Raiden IV has been around for well over a decade and it now has a brand new iteration for Nintendo Switch that's chock full of content.
I originally played Raiden IV when I bought it physically for Xbox 360 which came with a pretty cool soundtrack CD. As an existing fan, I was delighted with its tight gameplay that stayed true to the previous games in the series while feeling fresh and exciting at the same time. Years later, I downloaded Raiden IV: OverKill for PlayStation 3 which is the exact same game yet with a new mode. Thankfully, Raiden IV x MIKADO remix contains all of the content from the previous iterations while boasting a fantastic new soundtrack.
So, what makes Raiden IV such a great shmup? Well, if you've played any other Raiden game then its gameplay will immediately click with you as you blast away enemy ships while switching between and powering-up 3 distinct weapons. You'll also acquire secondary weapons that automatically fire such as homing missiles and you can deploy bombs whenever you're in a panic. The controls are incredibly intuitive as you only need to use 2 buttons which makes dodging the barrage of projectiles quite an instinctual experience.
Another aspect about Raiden IV that I enjoy immensely is its wealth of content. After each run, you'll earn more credits as well as unlock any stage that you've progressed to so you can practice. You can also select variations of the campaign as well as take on the bosses in Boss Rush mode after you unlock it and challenge Score Attack mode if you want to test your skills. Speaking of which, there are online leaderboards, too. You can also tinker with lots of options such as the ability to play in tate mode as well as swap your ship for the one from Raiden II or the Fairy. To top it off, there's an awesome gallery where you can unlock and admire all of the 3D ship models.
Raiden IV: OverKill
OverKill mode is a very interesting addition that features a nifty scoring mechanic. Basically, after defeating certain substantial foes, you can keep shooting them to fill a gauge which spawns a score pick-up that corresponds to various thresholds. So, if you'd like an extra dynamic to achieving high scores then this mode is a great inclusion that makes the gameplay feel more strategic and frantic.
Raiden IV x MIKADO remix
Finally, let's discuss the brand new soundtrack which is actually optional. It's much more rock-oriented complete with plenty of electric guitars and it sounds like it belongs in an early 2000s arcade, especially with the more synthesizer-heavy tunes. Overall, it's an energetic soundtrack which goes perfectly well with the shmup action and I think I actually prefer it to the original which I wasn't expecting.
Before wrapping this up, I just wanted to touch on a couple more things. First, if you already own Raiden IV on another console then upgrading to this version might not be worth it. Of course, having the best iteration with the ability to play it portably is excellent but don't expect anything revolutionary. That brings me to my last point; I wish that they updated the visuals a bit because they are looking rather dated at this point, especially when you compare it to genre contemporaries like Raiden V or the recent R-Type Final 2.
Raiden IV x MIKADO remix takes a wonderful sequel that's full of arcade shooting fun and adds a stellar new soundtrack. Plus, the fact that you get everything that was in previous Raiden IV iterations is just peachy.
- + Raiden IV remains a great shmup with tight gameplay and nifty extras
- + Contains the very cool OverKill mode
- + Features top-notch new music
- - Might not be worth getting if you already own a previous version of Raiden IV
- - Visuals aren't as sharp as many of its genre contemporaries