Raiden

Atari Jaguar

from AEO Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 3


 |||   Jaguar Game Review & Hints: Raiden

 |||   By: Tim Wilson

/ | \  GEnie: AEO.8      Internet: wilsont@rahul.net

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Type: Arcade - Vertical Shooter

By: Imagitec & Atari

Comlynx: Nope.

Two player simultaneous with 2 controllers



An arcade classic makes its way to the Jaguar - Raiden is a faithful

conversion of the late 80's arcade game. The basic premise is a

standard one, Space Pirates have attacked Earth, and it's your job (an

maybe a friend's as well) to rid Earth of this menace. You do this by

piloting your fighters over the landscape, blasting everthing, moving

or not.



The view is from overhead, you may move your ship in 8 directions. The

screen will scroll left and right a bit as you approach the edge of

the screen, but you always scroll upward at a steady pace. The

landscapes are detailed, and look very much like the arcade version,

even down to the "wandering cow" in the middle of the herd on stage 1.

So, as far as I can tell, the graphics are identical to the arcade,

even the aspect ratio remains the same. To manage that, Imagitec put a

gold "dashboard" off to the right side of the screen, that contains

information such as score, lives remaining and credits left.



The music and sound effects are also a copy from the arcade, just

like I remember them, with no changes. It may be an exacting copy, but

the music isn't that great in the first place, at least to me. The

music changes when you fight the boss monsters that end each level, so

when the music starts to sound ominous, watch out for a spray of

bullets. Thankfully, by pressing PAUSE, you can press the various fire

buttons to control the volume levels for the music and sound effects.



There are various power-ups availible after destroying certain enemy

units.  Blue powerup icons give you lasers, a high strength weapon

that fires directly forward. Red gives you multiple shots that spread

out. "M"s give you forward firing missiles, an "H" gives you homing

missiles, and a "B" gives you an extra nuclear bomb. Except for bombs,

the more of each kind of powerup you get, the stronger it becomes.

Lasers get thicker and do more damage, Scatter shots scatter in wider

spreads, with missiles, you can get up to six straight fire, and four

homing. Bombs you simply collect.  The bombs can be used to wipe out

large amounts of enemies, along with their bullets, in a large area

around the explosion. The best power up to get is "P," it upgrades

your weapon and any missile types to the maximum! Enemies vary from

single-shot-trashes-it to two-bombs-barely -scratches-it. For the

absolute maximum firepower, get all lasers and 4 straight-fire

missiles.



Each level has a different tune, and a different landscape to fly

over.  Pastures, beaches, forests, or towards the end, another planet

and pirate space stations. The standard pattern is: fight aircraft,

blast tanks, destroy hard-to-kill trigger happy enemy midway, more

tanks and aircraft, then kill the boss monster to advance to the next

stage. Certain stages have unique enemies. "Boat-tanks," massive

squadrons of jets, even asteroid fields.



The game is very fast paced, my friend and I played the game

together, and started with 8 credits. You could also start with one,

three, or five.  Each credit gets you five ships, so we each had 40

ships to waste till we died. (plus any bonus ships) In about five

hours, we had enough skill to get to stage 8. Stage 8 is the hardest,

and is also the last. Afterwhich the game starts again, but the

enemies shoot faster and in different patterns.



Remember, this was with 40 ships EACH. I imagine if I pumped 8

quarters into a lot of games I could get as far. It was definately

challenging.  Since there was no other way of making the game easier

or harder, I imagine Imagitec put this feature in. A full game, from

stage 1 to stage 8 takes 45 minutes to an hour. There is plenty of

blasting going on, and since it does take a very long time, its hard

to memorize (for me) every last bad guy.



Verdict: A very good game, as far as I'm concerned, a good port as

well.  I enjoyed most of this game, except for the "boss" at the end

of each level. I really hate this concept, but other people dig it.  A

die hard Raiden addict was annoyed that the port wasn't perfect.  He

tells me the "firing logic is all wrong." I didn't notice.





 Sound:    ****   Lots of explosions, and blasting, great!

 Music:    ***    The music has variety, but I've heard better.

 Graphics: *****  Great scrolling, detail, and clarity.

 Gameplay: ****   Take out the end-of-level boss monsters and I'd buy it.

 Controls: ****   I wanted to be able to move the "bomb" button.

 Overall:  ****   Decent game, classic shooter.





Reminder: "Overall" is not an average, but a completely separate

          judgement.


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