Why it matters: After months of uncertainty and anticipation, one of the most critically acclaimed 2D shooters ever has made its PC debut. The Steam port of Radiant Silvergun combines new customization options with modes and features from every previous version, making this the definitive edition of the 1998 classic.
Radiant Silvergun is now available on Steam for $19.99. Based on last year’s well-received Nintendo Switch port, the new version adds more control and visual options to an extensive list of features.
Initially released in 1998 in Japan for arcades and the Sega Saturn, Radiant Silvergun stood apart from other 2D shooters for multiple reasons. It replaced traditional power-ups with a color-based scoring and progression system reminiscent of RPGs. The console version added a dense storyline with cut scenes and voice acting, which are rare for the genre.
Critics praised the game’s elaborate graphics and distinctive soundtrack from Final Fantasy composer Hitoshi Sakimoto, lending it an epic presentation unusual for a 2D shooter. Radiant Silvergun is considered a spiritual predecessor to one of developer Treasure’s other 2D shooter triumphs, Ikaruga (which arrived on Steam in 2014).
For years, obtaining Radiant Silvergun was challenging. The Saturn version became an expensive collector’s item that never saw release outside Japan. A 2011 Xbox 360 port addressed this issue, bringing the game to global audiences while introducing enhanced graphics, online leaderboards, an Ikaruga-based scoring mode, and numerous customization options. Players could also choose between the arcade and Saturn versions.
Last year’s Switch release and the new PC edition from Live Wire retain the Xbox 360 version’s improvements. The Steam version adds all of the control options PC users traditionally expect, including compatibility with Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo gamepads. While console-to-PC ports often neglect keyboard controls, Radiant Silvergun offers a keyboard configuration for single-player and local co-op, allowing two players to share one keyboard. Players can also choose between a modern interface or an aspect ratio closer to the classic versions.
Treasure is also known for arcade-style titles like Gunstar Heroes, Bangai-O, Guardian Heroes, and more. While Gunstar Heroes came to Steam in 2011, hopefully, Radiant Silvergun will be successful enough to encourage PC ports of the company’s other classics.
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