I wanted to give some love to this game because I think it's a game most people don't talk about these days.
It's become one of my favorite games recently. I never played it back in the PS2 era, only heard of it but I'm so glad I recently picked up a copy. Best decision I've ever made. I love run 'n gun games and have always preferred the Metal Slug series over the Contra series because of the beautiful sprite work but this game just nails everything about what a run 'n gun game should be; it's unparalleled gameplay.
The best part of this game is playing with a close friend and really trying to master the levels. It took us a couple days of on and off playing to really master the first two levels and even then we still get caught by a stray bullet or tricky setup. The fun comes from organically discovering and figuring out the best strategies to each section, which weapon is best suited for the job and how to overall just take it slow during tense moments.
Does anyone else have fond memories of this game? Everything about it is so cool and on point, the bosses are super cool as well. I think if you have a PS2 and an awesome friend who's into hard games you owe yourself to pick up this game and have it kick your ass. It only gets more fun the more you learn.