Review: Radiant Silvergun (XBLA)

Review: Radiant Silvergun (XBLA)

In the past, I may have made mention of my adoration for Ikaruga. I have spent many frustrated hours immersed in the bullet hell of Ikaruga, and I don’t regret a single second of it. Now, for the first time in my life, I’ve had the chance to play the game that made Ikaruga possible: Radiant Silvergun. Developed by Treasure, and ported as an XBLA exclusive, Radiant Silvergun is just as frustrating as its offspring, Ikaruga. To be perfectly, honest…I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yes, I understand the contradiction of appreciating the fact that Radiant Silvergun is frustrating. My answer to that is…shutup. It may be frustratingly difficult at times, but that’s part of its charm. While I realize that’s like saying you’re not a bad person, you’re just odiously aggravating…shutup. Radiant Silvergun is a game of patterns. Memorizing, predicting, and understanding those patterns is one key element of succeeding in the game. It may take multiple attempts before you manage to slip through the patterns, but the effort and time put into it make the game worth playing, just like the games of my childhood.

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Now, most games of this type start you off with basic weaponry that can be modified, upgraded, or swapped with the use of power-ups spread throughout the levels or dropped by defeated enemies. Radiant Silvergun is the opposite of this. Every weapon is available to you from the beginning, including a standard straight shooter, target seeking plasma projectiles, an electronic sweeper sword, and more. As you go through the waves of enemies, you level up your weapons, resulting in much the same thing that a power-up in another game would result in. Each weapon has a different benefit, and each one has value within the game. Knowing what weapon to use at what time is another key element of succeeding in Radiant Silvergun.

Online and local multiplayer both make appearances, to varying levels of success. Local multiplayer is absolutely fantastic, creating an environment where both players are furiously jabbing at their controllers to avoid bullets, missiles, lasers, fireballs, and more simultaneously while still firing their weapons in an intelligent and constructive (or destructive, I suppose) manner. Online multiplayer is identical, but you are unable to save your story mode progress in online mode, and there is a noticeable difference in how smoothly the game operates.

Is Radiant Silvergun worth it? If you’re a fan of Ikaruga, or the shmup genre in general, it absolutely is. It’s your opportunity to play a classic shmup that was previously only available to importers with money to burn.

Review

ProsCons
It's a classic that spawned Ikaruga
Good local and online multiplayer
Online play has issues
Rating
90 out of 100

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