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Excellence in Achievements (#1) – Ikaruga

Game: Ikaruga (XBLA) Release:Apr 08 (US) Platform:Xbox 360 Game Director: Hiroshi Iuchi
‘Excellence in Achievements’ is an ongoing series about the design of Achievement icons primarily seen in on the Xbox 360 and enabled Steam games.

Ikaruga is a game that is praised for a multitude of reasons: its white-knuckle shooter mentality, the mind puzzling color switching mechanic, the sweeping musical score, and its minimal and austere art direction. It follows suit then, that the Achievement icons for Ikaruga continue its streak of great design.

My personal favorite from the set for Ikaruga is the Dot Eater achievement. Depicting a bird eating square dots and the name of the achievement itself, this icon utilizes the several primary colors seen in the game itself (white, black, orange/brown earth tones). The gritty texture overlay fits in theme with the semi-grimy, war torn futurescapes of the game stages, and the simplfied pixel style of the bird coupled with the name of the achievement itself calls to mind Pac-Man and other graphically simple games of the early 1980s.

Dot Eater Achievement Icon redraw w/ original

The Achievement awards a player for absorbing (eating) bullets but never firing a single one during the course of a level; hence the white dove of peace being the bird chosen to represent the accomplishment. This also ties in with the fact that Ikaruga translated literally from Japanese means ‘spotted bird’ or ‘mottled dove’; a white bird with black spots on it (sometimes considered to be the Japanese Grosbeak).

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Posted in Icons, Ikaruga

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