In the middle of the 1980s, when reviewing the video game Ikki, Jun Miura created a new word: kusoge, which roughly translates to “crap game” or, in more recent usage, “shit game.”
Since then, gamers have used the catchphrase “Kusoge” to rally around the games they both love and despise. Then, the games were so awful and janky that they somehow managed to improve. Since then, poor games have evolved into an art form.
I want to be clear that Ikki was horrible. You were in charge of organizing a peasant uprising of one or two men against your oppressive samurai overlords and ninjas. You couldn’t see where you were going, you moved terribly slowly, you couldn’t aim your weapon, and occasionally powerups made you worse in this bullet hell.
Despite Jun Miura’s harsh criticism, Ikki went on to receive enough positive reviews for Nintendo consoles and arcades that Japanese players today have favorable memories of it. Boomerang or Farmer’s Rebellion, depending on the locale, was the name given to Ikki once it was translated and published globally.
Ikki is being brought back by its original publisher Sunsoft in Ikki Unite, a new version of the game that will debut on Steam before the year’s end. Sunsoft expects Ikki Unite, which increases the number of cooperative players from the initial two to 16, to be more in line with the original design idea of Ikki.
This will allow you to stage a true peasant rebellion. Prepare your clubs, sickles, and bamboo spears because you’re going to be fighting monkeys, locusts, and ninjas.
A large or small group of players can both enjoy this game, according to Sunsoft. It certainly reminds me of certain now very popular games, like Vampire Survivors, in my opinion.
Sunsoft will release further games throughout the following few years.