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Old 04-05-2008, 03:41 AM   #2
The Fighting Bomber
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lake Jackson, TX USA
Posts: 4,564
Raiden (Arcade Hits Raiden)
Publisher: Hamster
PSN Genre: Shooting
Filesize: 15 MB

Well, 600 Yen is better than 1500 Yen anyway.

This was my very first PSN purchase. That's because I never owned a PSOne, but I really wanted The Raiden Project when that system launched. The bad news for me is that this isn't Raiden Project! Hamster took that title, stripped Raiden 2 from it, and then released Arcade Hits Raiden as a budget title. Wasn't that nice of them?

Arcade Hits Raiden uses the 3D attract mode and menus from Raiden Project, which just makes Raiden 2's absence more painful. But Raiden the First is a title that somewhat stands on its own... After all, the original arcade game got ported to the SNES, Genesis, PC Engine, Atari Jaguar & Lynx, and other systems. The more systems your game has been ported to, the better it is, without exception.

A proper screenshot borrowed from Digital Press.

Raiden is a vertically-scrolling two-player simultaneous shooter. Its claim to fame is the weapon system. Enemies drop weapon or missile powerups, each alternating between two flavors until it's picked up. The standard gun upgrades to a screen-filling spread gun as powerups are collected, while the laser is simply a powerful, concentrated beam of energy. Missiles can be regular or homing, plus players get a few bombs to use per life. The bomb graphic really impressed me back in the day. So did Tia Carrera in Wayne's World, now that I think about it.

Rotating a PSP is at least 5% easier than rotating an HDTV.

The game has eight levels, each with a large but not particularly memorable end boss. Unlike modern vertically-scrolling shooters, Raiden is actually pretty fair for the most part. It doesn't start getting too hard until the fourth level or so. Most of the difficulty comes from the ship's speed: it is simply too slow to dodge effectively, so killing enemies before they can fire becomes an important tactic. Speaking of tactics, when two players occupy the same space and fire, they shoot a different weapon, which is a unique mechanic.

The bomb effects used to make ladies swoon.

Raiden's graphics are still decent, but kind of plain. There is no nudity, which really would have jazzed things up. The title screen 3D sequence looks absolutely horrible, even for a Playstation One game, but I still find it charming. The music can be set to original or remixed. The original tunes are okay but the remixed version truly brings the soundtrack to life. I have the Raiden series CD soundtrack and love it. The screen can be set to standard, stretched, and tate mode (perfect for PSP play). Unlike the American version of The Raiden Project, players automatically get unlimited credits. Sony used to love removing options when bringing games to America, those jerks.

If you were an ace, your name would be here.

Do I recommend downloading Raiden? That depends. Knowing that two better PSOne Raiden titles exist (Project and Raiden DX), Raiden by itself is definitely much less impressive. However, you can't play those two games on the go. So if you're a hardcore Raiden fan with a PSP, this is a pretty good purchase. Perhaps the US store will get Raiden Project in a few years...

Last edited by eastx; 04-20-2008 at 09:50 AM.
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