30 Mar

Stupid Computer Ramblings (and Ikaruga)

It only occured to me yesterday that there’s a clear benefit in that I bought a new LCD screen a while ago. I leaned on the screen and realized the screen of course rotates 90 degrees flipping the vertical and horizontal axes.

Well, this is nothing new and I knew that was popular back in the days when screens were so small that there was a bona-fide benefit in a tilted screen: you could fit a preview of a A4 document on the screen with realistic dimensions.

I don’t do design work on my computer. But, for me realizing that old feature was a revelation: it allows playing vertically scrolling shmups properly. I it never occured to me that you could do that even though I knew some people simply tilted their TV sets on their sides (which could be harmful).

Long story short, I can be stupid and most importantly: Ikaruga kicks rear. It’s barely playable on Chankast (the better Sega Dreamcast emulator out there, which is not saying a lot) but the game is so awesome that who cares. It’s quite hard in any case, some invisible sprites hardly make it any harder.

Everyone and their mother knows Ikaruga is the best thing out there etc. but it also occured to me just yesterday only four people are responsible of creating it. Similarly, the game is only about 20 megabytes in size and even the game mechanics are very simple even for a late 1980s shmup (no power-ups whatsoever). It’s somehow very reassuring for the bedroom game maker. It’s a real shame the game isn’t available on the PC (it should be available for that Xbox Live Arcade thing this April — maybe that gives hope it could eventually find its way to the remaining few).