Plot: What’s it about?
Let’s be honest, Radiant Silvergun is now available on the Live Arcade and you will want to purchase it. After all, it is one of the greatest SHMUP experiences ever created. In order to even acquire this game prior to this release would cost you hundreds, so for fifteen bucks, its a given. The premise is simple, you pilot a fighter ship through waves of enemies, collect power-ups, and die. And die. And die. And die. Radiant Silvergun is not as bullet hell driven as most games in this genre, but make no mistake, this is a hard as nails experience. The enemies fire a wide scope of projectiles, but you also have some tricks up your sleeve. Your various attacks work better against some foes than others, as well as being more efficient in certain general situations. So not only will you be tasked to dodge tidal waves of enemy attacks, but you’ll need to make the right choices with your own ammunition as well. In addition, the score chain mechanic is always sure to make you think about efficient destruction. In other words, this is a little more complex than just finding a safe zone on the screen.
If you choose to tackle Story Mode, you will be unable to continue if (when) you burn out your final life. But there is more incentive to visit Story Mode beyond the rather humorous “story” involved. As you build up your weapons, this progress is saved, which means each time you start over, you will pilot a more potent fighter. This adds some great replay value and keeps frustration levels in check. Those enemies might have beaten you this time, but when you return with juiced up weapons, it is a wonderful feeling to blast them into oblivion. Arcade Mode is a more standard experience, allowing you to continue after you are snuffed out, but without the weapon progression. Treasure has also spruced up the visuals a little of course, not to mention a special Ikaruga mode. If you earned at least one achievement in Ikaruga, you unlock a mode that tinkers with the score chain element. Not a huge chance, but still a nice inclusion. Treasure’s Radiant Silvergun holds up well with the dynamic weapon system, incredible boss battles, and game play that makes you want to come back again and again. A genre classic, Radiant Silvergun is still as great as ever and this Live Arcade version is highly recommended.
Video: How does it look?
You can experience the visuals as seen in the Sega Saturn version of Radiant Silvergun, or opt for an HD paintjob. The HD version offers improved visuals of course, but it remains faithful to the source. Some of these HD remakes lose the magic of the artwork, but not in this case. The graphics still might not be dazzling, but the game looks terrific in this new rendition and fans should appreciate that. You can switch between the two versions on the fly as well, which is always fun.
Audio: How does it sound?
All of the sounds of the game are intact and sound good. The constant stream of projectiles, the explosions, and the music are in fine form here. The sound design might get overlooked with this release because of the new shined up graphics, but this still sounds good and adds much to the experience.
Supplements: What are the extras?