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In terms of originality Mercs is hardly set to scoop any awards, but it’s about as fine an example of an old-school arcade blaster as you’re likely to find and shows just how talented Sega’s internal development teams were once upon a time; to take another company’s title and improve it is no meat feat. It’s just a shame that a two-player option wasn’t forthcoming, as this would have made the game a near-essential purchase, but you can’t have everything.
Horizontal spaceship shooters may outnumber vertical soldier shooters on the VC, but if you're desperate for something to scratch that itch you'd be better off hoping for Ikari Warriors to make an appearance.