Describing Ikaruga as a shoot’em up game doesn’t quite do it justice. Instead it might be better to call it a puzzle game played through the lens of a shoot’em up. In Ikaruga, players take control of the Ikaruga fighter, viewing their craft from the top down. The puzzle element comes from the games key element – the polarity system. Everything in the game is either black or white, including bullets, and the player can switch between the two at any time. Once they are one colour only bullets and obstacles of the opposite colour hurt them. Released in 2001, initial reception was mediocre as players expected a traditional shoot’em up, but over the years love for this game has grown with it being ported to a number of modern gaming platforms to feed player nostalgia.
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