72 - Ikaruga (Dreamcast)

As the Dreamcast started to dwindle from the commercial scene, a lot of people rested their hopes on Treasure to deliver a great swansong for the machine. I hadn't played Radiant Silvergun at the time, so I didn't have any particular expectations going in. I just knew I fancied a new shmup and the thing looked awfully pretty in preview screens. As soon as it appeared at the local importer I threw down the cash, and spent the next couple of months a grinning, nervous wreck.

Ikaruga is tough. From the outset it really seems impenetrable because the instinct is to play it as a traditional shooter. It becomes clear that you have to approach it differently though, and things start to click into place. Treasure crafted a precise little puzzle with Ikaruga, with really only one solution. There's certainly plenty there for the obsessives to chase. The unbroken chain, the 1 credit clear, Dot Eater title. Perfecting the game is a serious proposition.

Of course, I never perfected it! I came very close to the 1CC but drifted away from it and never went back with the same level of dedication. Since then I like to fire it up now and again and just play casually.

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