Ikaruga was an important game for me. Back in the day, I was super into GameCube - it was my preferred platform during that generation. And while the GCN's library couldn't keep up with the PS2, it led me to really investigating games from genres I may have overlooked. That's how it was with shmups. I wasn't really into shmups at the time. They seemed too "simple." But Ikaruga was my introduction to bullet-hell (not that I'm really sure I'd call Ikaruga a bullet-hell). So it was super important to me at the time.
Eventually I got other GCN shmups - namely Chaos Field and Castle Of Shikigami II - both of which I loved way more than Ikaruga. And eventually I even played Ikaruga's predecessor, Radiant Silvergun. Although the truth is, I don't really love Ikaruga or RS. I like them. I appreciate them. But...
I should probably explain that this is how I seem to feel about EVERY Treasure game. I like them, and I appreciate them, but I don't love them. Treasure's design philosophy seems to really hang onto a gimmick. And often these gimmicks don't jive with me.
Case in point, Ikaruga revolves around switching polarities. If you're ship is white then you can absorb white bullets and do extra damage to black ships - and vice versa. This is COOL and it makes for some really strategic gameplay. But I'm terrible at it. My brain has a hard time keeping track of which polarity I am in, and eventually all bullets - even the ones I should absorb - just feel like a nightmare.
And yet I seem to replay Ikaruga every few years. I've owned a bunch of copies of it on various systems since the GCN release. And here I am now playing it on Switch. I was going to wait for the physical edition that's been promised for like a year or two, but eh. The eShop version was $15 and I had some gold coins to spend.
The Switch port is pretty excellent by the way. It's got tate mode and online leaderboards and replays and button remapping and all the stuff you could want. I've been playing it in tate mode using my Pro Controller and it feels responsive and everything. But yeah. I suck at this game. Best I could do on one credit was make it to the second boss. Ah well.