[Nintendo Switch] Ikki Unite Review

by EdEN, Owner

Bullet hell roguelite Ikki Unite from SUNSOFT is ready to roll on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Ikki Unite review!


Bullet hell roguelite Ikki Unite from SUNSOFT is ready to roll on Nintendo Switch. It’s based on Ikki, a game that was originally released by the company as an arcade game, which was followed by a port to the Famicom – that would be the Japanese equivalent of the Nintendo Entertainment System – back in 1985. For his new release, you’ll be playing through a bullet hell roguelite experience on your own or with up to 16 players going online as you try to take on the horde that is ready to tear you to shreds as soon as you make a mistake. Time is important since once the time limit is up, the game is over! You can extend your run by defeating the boss for that mission.

You have sixteen characters to choose from, split into four different character types: Explorer, Attacker, Enhancer, and Healer. Each character will have a main weapon, main item, and Unite skill to keep in mind. Gonbe has a Cudgel that reflects on hit, a Charm that makes him invincible for a short window after being hit, and a Round Robin Unite skill that stops all foes for a short time. Tanba throws a Shuriken that pierces enemies and ricochets at the edge of the screen, a Body Double, which creates a decoy to lure enemies and the Unite en Masse Unite skill that will charge up all Unite skills for your allies. Kunoichi uses a Kunai to attack, which pierces through foes and inflicts paralysis, a Clone Patrol that will summon clones upon cooldown, and the Guest Star Clone Patrol Unite Skill, which will summon clones of other allies.

Ikki Unite Review - 1

Goemon will use his Bandit Rat companion to attack nearby foes, a Bandit Keyring that will unleash colored smoke that will boost attack power, help allies gradually recover, or boost movement speed, and the Bandit Magnet Unite skill, which will expand coin pickup range for all allies for a bit. Yojimbo uses a Sword to combo his way to victory, a Skanda that will activate upon enemy hit and will temporarily boost movement speed, and the Mind’s Eye Unite skill, which will greatly reduce the cooldown for all allies’ weapons. Heihachiro will attack with the Kusari-fundo, a chain weapon that deals damage when thrown, as well as on its way back, a Kusarigama that sends surrounding foes flying, and the Fist of Fury Unite skill, which will unleash a powerful blow at foes.


Magoichi attacks with the Matchlock firearm, the Wakizashi that will cleave the attacking foe when you’re damaged, and the Dubious Deal Unite skill, which will instantly replenish all sub-weapon materials. Yosaku uses a giant Sledgehammer to swing and slam enemies, the Work Charm that will power up your next slam attack upon cooldown, and the Onigiri Smorgasbord Unite skill, which will recover the HP of all allies. Tago uses a Sickle to attack and pierce through enemies, dealing more damage if an enemy is further away, a Manly Charm that will temporarily reduce the main weapon cooldown, and the Blood Pact Unite skill, which will boost all allies’ speed and count.

Hideyori attacks with the Bewitched Blade, has the War Fan to boost attack for you and all nearby allies for a bit, and the Shogun Summons Unite skill that temporarily amasses different teams around you. Minstrel uses a Shamisen to power up allies and damage foes, her Sheet Music charges her Shamisen to offer a different power-up, and her Angelic Raiment Unite skill will give all allies a shield. Onmoyoji attacks by sticking a Talisman at an enemy that will explode a bit later, uses an Elemental Formation to awaken an elemental power with every cooldown, and has the Ying Yang Technique Unite skill, which will revive captured allies.

Ikki Unite Review - 2

Bonze attacks with a Tokkosho that drops lightning on random foes, uses Saintly Teachings to heal you and nearby allies when they take damage, and has the Immortal Moxibustion Unite skill, which regenerates HP for all allies every minute of gameplay. Shirou attacks with a handy Short Sword that pierces foes as it flies, Holy Light, which unleashes a holy light that heals allies while slowing down enemies, and the Holy Flash Unite skill, which launches a powerful shockwave that sends enemies flying. Medicine Man hurls a Poison Bottle at enemies which leaves behind a poison zone, has an Activator that temporarily allows allies to heal in poison zones, and the Top-tier Toxicant Unite skill, which will feed poison to all enemies, with a chance of reducing their HP to a single point. The last character is Koshimoto, who attacks with a Thrown Kiss that reflects off enemies, uses Tender Affection to boost movement speed while also healing any allies by touch, and has the Four-leaf Clover Unite skill, which will


The controls are simple and to the point. You’ll control the character of your choice with the left analog stick and can use an emote by pressing a direction on the D-Pad. And that’s it! Attacks and abilities are used automatically, so you’ll need to focus on avoiding incoming attacks so that you can stay alive for as long as possible. Do know that sub-weapons require materials to function, so you better rush to break as many boxes as possible to keep your stock of materials ready to go! If any of your allies runs out of health and is captured, you have a chance of saving them by hovering over their cage. You’ll need to be quick because you won’t be able to shoot your weapons during a rescue.

The user interface might seem a bit crowded at first, but that’s to be expected since you can have up to 16 players at once thanks to the online multiplayer component… as long as you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription! Along with the HP, active buffs, and item bag for your character, you’ll also see the HP for your allies, their active buffs, the time left, EXP bar – more on this below – mini-map, current location, mission, rewards, held main items, help weapons, material pool (from which all players draw when using sub-weapons), and emote list.

Ikki Unite Review - 3

As you defeat enemies and bosses, your character will obtain more and more EXP. Leveling up will increase some of your character’s stat values, as well as allow you to select from the abilities and items presented to you when you level up. These include being able to improve your character’s weapon so that it can deal more damage, a Bear Trap that will activate when an enemy steps on it, or even a Guardian Spirit that will protect you by attacking the area around you while halting enemies on their tracks.


The coins that you collect can be spent at the Blacksmith to boost your weapons. Doing this is crucial if you want to keep up with the hordes of enemies you’ll be fighting. The higher the level – and rarity! – of a weapon, the more powerful it will be. You can also obtain new sub-weapons at the Blacksmith, level up said sub-weapons, as well as level up the main items that are carried by each of the characters you can choose. This will make them more effective, lower their cooldown, and more. It will greatly help to extend your current run!

Ikki Unite Review - 4

There’s an in-game achievement for you to work on during your time with Ikki Unite. It’s a long list with 63 achievements, so there’s plenty for you to do! What are the objectives you’ll have to complete? You will need to survive for 26 minutes, survive a cumulative total of 2 hours, clear each of the chapters in the game, betaing the Magistrate boss, defeat the Yamata no Orochi boss, clear solo play, clear the game without being KO’d once, clear with 16 survivors, collect a total of 30,000, 100,000, 100,000,000, and 1,000,000,000 coins, collect 50,000 coins in one playthrough, getting a game over for the first time, defeat 500 enemies in one playthrough, defeat a total of 1,000 enemies, defeat 10 bosses in total, activate your main item a total of 250 times, unleash a total of 300 critical hits, or obtain a medal, to name some examples.

Ikki Unite is a fun bullet hell roguelite you can play on your own on Nintendo Switch or with up to 16 gamers when going online with your Nintendo Switch Online subscription. It’s based on and pays homage to SUNSOFT’s Ikki, which was released on the Famicom – the Japanese equivalent of the Nintendo Entertainment System – way back in 1985. It now offers a fast-paced experience with a good variety of characters to play as and enemies to defeat, an upgrade system, and even an in-game achievement system for you to work on. Ikki Unite is out on Nintendo Switch with a $14.99 price tag.

Ikki Unite Review - 5

Disclaimer
This Ikki Unite review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by SUNSOFT.

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