Treasure are bringing their Arcade and Sega Saturn hit to the XBLA. Radiant Silvergun brings old school, arcade, flying shooter, action to your couch. You’ll be glad that you’re not pumping quarters into this one in a real arcade as this could possibly be one of the hardest games on the Xbox 360.
Radiant Silvergun plays like many of the arcade classic shooters do. You control a small ship, the screen scrolls up automatically and you shoot the heck out of a bunch of enemies that fly onto the screen from all angles. Rather than picking up powerups that give you different weapons, as you do in a lot of these type of games, your ship comes fully stocked with all the weapons you need. The catch is you must level each one up separately by using them.
Each of your ship’s weapons are used for a different circumstance and figuring out when to use each is the key to mastering Radiant Silvergun. In fact, it’s the key to even get past the first level as this is one of the hardest games you will ever play. Everything on the screen is conspiring to kill you. Each type of enemy ship flies a different pattern and shoots lasers or missiles in a different pattern that you are left to try to dodge while simultaneously killing enemies. No to mention the on screen structures which will kill you if you run into them. The boss fights can become a real challenge later in the game as well and are sure to eat up a number of your lives.
Even considering how hard Radiant Silvergun is, it’s still fun and addictive to play. Since the levels aren’t very long it’s not a pain to restart after dying. There is, unfortunately, a lack of content here. For your 1200 Points ($14.99) you’ll get just 3 stages, each with five short levels. Granted, it will take you a long time and multiple tries to actually finish the game, the same levels still can get old quickly. Also there are two single player modes, Story and Arcade, but they boil down to ‘No Continues’ and ‘A Few Continues’ while you play the same levels.
Radiant Silvergun offers both local and online 2-Player co-op. Co-op via Xbox Live works great and you can set a number of different options to search. I highly recommend playing with somebody else, as it really helps take the load off.
Radiant Silvergun is a fun and addictive trip back to the old days when it was actually hard to beat a game. The online co-op is a big plus but the lack of content will have this one collecting figurative dust pretty soon. If you’re a big fan of old school arcade shooters, you’ll like Radiant Silvergun. For everyone else, the 1200 Point price tag simply isn’t justified by what you get in the end.
Read the expanded review at The Controller Online.