Key events

9th April 2008


17th June 2003


FeatureWhy I play video games

Or the special whatness that makes them so special.

I chose to be a doctor for lots of reasons. Some of them good! None of them to do with improved marriage prospects (I am only half Asian). None of them very sexy either, mind. If medical school was X-Factor, I wouldn't be picked to tell my life story in the crowd. I don't have a dead nan who always believed in my ability to take blood pressure or anything.

Ikaruga hits Steam Greenlight

You know what to do.

Japanese developer Treasure has launched cult classic "shmup" Ikaruga on Steam Greenlight in the hope of releasing it on Valve's digital platform.




Let's suppose you know nothing about Ikaruga. Let's assume that developer Treasure, forbear Radiant Silvergun, director Hiroshi Iuchi and No Refuge are all names and phrases that carry no weight or significance to you. This is a good place to start because, as with the re-release of any classic game, it's easy to get caught up in the context, the history and the memories and lose sight of the fact that all videogames live or die in the now.

And if you do get the references; if you can one-credit the game blindfolded using only your sphincter; if the mere mention of its name fills your heart with Dreamcast swirls and warm nostalgia; or if you're approaching this review not as a prospective purchaser but as an inspector, clipboard and beady eyes checking every consonant for the shadow of an error the way only a snooty Japanese shmup aficionado can... Well, try to imagine you know nothing about Ikaruga and discard the context, the history and the memories: that way you might get to fall in love all over again.

Ikaruga, like all the very best arcade endeavours, is easy to grasp and near-impossible to master. The simplicity derives from the fact that its mechanics are quite literally black and white. Everything in this slick, confident shoot-'em-up - the enemies, the bullets and the paintwork on your ship - is one of two colours. One button-press switches your ship between them: black, white, black, white.

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Ikaruga gets Japanese release date

Ikaruga gets Japanese release date

Live Arcade revamp down for April.

Microsoft plans to release Ikaruga for the Japanese Xbox Live Arcade on 9th April.

Confirmation comes from the official regional Xbox website, confirming the price at 800 Points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60).

The platform holder is yet to announce a US or European date, but has been contacted for comment.

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FeatureCult Classics: GameCube

Part 2: Fear, frolf, farming and a bit more drumming.

Following on from part one, Keza stops understanding the alphabet and starts hugging everything vaguely chronologically. We've also done a quick check and she doesn't claim anything was released in "1005" in this one.

TGS: Xbox Live Arcade Roundup

Ikaruga, Every Extend Extra, Exit and more.

Tucked away on one side of Microsoft's genuinely very impressive TGS stand was a bank of four 360 demo pods exclusively devoted to Xbox Live titles. And when we say 'titles' we mean about 50 of the blessed things. Old stuff. New stuff. Indiscriminate stuff. It was like inviting round a mate who's been away for a couple of years and showing him everything he'd missed. Xbox Live Arcade really does have an embarrassment of riches now.