Raiden IV is a tribute to a classic age of arcade top down shooters. Plain and simple you fly around and shoot enemies as if you were playing Galaga on steroids. If you enjoy non-stop shooting action, while dodging a horde of bullets and enemies, than you need to play Raiden IV.
Raiden IV offers you the ability to play in a few different modes like Xbox 360 Mode where 2 additional stages have been added from the original. Score Attack mode where your goal is to well score as much as possible in each stage. Arcade Mode where you play a faithful reproduction of Raiden IV from the arcade and last but not least Boss Rush Mode where you take on the bosses from each field continuously.
Once you have chosen your mode of preference you can then choose to play Solo, Solo taking turns, Two Player Co-op and Double which allows one player to control two ships. Double is fun but extremely challenging as you will be force to control each ship via the analog sticks, which quickly becomes hectic. Once you start clearing through the stages you can also choose to skip stages you have already beat, which is great if you don’t feel like hashing through the beginning stages all over again. There are also different levels of difficulty which are in increasing order: Practice, Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Original, Hard, Very Hard and Ultimate. In Practice difficulty the ships don’t fire at you which lets you learn the spawns of the enemies, I played most of my review time in Normal and found it just right, Ultimate is borderline ridiculous.
Once you are ready to start you pick between the Proton and Plasma laser and your sub and main weapons and then it is off into space to blow stuff up. You can download two other skins for your ship from the Xbox Live Marketplace, but truthfully it isn’t worth the money or time unless you are a hardcore Raiden fan. There is also the ability to record and replay your runs and also view graphics that you unlock while playing. There are even World Rankings available for you to brag to your friends how great you are at Raiden or if you’re me, how mediocre you are.
Graphically Raiden IV stays true to the arcade and sounds just like it. Often during my play I was impressed and felt a lot of nostalgia as if I had stepped into an arcade while still in my living room. Even though the game is a simple 2D shooter that scrolls vertically the game does have some impressive explosions and has a few tricks up its sleeve to remind you that this style of games can still hang with the big boys. The scenery in the background encompasses land, air, sea and space and takes full advantage of each to take you somewhere else. My main gripe with the game was that at times there were so many things going on the screen that I felt a bit lost but then again that is the whole point of the game. My other gripe was that I felt the bombs you use to nuke the area were a bit too powerful but definitely handy against the hordes of planes, tanks and turrets.
The game controls were simple and straight forward and moving around to dodge fire was easy and seamless. If you are a gamer that is a fan of the arcade than this is a pick up for you or at the minimum a strong rental. If this genre of classic shooters is not your thing than quickly pass on this. The game boils down to simple nostalgia and an appreciation for the genre really.
- Title: Raiden IV
- Developer: Moss LTD
- Publisher: UFO Interactive
- MSRP: $39.99
- Release Date: 9/8/2009
- Review Copy Info: A copy of this game was purchased by DualShockers Inc. for reviewing purposes.