Review: Ikaruga (Nintendo Switch)

A rebel pilot named Shinra must battle an enemy nation using a specially-designed fighter called the Ikaruga, which can switch between two energy polarities (black or white) at the touch of a button.


  • Superb HD graphics.
  • 382MB Download size.
  • Bullet hell shmup gameplay.
  • Full online leaderboard support with filters.
  • How to play section (shows videos and text)
  • Can rebind controls.
  • Fire and polarity on/off.
  • Can change continues, starting lives and extend scores.
  • Video- Can do screen rotate including Tate mode, Rotate the HUD independently, HUD size can be dot by dot or large and HUD layout with 6 settings.
  • Three difficulties- Easy, Normal and hard.
  • Choose your default ship setting.
  • Proper hardcore score chaser.
  • Two ships- Ikaruga or Gineki.
  • Three game modes- Arcade, Prototype and chapter select.
  • Can save replays.
  • Can change border wallpaper.
  • Two players in local play and double play.
  • Combo system.
  • Solid shmup mechanics.
  • Endless replayability as you strive to get better scores.
  • Polarity- You can change color, Doing so will damage the matching color and getting hit by the matching color gets absorbed and doesn’t do damage.
  • Appendix- Shows gallery and houses the soundtrack. (can unlock the appendix instantly if you want otherwise you have to complete the game to unlock it.)
  • Difficult.
  • Screen-filling boss fights.
  • Stone cold classic.
  • Banging soundtrack.
  • Rumble on/off.


  • Annoying save/load screen between every transition.
  • Difficult.
  • Small screen unless you rotate it.
  • A learning curve for the mechanics.
  • If you just play it as a straight-up game then you will finish it rather quickly on easy.

The Numbers:
  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Sound - 10/10
  • 8/10
    Accessability - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10


You cannot talk about the SHMUP genre without Ikaruga popping up, It introduced so many gamers not only to the genre but also to the now infamous bullet hell genre. Ikaruga is regarded as a classic and rightly so, It is crisp clean and devilishly hard. Having it on the Nintendo Switch is not only a bit of a surprise but also amazing news, More new players will discover this classic and with it running so well on the console, You could say it is a perfect port to play and own. Be warned the game will test your nerve and stress levels but that will be rewarded with a gaming experience like no other.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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