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At least the shortcomings are minor and limited to two of the more trivial aspects. While it gets only mediocre marks in graphics and music, Mars Matrix still manages to be a great game by delivering the intensity and raw destructive fury that shooter fans love above all else in a near-flawless manner. Can be pricey, but worth it all the way.
If you're one of those gamers that constantly needs a challenge or if you're looking for something that'll test your gaming mettle, Mars Matrix might be up your shooting alley.
The great difficulty is a good challenge to the hardcore shooter fan, and the extras are well worth the effort. Some not so hardcore gamers will become pretty frustrated and may lose interest though. I seem to love hard games and Mars Matrix fills my void quite nicely. An overall sharp presentation and some real lasting appeal will keep most shooter fans coming back for more. Mars Matrix earns a joystick up.
Mars Matrix is a terrifically innovative shooter which will unfortunately scare off a lot of people who would otherwise enjoy playing it. Mars Matrix is easily one of the better Dreamcast shooters behind Gunbird 2 and Bangai-O. Just be prepared to die. A lot. You'll get better in time.
If you are into high-speed shooting, though, and want a good challenge and a unique gameplay system, Mars Matrix is exactly what you're looking for. I wouldn't say it's the best shooter ever by any means, but it is the best shooter on Dreamcast.
Mars Matrix may be REALLY FREAKING HARD, but it’s still a lot of fun. The alternate mode and the shop options will just keep on drawing you back. But if you can ignore the insane difficulty, you won’t regret purchasing a two-dimensional shooter for the Dreamcast. Mars Matrix is a final breath of fresh air for two dying breeds - Dreamcast games and two-dimensional shooting games.
Mars Matrix is a good shooter with an appealing price tag. Granted, it is very hard and probably will only appeal to shooter fans, but it's a solid title through and through.
The Video Game Critic
Appearing to be a precursor to Giga Wing (or perhaps a first cousin), Mars Matrix offers the same brand of chaotic vertical shooting action. Both games are extremely difficult due to the excessive amount of activity on the screen at any given time. Graphics-wise, Mars Matrix isn't much to look at with its cookie-cutter enemies, forgettable stages, and more pixelation than you see in most Dreamcast games.
This is certainly the best all-out classic style shooter available on Dreamcast (although it's pipped to the 'best overall shooter' title by Treasure's superior Bangai-O), and while it's certainly not a game for casual players or Sunday-gamers, it will appeal immensely to established fans of the genre, or those wishing to start out in the daunting world of the 2D shooter.
Official Dreamcast Magazine (U.S.)
What Mars Matrix does right, and what so few shooters manage to do today, is that it provides a Zen-like defining moment when you suddenly realize that you are in the zone-and in so doing, you have transformed from a panicked, underpowered little gnat who simply wanted to stay alive to an unstoppable, untouchable fountain of beautiful destruction, raining fire down upon huge expanses of the screen and leaving nothing but smoldering earth (or rather, Mars) in your wake. It's the closest thing video games have to a runner's high, and all of the great shooters have had it. Blazing Lasers had it in spades, as did the Thunderforce games. And Mars Matrix has it, too.
Mars Matrix may be Capcom's last Dreamcast shooter. If so, then it's a decent last hurrah. Developed by Takumi, the studio behind last year's sketchy Gigawing, Mars Matrix is a refinement of the developer's previous efforts. The result is a game that's altogether more polished than Gigawing, with more-functional systems and a more-playable design.