If you've ever played a scrolling shooter, a shoot'em up or a bullet hell game, you owe something to the Raiden series. Released in 1990 first in Japan by Tecmo, Seibu Kaihatsu' legendary arcade games have expanded through decades and on many gaming platforms. Now with the help of emulator specialist DotEmu, we can enjoy the most prominent games in the series on iOS and Android. Raiden Legacy includes four games in the series, the original Raiden, Raiden Fighters, Raiden Fighers II and Raiden Fighter Jet.
It's hard not be nostalgic when you play Raiden Legacy if you used to drop coins into arcade version trying to beat the 8 levels of frantic shooting, ducking and bombing. As with most DotEmu games, the Raiden games in Raiden Legacy kept the original levels, ships, weapons, sub weapons and bombs. The game did a good job at picking the more interesting titles in the series and they indeed bring different weapons and fighters and different gameplay experience. As with the arcade versions, these Raiden games offer the familiar power-ups and upgrades.
Enemies too are ported faithfully from the originals and the variety of enemy units and their firing and movement patterns keep the gameplay interesting and the players on their toes. As you progress through Raiden, Raiden Fighter, Raiden Fighter II and Fighter Jet, you'll face more and more impossible number of enemies and get a glimpse of what yet to come in the Bullet Hell genre. But the enemies and their patterns in these Raiden games are much easier to identify and memorize. You can also quickly identify which ships and which ship's weapons are better suited for the levels. And compared to the arcade version, you have more time now to plan and plot your instruments and your attack.
Raiden Legacy offers three playing modes in each of the four games including training mode, arcade mode and mission mode. Training/simulation mode is handy to hone your skills since you won't actually die. You need to play the arcade mode to unlock the stages and replay them in mission mode. There are two difficulty levels, medium and hard and you get at least one credit to continue.
Graphics & Sound
The graphics in Raiden Legacy are adequate. Since these games are ported from original codes, the graphics look a bit dated compared to today's new shoot 'em up games or bullet hell games. But the visual is good enough for you to enjoy the gameplay and see clearly what's happening on the screen even when the screen is filled with fighters, bullets and explosions. The touch control works surprisingly well, and it's responsive in all four games.
Sound files are well done. Though most of the music is simple techno style tracks, they have good quality and audio separate through stereo headphones and speakers. Each game offers interesting sound tracks, and those who spent endless hours in the arcade trying to beat the game will instantly recognize the tunes. Sound effects match the frantic visuals, peppered with humorous voice-over.
There isn't any doubt that you'll need to own this game if you were ever a Raiden fan and spent your time in the arcade. The iOS version gives you a much easier way to beat the game, from different modes to two difficulties. You can hone your skills without wasting coins and you can see the final mother ship if you've never beaten the game in the arcade after some practice. Raiden Legacy has four of the best Raiden game series and it'll keep you practicing and playing for a long time.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4- Ported graphics but sufficient for good gameplay experience. Sound: -4.5- Sound tracks might seem a bit dated, but they're unique and entertaining. Sound effects are plentiful and they match the gameplay very well. Controls: -5- Very responsive. You'll never feel that you miss the joysticks in the arcade version. Gameplay: -4.5- For the Raiden die-hard fans, the gameplay stays truth to the original and provides many hours of fun. You can replay the levels, in fact the game requires you to replay the levels to get better and remember the patterns in order to beat the games.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Play the Arcade mode to unlock all the mission, then use the mission mode to hone your skills to make it to the end in the arcade mode.