Since the first generation of video games, the genre that proliferated the most in arcades and had the most titles in the 80s and 90s, is Shoot’em up, commonly called “Shmup” due to its grammatical contraction in English. , and also known as “Danmaku” in Japan.
In any case, whether it was flying with planes, ships or controlling heroes at ground level, and in vertical or lateral scrolling, it would not matter; our mothers would forever rename them “the little Martians”.
But far from being stuck in the past, the Shmups have been around for more than 40 years, and one of the most remembered series is Raiden, which in 2007 with Raiden IV swept the arcades in Japanese arcades. After several ports that appeared on consoles like Xbox 360, now comes Raiden IV x MIKADO remix, an improved version fully prepared to be enjoyed on consoles from the past and the current generation.
The most advanced “Shmup” you can play today
With this bombastic name, MOSS LTD and NIS America have wanted to recall the classic series of arcade games. The extraterrestrial race known as Crystals returns to threaten the human species in a new attempt to conquer the planet. And that’s it. That is the excuse to put ourselves at the controls of our ship, shoot everything that moves while we dodge bullet salads and reach the powerful boss that awaits at the end of each phase.
To do this, we will have a renewed content pack with new levels, different types of projectiles, a bit of “fanservice” and intense game modes, such as the classic Arcade or the new OverKill and Score Attack, which we will talk about later.
A version that does not lack new features
In Raiden IV x MIKADO remix we have three different ships (well, two and a fairy) that will be in charge of going through the seven scenarios full of enemies that will have to be eliminated. Both enjoy quite sharpness and resolution, as the graphic review that has been given to the original game is obvious, resulting in a fresh and modern game. Also noteworthy is its excellent soundtrack, with metal melodies with a pounding rhythm that know how to accompany the frenetic action at all times, and that we can alternate between the remixed and the original ones.
But back to the ships, each of them has unique projectile shapes. In this way, a weapon does not work the same when piloting a ship as when piloting the fairy, but rather it adapts according to the vehicle’s cannon. The same thing happens with the bombs, those great allies of the genre when it comes to crushing bosses or fleeing from bullets that can mean the sure loss of a life.
As we eliminate enemies, we will obtain power-ups and items to be able to change weapons and increase their power level according to the requirements on the screen. This is a playable option that has always been present in the franchise and that brings great dynamism to the games.
Game modes to stop a meteor
If you’re thinking that like any good vertical scrolling shooter game worth its salt, this is going to be very difficult for you or you’ve read it somewhere, forget it. Raiden IV x MIKADO remix has difficulty levels for all players. In this sense it is very accessible, starting with a level that involves a walk (because the enemies don’t shoot), another in which you can eliminate their bullets and the following ones that are standard and reserved for more experienced players.
To make life even easier, we can also alter the number of lives and bombs available per credit to define the duration of our games. And all these settings will be available throughout the 5 game modes, which are the following:
- OverKill: Modo principal que incluye dos nuevas misiones y un nuevo sistema de puntuación que se basa en seguir disparando a los enemigos eliminados para seguir sumando puntos.
- Additional: Incluye las dos nuevas misiones pero con el sistema de puntuación original.
- Score Attack: Para mejorar la puntuación de cualquier nivel que hayamos terminado previamente.
- Arcade: El modo arcade clásico y original de la máquina recreativa.
- Boss Rush: El clásico «modo jefe» en el que hay que enfrentarse uno por uno a todos los jefes del juego. Es necesario terminar el juego primero para desbloquearlo.
Any of these modes can be played solo, in doubles local cooperative and through the new Dual mode that allows you to control two ships with a single controller. This last modality is especially interesting and works as follows. With the left part of the control we manage one ship and with the right part the other. This is achieved by moving the ship with the stick and shooting with the corresponding bumper (LB/RB).
It’s worth trying because this way we’ll be able to fire twice as many projectiles, although we’ll also have to be very skilled at synchronizing our movements and dodging the bullets. However, with a little practice it becomes a hectic mode, which works well and is a lot of fun.
Despite having several modes to choose from, an online cooperative mode is sorely lacking. That already in the year 2023 a game of these characteristics does not include the possibility of looking for a partner to play remotely, leaves much to be desired. And another detail that makes the presentation of the title ugly is that the texts are entirely in English. It is a minor detail but nowadays it costs very little to translate a menu and it gives a feeling of neglect not to do it.
Leaving these two points aside and to complete the product, players who are fans of scores and statistics will enjoy raising their scores to the world online ranking, saving their best replays and completing an illustration gallery that is unlocked as milestones are achieved and game modes are completed.
The most complete version of the fourth installment of the series
Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is the most complete version of Raiden IV, since it compiles all the material seen in the different console ports, at the same time that it adds the revamped and excellent soundtrack of Mikado. Accessible and with enough game modes, it is undoubtedly a definitive installment that fans of the genre will appreciate, but also those players who are approaching a modern retro shmup for the first time.
It is hardly noticeable that it is a title that is almost 20 years old, except for some cinematics that look like cardboard and for not having an online multiplayer mode, but it has many other things in its favor to be acquired. Also, for those who like the physical format, Bandai Namco has published it in Spain with a Deluxe Edition that includes the digital soundtrack and a poster. All a detail.
“Shmup” fresh and modern, for fans of the genre
Technical section at a good level
Excellent playability and game possibilities
Accessible to all types of players
An online cooperative mode is missing
No texts in Spanish