Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    Crystal-clear graphics and Achievements are certainly appealing, but the bigger draws are online multiplayer with the leaderboards and downloadable replays. At the very least, it will likely refresh your interest in the game (and subsequent determination to finish it off).
  2. It took me almost six hours just to get through the first three levels on easy with all the handicaps listed above. It is a truly challenging game, and is probably one of the best games out on Live Arcade.
  3. Vertical shooting at its best. A must-buy for fans of the dying shoot-'em-up genre but only if you can handle extreme difficulty levels.
  4. For 800 MS points you can experience one of the greatest shooters of all time for a fraction of the original game’s cost. Ikaruga is extremely deep yet simple in its style of play.
  5. This game does not cheat, it simply requires pixel perfect shooting and dodging skills.
  6. Whether you enjoy shooters or not, it is simply something that must be played. Treasure created a wonderful experience, and has delivered that very same experience to the 360, perfectly intact, accomplishing far more than it aspires to do, and offering much more than just a shmup.
  7. The staggering difficulty and blazing visuals may overwhelm the casual gamer - it took me two days to get to the second boss, but anyone who takes the time to master the binary gameplay model will find a deep strategic shooter.
  8. It's undoubtedly hard, but looks, sounds and plays wonderfully, both alone and online through Xbox Live. Download this baby immediately.
  9. 90
    Unless you're a diehard shooter fan it'll give you a beating worse than the one Shane Falco took in the '96 Sugar Bowl, but if you have the skills and are up to the challenge this is a must own.
  10. The spiritual follow-up [to "Radiant Silvergun", Ikaruga, is arguably just as good, if not better than its predecessor. And now, we get another chance to experience it, this time in glorious high-definition.
  11. With only five levels one could argue that there isn’t much to Ikaruga. Yet what it lacks in size it more than up for in terms of playability and challenge.
  12. For just 800 Microsoft points you get what is possibly one of the best games released on the Xbox Live Arcade and the single best top-down shoot 'em up of all time.
  13. 90
    This is my third time playing Ikaruga, and I'm still not very good at it, but somehow that doesn't matter. Each play is a joy, and each small improvement a delight.
  14. 90
    There may not ever be a better 2D shooter on Xbox Live Arcade. Ikaruga is that good.
  15. Ikaruga is one of the most challenging, fun and addictive vertical shooters out there, and the latest platform to be graced by this title is Xbox Live. This is definitely a challenging game, and the total of five levels is a bit on the short side, but the lean price tag of 800 Microsoft Points is more than justified for such a great gaming experience.
  16. 90
    It might not be the best vertical shooter ever – that honour goes to Ikaruga’s predecessor Radiant Silvergun – but it is easily the best game on Xbox Live Arcade and indeed the Xbox 360 itself. Purchase immediately.
  17. An amazing sight to behold. [Apr 2008, p.99]
  18. The game’s unique spin on a classic formula, coupled with a difficulty level sure to challenge even the most hardcore gamers, make the game an experience just waiting to scratch your itchy trigger finger.
  19. It’s frustrating but satisfying at the same time, and I can’t think of any other game that represents the genre so well.
  20. If you're not sold on Ikaruga, then you probably aren't hardcore enough for it. Even if you are hardcore enough for it, you'll be chewed up, spit out, and left out to dry.
  21. Ikaruga isn't tough our unfair, and is always kind enough to encourage perfect play without ever demanding it. [June 2008, p.94]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. ApocalypseBrown
    Jan 8, 2010
    Perfection is what I'll call this side -scrolling shoot 'em up, the game was so awe inspiring ten years ago and hasn't lost a Perfection is what I'll call this side -scrolling shoot 'em up, the game was so awe inspiring ten years ago and hasn't lost a once of playability today! Full Review »
  2. rishabhaxe
    Apr 25, 2009
    I have played the trial game and know i just want the full game soooooooo badly but for some reason my brother hates it i dont know he is an idiot
  3. Homer
    Jun 5, 2008
    An amazing action game that just might be the greatest shooter of all time. It's also hard as utter s***.