SEIBU KAIHATSU - VARIOUS PLATFORMS
Reviewed by Neotype
could be considered yet another milestone in shoot 'em up history. Although
it didn't really introduce new features to the genre, you'd be surprised
how many recent shooters look at this game for inspiration. Definately
a case of not what it does, but rather how it's actually done.
And Raiden did (and still does!) it pretty well. Essentially
pretty basic - use the fire button a lot, dodge the incoming fire, occasionally
throwing a smart bomb when things get too crowded. Luckily it's much
more than the sum of it's parts - my point is that Raiden is
just a lot of fun to play. (I'm also quite grateful that it saved my
summer holiday a couple of years ago from becoming the most boring I
ever had - apparently Southern France isn't as enjoyable as they make
it out to be!)
Of course shooters are only as good as their weapons are. There are
two types here - predictably guns and missiles (what else?). You can
choose from either spread or laser, and straight or homing respectively.
Personally I recommend the laser together with the homing missiles -
this way you're nicely balanced. When you die, you lose all your upgrades
and extra smart bombs, so don't hesitate too much using these! Be sure
to look out for the "faerie" power-up, as she's so kind to hand over
a couple of these much-needed items to help you on your way.
Next, the opponent. Pretty standard futuristic military stuff, many
of which are land-based. Bosses mostly consist of large tanks or other
similar massive chunks of metal, and these aren't too tough to bring
down. The game in general is comfortably easy, making this excellent
starter material for shmup newbies. It's a nice training course for
veterans nevertheless... ;)
I haven't said anything about the audiovisuals before because they're,
well unremarkable. They are inoffensive and appropriate, just unlikely
to impress anyone nowadays. But hey, I would like to see YOU trying
to do a believable explosion effect with a simple FM sound chip :)
Home versions range from great to average. I wasn't impressed by the
Mega Drive version, because it lacks the ambition the PC Engine version
has. I haven't seen the Super Famicom version as of yet, so I can't
really judge that one. (It's absolutely awful, sadly the worst version
ever - Malc) Too bad the two-player option is missing from the PC
Engine, but my guess is that it was left out for technical reasons.
It has to resort to "short-cut" techniques such as Konami-style bullet
flicker with one player already. There's also Raiden for the dead-on-arrival
Atari Jaguar, which I haven't seen (not really surprising eh?), and
a compilation pack for the PlayStation. The last one is the best of
course, and arcade-perfect (apart from slowdown here and there. No big
deal, and besides, PSX owners are getting used to that anyway ;)
Much as it is hard to come up with really good arguments, Raiden
is a fine shoot 'em up, and a very influential one at that. Maybe not
worth buying in the era of atomic-powered 2D sprite fests like ShippuMahouDaisakusen
or Battle Garegga; but definately worth devoting half a megabyte of
your hard drive to. And that's about as much fun as half a megabyte
Thanks a bunch, Neotype!! Malky at the kb... Yep,
Raiden didn't half get around eh? I've got it on PC, PCE HuCard, PCE
CDROM, plus the two PSX versions. The PSX version is naturally the best,
with the huge purple swirly toothpaste weapon being the best thing about
it!! A bit of a swizzle the Raiden DX disk actually, it's just a slightly
jazzed up version of Raiden Project, and to be honest I can't see THAT
much difference with it anyway. More like a Director's Cut if anything.
I'd love to know EXACTLY what's different about it.
Apart from that, I have to admit I find Raiden a mite tiresome now.
I think it's because it hasn't really progressed varietywise over the
various incarnations: everything is just so predictable each time you
play a new one. Raiden is like a sweaty friend who visits too often
- doesn't change very much.
never was really much to look at. All muddy browns and greens, only
in the later games like Raiden 2 (on Raiden Project and DX) would
you get some space levels. Even then they were fairly bland. Where
Raiden excels is the detail... enemy ships blow up into lots of
tiny bits, each one with its own explosion when it hits the ground.
a shame they didn't spend some of that effort on a little bit of
variety. Everything is so down to earth and 'realistic' - no massive
space monsters here.
something really fascinating about smashed up motorways. Lots of
games and films feature cracked overpasses, like Escape from LA,
Dante's Peak ,Vapor Trail and of course Raiden. See if you can remember
should see the tanks in the second game (this shot's from Super
Raiden PCE). Massive multi-jointed affairs, with some GREAT pneumatic
whirry noises when they move. Those noises really added to the sense
of detail about Raiden. I wish the developers would stop milking
the game for all it's worth and move on though, they do seem to
be stuck in a wee bit of a Raiden rut, and it must be said it never
was the very best shooter anyway!
Just dug out Raiden 2 for Win95 there, to grab a few pics of it.
Basically identical to the Playstation version (not having seen
the arcade one, I can't vouch for that) it's a very welcome addition
to the few proper arcade conversion PC shmups that exist.
are lovingly detailed in 2, these craters are pretty impressive.
Shame there's not an awful lot of nice parallax, like in Layer Section
fave weapon, the purple toothpaste. This is an addition to the small
range of weaponry available in the first game - the red spreadshot
and blue laser. Here's one of those tanks I was talking about earlier,
great huge clunking beasties.
2, and a couple of amphibious tanks await. Toothpaste em until they
clean teeth in this game. This weapon is so much fun to use, you
really get pissed off when you lose it, or pick up one of the other
level3, and it's a sort of Stealth-Boat affair, posing not very
I was going to stick a cd-rip of the win95 game up here, but it's
too big, and besides, it's a full version current PC game - Piracy
and emulation tread very similar paths, but there is a distinction.
quite surprised the pc can handle this amount of action on-screen,
it still scrolls nice and smoothly. The clouds reflect in the dirty
water here. Raiden 2 has a lot of aesthetic touches, especially
the way the enemies blow up and scatter hundreds of parts around.