Kokuga landed on the eShop recently with alarmingly little fanfare. In ordinary circumstances, that would be understandable: publisher G.rev isn't likely to have any kind of marketing budget to give it a push, while many will be put off by its ostensibly expensive £13.49 price tag (although it received a full-price retail release last August in Japan, which helps explain it).
But these aren't ordinary circumstances, because Kokuga is the latest game from Hiroshi Iuchi, the director of Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga and Gradius 5; in other words, the man responsible for three of the finest shooters ever made. In the event, it can't quite quite match up to those three. Though you might be surprised how close it gets.
The Kokuga itself is a typically elegant Iuchi creation, a futuristic tank that glides rather than rumbles, firing shells at a steady rhythm from a turret you rotate with the 3DS shoulder buttons. Your objective is as straightforward as it gets - destroy everything that moves and/or fires at you - although it requires a more measured approach than that suggests.