga is at the back of the arcade on the right side.
    Yeah, it's tough to find, but that probably helps keep the place less crowded. You'll likely have the Ikaruga machine all to yourself!

  17. #17
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    Default Ikaruga

    Teddman,

    I go to infinity arcade all the time. I live 15 mins from there in Fullerton. They are one of the few arcades that have Ikaruga and other Japanese games.

    Also I think its more Chinese than Japanese since there aren't many Japanese people at all in that city unless you live in Torrance.

    Last time I went there they had Metal Slug 4 and Lupin III shooting game....

    I highly recommend going there if you are in the LA Area... They are open real late. I stayed there til 4am once and they were still open when I left.

    This place rocks!

    Kyosuke75

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    Ladd Spencer (Level 17) Captain Wrong's Avatar
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    I almost wish I hadn't read that review. Not that it wasn't good, but now I'm going to be REALLY dissapointed if my pre-order doesn't come in. :P

  19. #19
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    Kyosuke, must be nice to live so close to the best arcade around L.A.! I have to start going to that place regularly every month. I hear Metal Slug 4 isn't as good as the rest of the series, but I still want to play it!

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    Speaking of Metal Slug 4, my local arcade just got it a couple months ago. It's really sweet.

    Rage of the Dragons, oh man, thats such a great game too.
    Check out the Kleppings!
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