Raiden V Review
Raiden V, which is either a five in roman numerals or just the letter V (the game doesn’t specify) is a top down scrolling shooter of the old school variety. The kind that throws enemies and danger at you like there’s a sale on. Buy one deadly enemy ship and get six million more absolutely free! With over 25 years of heritage, the Raiden series is one of the bigger success stories of the genre, meaning that this latest edition has a large burden to carry; one it may not entirely live up to.
Not to say that the game is bad. On the contrary, in fact; Raiden V is a rather decent, if not entirely original “bullet hell” shooter. The main story mode comes in varying degrees of difficulty ranging from enemies not even shooting back to “holy cow, that’s a lot of bullets”.
With three different ships to choose from, each offering different stats and abilities, alongside a customisable weapons loadout, all of which equal a ton of devastation on screen. The choice is just a matter of which colour you prefer, each weapon does the job.
Raiden V also offers multiple routes and endings for the story, which adds to the replayability. It would just be nice if the game gave any kind of hint how you access these different routes or endings. You’re on your own there, and the internet won’t help much either. I’ve looked.
As for the gameplay itself, it’s fast, it’s frantic, it’s colourful and the enemies explode nicely. It’s everything you could want from an eye-blistering shooter, and nothing beats the sensation of being faced with a tidal wave of incoming fire and still managing to emerge on the other end unscathed.
However, it can be quite easy to become lost in the chaos, and whilst that’s a pretty typical trait of the bullet hell shooter, Raiden V doesn’t help itself in this matter. The backgrounds often times scroll a little too quickly, zooming in and out without warning, and the enemies have no consistency in the projectiles they fire your way.
The biggest problem with Raiden V though, comes not from gameplay but from value. At £40, the gameplay simply costs too much to recommend to anyone other than the most devout of bullet hell fanatics. With just a Story Mode and Mission Mode to keep you busy; neither of which offering any kind of lasting substance, Raiden V simply costs too much for what it brings to the table.
For the same price, you could buy Ikaruga on the 360 for you and a couple of friends, and probably obtain the same level of satisfaction. It’s a shame, because Raiden V is a lot of fun, in a way that all decent bullet hell are. Mowing down alien hordes is always a joy, and while it doesn’t break any molds, it’s still a good way to spend a few Saturday afternoons. At least, it would be if the price of admission wasn’t extortionate.
Raiden V is available form the Xbox Store, priced at £39.99.
Agree with our assessment? Let us know in the comments below, and check out the trailer if you’re still undecided.
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