Leave it to Treasure to make another great shooting game in a time when shooting games are no longer as popular as they once were. Sega can’t stay afloat by making games for hardcore gamers alone, but that isn’t a problem for Treasure.
I wonder if anyone at Konami was kicking themselves when Treasure’s Gunstar Heroes became such a success all those years ago. That’s what happens when you deny your developers the freedom they need to create: they leave to found their own companies.
That’s the advantage of being a small, tightly run operation. Your overhead costs are much smaller, and you only have a core team to worry about. It’s much easier to survive on smaller sales numbers… if you’ve already had a head start. It’s much more difficult to start off due to the fact that you have no fanbase, but Treasure can always count on X number of people buying their product, even if it only is in the thousands.
I was amazed when Treasure developed Ikaruga for the Dreamcast long after Sega had stopped supporting the console. The game somehow managed to be a success even on a defunct console. I guess the Dreamcast still has a large cult following in Japan. It’s safe to say that Treasure really is a hardcore gamer’s company (which, btw, forged a strong relationship with Sega many years ago).
After getting the piss kicked out of me by Ikaruga, I’ve come to the conclusion that 2d scrolling shooters are just too hardcore for me. I only made it through Gradius… 3 I think it was? through massive abuse of save states. V looks pretty damn awesome, though I probably won’t buy it.
Ikaruga was totally a puzzle game disguised as a shooter. I suck horribly at it too. But that didnt stop me from buying such an awesome title. I wonder what price point Gradius V will be at when it goes on sale in the US? I hope it will be less then 49.99, i just dont see the casual gaming public wanted to spend that much cash on genre they ultimately see as outdated and nostalgic. Who knows, i do hope gradius 5 sells well though.