Raiden IV x Mikado Remix
Publisher: UFO Interactive Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 22.10.21
A code was provided for review purposes
Raiden IV is a top-down, vertical shmup (shoot’em up) that was first released way back in 2007 in Japanese arcades. A year later, the game was ported to Microsoft’s Xbox 360. An updated version of the game dubbed Raiden IV Overkill was released for PC and PS3 in 2015 and 2014 respectively. The Overkill version included 2 new stages, 3 different ships, newly added Overkill Mode and Replay & Gallery Mode. Fast forward to 2021, where UFO Interactive Games released Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix for the Nintendo Switch with a handful of additions.
Shoot everything in sight. It’s you or them
Raiden IV x Mikado Remix is a shmup, or shoot’em up, where the main goal is to survive each level by avoiding a plethora of enemies and their multiple projectiles. While it does sound simple enough, it’s not that easy. A single hit will explode your ship and while most smaller enemies will die in one hit, taking on multiple ships sized medium to large will take multiple hits to come tumbling down. But the bigger they get, the more firepower and tricks they have and it becomes a game of who will shoot first and faster. You do get multiple lives and continues, the latter which increases in number as you play, but it’s still a tough cookie.
Thankfully, you do get a bit of help. While choosing one of the three ships doesn’t have a direct impact on your damage output, as with most games of the genre, you get various power-ups which increases your firepower. You’ll find a nice variety of weaponry from a barrage of missiles to a huge targetting laser; you’re playing with power. Additionally, when you find power-up pick-ups, if you wait a few seconds before picking them up, they will switch. This allows you to get the power-up you want, as long as you are patient and dodge the incoming bullets.
The game also offers a handful of game modes. There’s the Overkill Mode with 2 new levels and a new scoring system. Then Additional Mode, a replicate of Arcade Mode with 2 new stages. Score Attack Mode; which is pretty self-explanatory. And finally, Arcade Mode which recreates the original arcade experience. There are also different levels of difficulties raging from Practice to Ultimate. You can also play with a friend and additionally, (and thankfully) the game lets players pick up where they left after a Game Over thanks to Level Select.
While this is a fun and challenging game, the main problem with Raiden IV x Mikado Remix, as with any shmup, is the replay value. Once you’re done with the game, you can tackle additional game modes, but they’re basically all the same, so unless you want to challenge your high score, try to finish it without dying or up the ante by playing harder difficulty settings, there’s not much to return too once you’ve cleared it once. While yes, it might take a while before you clear it, most players will have had enough of one run. And as you’d expect from a shmup, this is no cakewalk; even on the easiest difficulty setting.
Presentation-wise, the game looks great. It’s very bright and colourful and there are never issues of either losing track of your ship or enemies bullets no matter how cluttered the screen gets. (It’s hard to lose track of enemy projectiles when that’s practically all you see!). Backgrounds are surprisingly detailed and they don’t “interfere” with the on-screen action. The soundtrack is a hard rock score that will get the blood pumping. And it features remixed tracks by various artists produced by Game Center Mikado.
Whether it be newcomers or long-time fans of the genre, Raiden IV x Mikado Remix is absolutely worth the investment. It’s a fun, fair, and forgiving shmup experience thanks to the plethora of difficulty levels and the ability to use level select to continue your adventure. It’s also very addictive; whether it was my first time playing on Xbox 360 or this newly updated re-release, I couldn’t put it down despite being game over’ed. While the longevity of this game will depend on your tolerance for repetition, the first playthrough will keep you busy for some time. I definitely recommend this gem.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4.5 out of 5
Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix can be purchased on the Nintendo Switch’s eShop.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.