Raiden Legacy Review

DotEmu is rapidly making a name for themselves when it comes to taking classic games and porting them to new technology. Having already brought such greats as R-Type, Metal Slug 3, and Another World to iOS, they’ve proven they can do justice by retro gamers. Raiden Legacy is their latest retro revamp, and it contains four games in the classic vertical-scrolling shooter series.

Raiden originally hit arcades in 1990 and was one of the original PlayStation’s launch titles. At the time, it was a true show of power, despite not being in 3D, simply because of how many objects the game plastered on the screen at one time. Raiden has always been known for crazy difficulty levels and solid shooter action, and it’s clear that the iPad and iPhone are up to the task of handling the game.

Raiden Legacy comes with the original Raiden, Raiden Fighters, Raiden Fighters II, and Raiden Fighters Jet. It’s not the entire Raiden collection unfortunately, but still makes for an incredibly hefty supply of shooting mayhem. Raiden isn’t the most complex shooter out there. The goal is to blow up anything in your way, collect power-ups and points, and avoid enemy fire. It doesn’t have the substantial upgrade system of R-Type, but the variety of guns and helpful aids like twin gunner ships and super bombs work great for the action.

Droppin’ bombs.

Admittedly, unless you’re a diehard fan of the genre, all the games in this collection can easily run together. The Raiden Fighter series added the ability to choose from a wide variety of different fighters, but the core action never really changes. There are still hundreds of things to avoid and destroy on the screen, massive boss fights against insane odds, and millions of points to be earned in every game.

For the true arcade hound, iCade support is a welcome feature, but most players will likely make do with the touch screen. While the controls work well, it’s just too easy to find your own finger blocking the action when sliding the ship around, and missing anything on the screen for even an instant can lead to death.

Beyond that, however, there’s little to complain about. These games look sharp and colorful, but definitely not up to par with modern shooters. The graphics are still made up of old-time 2D sprites, but have a terrific retro feel– and, more importantly, the whole package is a dead-on perfect port of their arcade roots. So, for fans of shooters, Raiden Legacy is an easy recommendation. Anyone expecting a modern, up-to-date shooter with crisp 3D graphics will be disappointed, but otherwise this package lives up to its namesake and is a welcome trip down memory lane.

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