The Raiden series of games were always popular ones in arcades. I remember everytime I saw a Raiden game, I had to make sure and play it. To this day, when I walk into an arcade (if I can find one), and they have a Raiden machine, I always put some quarters in. So I was pretty excited when I found out Raiden Legacy was hitting the App Store with Raiden versions I didn't get to play as often as others. Is Raiden Legacy a faithful port of these shoot-em-up favorites?
Raiden Legacy features four classic Raiden titles -- the original Raiden, Raiden Fighters, Raiden Fighters 2 and Raiden Fighters Jet. The goal in each game is simple -- kill everything on the screen. If you're familiar with schmup games, then you already know how to play.
Controls are simple touch controls. There's an option for Fast Touch and Arcade Touch. I found Arcade Touch to be a bit stiff, so I recommend leaving the setting on Fast Touch, which was very responsive and made for mobile devices. You can turn auto-fire off or on. Unless you're playing this in your iCade (it's iCade compatible), I'd leave it on. Too much work to be banging on your device 500 times a minute. On the lower left is a bomb and formation button.
Choose your Raiden games, then select Arcade mode, Mission mode, or Training mode. Mission modes unlock as your progress through Arcade mode, but I was never a fan of these modes, and I always stuck to the arcade experience. Training is good if you want to work on a level you're getting ass kicked in. Trying out different ships is a good tactic before diving in.
Each game offers their own ships, except for the original Raiden. Games like Raiden Fighters Jet give you 14 different ships to choose from. I wish Jet let you know the rankings of each ship like Raiden Fighters and Raiden Fighters 2 does. Some ships are slow as hell while others zip around the screen. Faster the better, I say.
Graphics and sounds are spot on. Each game is a faithful recreation of it's original counterpart, but it's a missed opportunity not to update Raiden to the world of HD. Or at least give us the option of playing a version with updated graphics. The original game looks fine as it is, but why not give us something new to look at? No other extras either, like some history on each game. But we're not here to read, are we? We're here to destroy.
One thing about the Raiden titles -- they'll kick your ass. Sure, the DoDonpachi games are the toughest kids on the shooter block, but the Raiden games are no slouch. They'll throw everything but the kitchen sink at you, so make sure you power-up your ship as much as you can and use your bombs wisely. I used to like the spread shot, but depending on the ship I get, the purple tracking laser is pretty unstoppable. Plus it looks cool when it's fully powered up.
For five bucks you're getting four great Raiden titles that you can take with you anywhere. These are wonderfully recreated ports and fans will eat them up. Will they add more Raiden titles in the future? Hopefully. For now, these four bad boys will keep retro fans in shoot-em-up gaming heaven for quite some time.