Kokuga is a rare breed of game that finds itself treading new water in its respective genre, yet paying complete homage to the classic titles that it derived inspiration from. It's got a lot going for it, and is now a part of Hiroshi Iuchi's cherished legacy, sitting beside such titles as Radiant Silvergun, Gunstar Heroes, and Ikaruga. And while I found myself enjoying Kokuga for its old-school, tough-as-nails difficulty, I found that there were a few weaknesses in this tank's defenses that might bring it to a halt for some.
Kokuga is a top-down arcade shooter in which you control the titular omnidirectional tank in a series of battle simulations during times of war. It seems that countries "A" and "I" are in conflict, and it's your job to train yourself to ensure that you are up to the task of joining in the battle. The story doesn't manifest itself much beyond the initial demo screen if you hesitate in hitting the "start" button, so you can jump right into Kokuga without the background info if you so choose. After all, arcade shooters aren't necessarily remembered for their narratives. This isn't a side-scrolling shooter, so you are free to move around the battlefield as you wish, seeking out protection from enemies, and appropriate vantage points to shoot from.