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Released: 2001

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Dreamcast

Publisher: ESP

Developer: Treasure

Submitted by: Tim Arnold

Ahhhh Treasure, maker of such fine games.

Here we have the "spritual successor" of the sublime shooter Radiant Silvergun. Originally released at the arcade using Sega's NAOMI board.

If manic shooters are your thing, Ikaruga wont dissapoint.

You pilot the ship "Ikaruga" through 5 intense levels. What makes this release so different from the usual SHMUP is the use of the Polarity system. Your ship has the ability to change its polarities, white or red. When in red you can absorb red bullets and vice versa. The enemies all appear either in red or white, so using opposite polarities will inflict more damage.Sounds pretty basic but has to be played to experience the sheer brilliance of this system.

Also shooting 3 enemies of the same color awards you a "chain " bonus, constant chaining really boosts the scores, so manically shooting is an option, but strategic shooting is a must for the big scores.

Very balanced controls and luscious graphics, powerful soundtrack and lets not forget, its hard as nails!

As well as the Dreamcast, it was ported to the Game Cube and was recently re-released via X-Box live for download, so fellow Shmuppers can download it for 800 gamer points, as opposed to searching for the original.

One may hope they offer Radiant Silvergun for download in the future, that would all save us several hundred dollars!

An absolute must for SHMUP fans.