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Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix review

Initial release date: April 22, 2021

Developer: MOSS

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X and Series S

Publishers: MOSS, NIS America, UFO Interactive Games

Series: Raiden

Genre: Adventure

"Review Copy Provided by NIS America"

Raiden IV is a classic vertical scrolling shooter game developed by Seibu Keihatsu that offers players a choice of upgradeable weapons, missiles, and smart bombs. It competed with other arcade blasters like Truxton, 1941, and Fire Shark in its heyday. Raiden IV has undergone significant changes since its original release in 1990, with Seibu's bankruptcy leading to the formation of MOSS by former employees. The fourth entry has undergone numerous reinventions and tweaks, and Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix is the most comprehensive version of the game yet.

Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix was released in 2021 for the Switch and is now available on other platforms. It features the classic Raiden IV gameplay, as well as the 2007 arcade original, the 2014 Overkill revision, a new "Additional" mode with two new stages, and a boss rush mode that is incredibly fun. The game's crossover with Game Centre Mikado has resulted in an exceptional soundtrack featuring tracks from well-known videogame soundtrack luminaries.

The various versions of Raiden IV offer distinct gameplay experiences. Both the original arcade version and the Additional mode in Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix utilize the Flash Shot system, which rewards players with a higher score multiplier for quickly taking down enemies as they appear. This mechanic encourages players to take risks, learn enemy patterns, and anticipate their movements. Additionally, players can earn extra points by allowing their ship to come in close contact with enemy projectiles.

The Overkill mode allows players to continue firing at defeated, larger enemies that remain on the screen. This provides an opportunity to earn additional points but also introduces new enemies to the battlefield. The most intriguing way to play Raiden IV is through the Double option, where one controller allows players to control two ships at once. For those who prefer to play with others, there is also the option for couch co-op. Regardless of the mode chosen, players can compete with others around the world through online score leaderboards.

While Raiden IV may not match the top-tier vertical shooters in terms of technical sophistication and bullet hell mastery, it offers a straightforward and enjoyable experience that makes it an excellent entry-level bullet-riddled shoot 'em up. It's a great way to hone your skills before diving into more challenging titles like Ketsui or Deathsmiles. One downside of this version is that it doesn't offer the ability to play in the original TATE mode unless you have a screen that can rotate. If TATE mode is a priority for you, then it's recommended to opt for the Switch version instead of the console release.

In conclusion, Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix is an excellent addition to the Raiden franchise, offering an exceptional soundtrack and distinct gameplay experiences across its various modes. It's a fun and enjoyable game that is perfect for beginners and fans of the franchise. However, it may not appeal to players who are looking for a more technically sophisticated and challenging bullet hell shooter.

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