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Neat twist on a classic shooter
The legendary arcade shooter series concludes in this third instalment, only this time around there is a noticeable shift in gameplay emphasis that may alienate long-term fans. After the second game's bizarre trip into outer space, this one returns to Earth and sees our heroes Paul and Vince battling against a seemingly endless array of villains for some obscure reason. It's all rather nonsense really, and is simply an excuse for some old-fashioned fighting action. And it is here that Ikari Warriors differs from its predecessors. While previously the series was known for its vertically scrolling shooting gameplay, here weapons are pushed into the background and close combat becomes the order of the day. The vertical scrolling aspect is retained, but now players must engage their enemies with punches and kicks instead of guns, and the vehicles which could previously be commandeered are also now absent. As a variation on a theme, Ikari Warriors 3 is actually quite successful as it manages to keep the feel of the earlier games while changing the essential mechanics to keep things feeling fresh. It is certainly challenging and the combat is pretty satisfying in a cheesily entertaining way, with graphics that are clean, colourful and full of character. The game is certainly no classic, but for a neat, albeit simple, twist on Renegade or Golden Axe, this is worth a look.