Fancy a challenge that will test your skills and patience all at the same time? Raiden IV by UFO Interactive is a sequel to one of the most memorable arcade shooters in history. The Raiden series redefined arcade shoot’em ups with explosive action, hordes of enemy spacecraft, and large, hulking bosses that shoot more bullets than you could ever hope to dodge.
iRaiden IV is chock-full of extras in this Limited Edition release for Xbox 360. There are five game modes to choose from with one being specific to this release; Xbox 360 Mode. In this mode, two additional stages were added to prolong gameplay. An expert mode called ‘Ultimate’ has also been added for all you pros out there. If you think you’re a Raiden champion then UFO Interactive and developer MOSS were thinking of you when they added this feature. Score Attack mode, as the name implies, allows players to compete for the highest score. Only stages cleared in Xbox 360 Mode are available, so be sure to complete every stage before attempting this for best results. Arcade Mode is a faithful reproduction of the Raiden IV coin-op. The extended levels from the special Xbox 360 Mode are not included in this mode of play. There are also Leader Board and World Ranking game modes that allow you to compete for the best score with players all across the world. The game also offers a replay feature. These videos can be uploaded for other XBL players to view. This is a fantastic feature that can help you study other players and how they play the game. It opens a new vista of opportunities never before seen in a shooter. Kudos to UFO Interactive and MOSS for offering this feature to its fans.
iRaiden hasn’t changed much since the original. The action is still intense; enemy spacecraft fly in every direction, tanks and gun turrets fire an endless supply of bullets, and high-tech flying machines loom menacingly above the scenery in large groups. The trick to survival is to learn the bullet patterns of your enemies. Stocking up on weapons, power-ups, and increasing your firepower is also a smart tactic to surviving. Your craft is also equipped with smart bombs that can destroy everything on-screen, but they are best suited for boss encounters. While they can be replenished by destroying the enemy, they don’t appear frequently and should be used sparingly.
What really makes Raiden IV unique is the ability to earn additional continues. You read it right; after you’ve exhausted your continues and the game ends, you are rewarded with additional continues. Raiden IV is a very difficult shooter to play, especially if you are not familiar with the series, so rewarding the player with continues was a great idea.
Once a level is completed there is no need to visit it again. This makes the game’s difficulty much easier to manage, especially if you’re new to the series. There are 7 main levels containing 7 mini levels. Each mini level contains a boss and the final level contains a final encounter. The bosses are simply massive and fill a good portion of the screen. Raiden IV does a fantastic job of capturing the old-school feel of its predecessors. The graphics are shiny, smooth, and very modern, but you can tell that great care was taken to maintain that classic feel. Attention to detail is always a good thing.
Raiden IV is one of those games that you will either love or loathe. It’s high level of difficulty makes it hard to recommend to someone new to these type of shooters, but if you’re a fan of the series, you will feel right at home amongst the knuckle whitening action, endless sea of enemy spacecraft, and outrageous boss battles. With plenty of special features, spaceships that can be downloaded for a measly 80 MS points, and a music CD containing the sound tracks from the game, this package is a great investment for Xbox 360 gamers. Check it out today!
Score 9 out of 10
Mike “STGuy1040” Pittaro
Raiden IV website
Out Now $39.99