360 Raiders

I’ve always wanted to play Raiden Fighters naked. However, due to the public nature of arcades and the tendencies for cops to show up with clubs, being naked never happened.

This weekend, my dream came true. Not only did i play Raiden Fighters naked, but I also played Raiden Fighters 2 and Raiden Fighters Jet in an all-inclusive package called Raiden Fighter Aces for the Xbox 360.

Since this is my first Shining Force review, I’ll explain how this is going to work. I’m not going to assign this game a number value that tells you how good it is in less than two digits. I’m simply going to tell you what was WIN and what was FAIL in the game.

Time to get Hordy.

WIN

Arcade Love: As soon as I fired this game up I was surprised at how much it felt like playing in the arcade. On the box, they make it sound like they’ve added a ton of features etc, but they didn’t touch the gameplay or look and feel. You can play the Arcade mode which gives you the option to give yourself limited (or unlimited!) credits and play through the stages normally. You select your fighter and you’re off blowing up everything holy to the enemy and dodging bullets like ex-girlfriends. It’s beautiful.

Jet Sex: If you’ve played any of the Raidens, you probably hopefully know that if you hold down the fire button, you’ll charge a super weapon for your ship. I discovered in two player mode on Raiden Fighters 2 and Raiden Fighters Jet that if you and your buddy charge and fire your super weapon at the same time, you’ll shoot a super WIN-powered hybrid attack that makes you and your buddy invincible while demolishing everything in front of you. This is something I never discovered in the arcade. (The one I played at’s 2nd player buttons never worked.)

Choose your Poison: In each game, there are plenty of ships to choose from that all have their unique special weapons, firing speed, flight speed, etc. You can pick from the chubby-yet-deadly Beast Arrow to the all around killer, the Aegis.

Next Ship Please: When you die enough to get to a continue, you can change to a different ship. This is perfect for certain bosses that require you to dodge like Neo.

Slow Motion: In Practice mode, you can assign a button to activate slow motion. This is perfect for post-pub gaming. I suppose if you wanted to, you could probably also use it to practice. I found it a bit too easy sober.

FAIL

I kill so hard I Die? This isn’t that much of a fail as much as it is irritating to me. I’ll be cruising along in my powered-to-the-MAX ship firing enough bullets and lasers to fill the screen when all of a sudden my ship blows up. WTF? What happens is that there is so much going on that I’ll lose track of one slow moving yellow dot. It and Murphy’s Law then proceed to kick me in the nuts.

Too slow Fatty! I have been using random ships each time, which is highly entertaining, but frustrating on harder difficulties. The heavy-hitter slow ships just don’t have the get-up-and-go to get the hell out of the way of a swarm of Boss bullets. Often times the Boss bullets will not have a dodge-able spread and if you don’t have a fast ship, kiss your credits goodbye.

Devil Badges: In Raiden Fighter Jet, when you destroy a flying enemy, it’ll sometimes drop a triangular badge. (Badges give you extra points.) In the other two games, they will fall straight down and you’ll either pick them up or never see them again. In this one, however, they zoom right at you and stop about a half inch out of reach following you around like that little devil on your shoulder tempting you to catch them by moving into stray bullets.

Why aren’t you DLC my love? This game set is not very large (memory-wise). They should just make it into an Xbox Arcade download to save me from having to get off my arse and put the disc in.

Pew Pew Pew

Overall, it’s just as fun as the original. I may even pick up a SFIV fighting stick to make it even more arcade-y. It’s only 20 bucks new and worth every penny. There you have it. The Win. The Fail. Any questions?

If you have suggestions for my next XBOX 360/DSi/PSP review, let me know on the forums.

Raiden Fighters Aces Website

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