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It's hard but it's also fair and, by avoiding the linear progression of the shmup genre, places the onus for success firmly in your hands. There are elements of Defender, Xevious and Gradius all thrown into the mix, but the end result is something unique and a testament to developer Andrew Braybrook's ingenuity. Quibble all you like about the VC's inflated prices - I'll probably agree with you - but if you genuinely resent paying a few quid (or Euros) for Uridium, you may very well be insane.
Uridium isn't a terrible game - it's just extremely basic. There are so many better shooters on the Virtual Console so it is hard to recommend to anyone other than fans of the original.
To be honest, Uridium hasn't aged too well. It's still a very playable shoot-em-up with some inventive mechanics, but the presentation betrays the game's age. Later C64 games in the same genre looked and sounded better, and some offered more depth, although few were as unique as this one. Think carefully before you spend your Wii Points on this title, but if you're a fan of shoot-em-ups and are looking for something a bit different from the norm, you could certainly do worse than Uridium.