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Ikaruga is a Gamecube remake of a Dreamcast game that never found its audience.  However, three words can be said about this game.  Shooter on crack.  Ikaruga is one of the trippiest, hardest shooters ever created.  And this is a good thing.  Don't ask me how to pronounce its name, but the premise of the game is rather simple.  Everything exists in only two colors--black and white.  Your enemies are either black or white.  Their bullets are either black or white.  Your ship can change between either color.  If your ship is black, you can absorb black bullets but only do half damage to black enemies.  The opposite is also true.  Get hit by the opposite color bullet and you die.  However you can do double damage to the enemy that fired it.  Beginning to see the level of depth in this game?  Knowing when to switch colors is the key to victory.  Sometimes being the same color is best because as you absorb bullets, you build up power for a super homing attack that you can unleash after switching to the proper color.  This game also has a combo system where if you down three enemies of the same color in a row, your combo meter goes up by one, and the value of the next enemy is increased.  Break the chain, and your meter resets.  This doesn't stop the player from just laying down a steady stream of fire, but your final score will be affected.  Of course things aren't so simple for your tiny fighter.  You have to learn how to tune out the bullets that are the same color as you on the fly.  This isn't so easy when the patterns get insane.  Your enemies like to mix up.  Later levels will have you switching back and forth between colors with barely any time to breathe or even shoot back.  Did I mention that this game was insanely difficult?  I have?  Oh okay.  Unfortunately, all this crazy shooting fun comes at a cost.  Shooters aren't known for being deep or complex.  Ikaruga is no exception.  While fun in short spurts, after it's all over there really isn't much left other than what you've seen.  Score fiends may want to try again for better grades, but this game has very little replay value.  Even so, shooter fans may definitely want to pick up this delightful game.  Just prepare to be humbled.  I can't tell you how many times I got my butt handed back to me on a plate by this game.

Grade: Great

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