HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewRaiden IV x MIKADO remix Review

Raiden IV x MIKADO remix Review


Coming from a developer by the name of MOSS, and published by NIS America, is another entry in the crowded shoot ‘em up genre on the Xbox. Well, when I say a new entry, what I mean is an old entry tarted up with some new features and released onto an unsuspecting public. Going by the name of Raiden IV x MIKADO remix, which I’m sure you will agree is a bit of a mouthful, the game promises to bring a blend of top-down, vertical shooting action with a host of new features. So obviously, I grabbed my flight suit and blasted off… 

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As I’m sure you are aware, any form of story isn’t usually a vital part of proceedings in shoot ‘em up game, and so it is here. In fact, it can be expressed in a single sentence – The Crystals are an extra-terrestrial race intent on taking over the world, and we have to stop them, by the application of varied weapons that are nailed to our spaceships. And that is it. 

Playing Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is almost like going back in time as it perfectly recreates the action, look, and most importantly, the feel of a classic vertically scrolling shmup from the ‘90s. If my living room was sticky with unidentifiable substances, I would swear I was back in an arcade playing this. 

The screen is set in the classic 4:3 ratio, with lovely looking art panels filling the gaps on the sides. From there, the action on-screen is fast and furious, and quite small, if I’m honest. While the sprites all look great, both our ships and the enemies come in pretty tiny, small in scale. It is very easy to lose track of your ship amidst the chaos going on. And that doesn’t usually end well… The end of level bosses, on the other hand, are large, usually multi stage affairs that add a much needed boost to the challenge of each level. 

There’s some good sound effects too; the shooty-shooty sounds, the explosions and such are all very good, but one of the selling points of this remix edition is that the original music has all been remixed, which is a nice idea. It’s just a shame that no one who was actually any good at remixing was available, because the new tunes are grating and not very pleasant. Maybe I’m not the target audience, but I’ll be honest and say that I’ve not enjoyed listening to the new tunes on offer. All in all, nice looking game, but it’s a shame about the noise it makes. 

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But let’s get into the guts of Raiden IV x MIKADO remix; the way that it plays. And here the story is much brighter, as there are a number of modes that have been added. Arcade mode is there as you would expect, running as the usual ‘you against the hordes’ gameplay. Continues are limited though and so when they are all gone, it is game over. There is seemingly no dilution of the difficulty either and it may have been an idea for someone to show the developers the dictionary definition of “very easy” – it certainly isn’t that. 

Moving on and we find a Boss Rush mode, should you fancy your chances, whilst Score Attack sees you trying to get the best score possible. There is another new mode in place too, called Overkill. This is almost like Score Attack, but the bigger enemies that you defeat drop a kind of token – pile the bullets into that and it will upgrade, giving you more points. It does mean that trying to defeat enemies from afar doesn’t really work for the massive scores, and it’s best to get up close and personal and hope for the best. There is a certain risk/reward dynamic in this mode, although to be more accurate it is more like RISK/reward, as it gives very little time for any reaction to oncoming bullets and enemy ships. 

With the addition of extra levels to have a crack at, there is no shortage of content included in Raiden IV x MIKADO remix, and the actual fighting is very good indeed. What makes it better is the inclusion of a couch co-op two player mode; watching a fellow player steals all the best power-ups is quite a lot of fun. If you are a serious masochist, there is a mode called Double Play too, which allows you to control two spaceships at once. The only issue with this is that it is even harder to see what is going on, and I sometimes felt myself going boss-eyed trying to follow both ships at once. 

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One real criticism with Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is that the screen gets too busy, not only with enemies but with your own offensive weaponry; it is sometimes impossible to see what on earth (or off it, in this case) is going on. That is no more true than when you get access to a massive, three way laser beam – when this is firing, it is practically all you can see on screen, enemy projectiles are almost invisible, and this leads to many deaths and bad words. 

But aside from the manic nature – and the rubbish music – the rest of Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is a joy to play. If you like old school shoot ‘em ups, then give Raiden IV x MIKADO a try, and be prepared to recalibrate what you think is a hard game.

Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is on the Xbox Store

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