Raiden IV

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Raiden IV
North American cover art
North American cover art
Developer(s) MOSS
Publisher(s)
Series Raiden
Platform(s) Arcade, Xbox 360
Release date(s) Arcade:
  • JP 2007-06-07

Xbox 360:

  • JP 2008-10-02 (box)
  • NA 2009-09-08 (box)
  • JP 2010-01-12 (XBLM)
  • NA 2011-04-05 (XBLM)
Genre(s) Vertical scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Single player, 2 player Co-op
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Taito Type X

Raiden IV (雷電IV Raiden Fō?) is a video game that follows up from the events of its precursor, Raiden III. It was developed by the Japanese company MOSS, under the license of Seibu Kaihatsu, and currently in co-operation with Taito.

Gameplay[edit]

The gameplay of Raiden IV is identical to its prior installments, although its level design is different than Raiden III, but it is exactly the same as Raiden II, as the player starts from in-land, over the farms. In later levels the game progresses through a vast cityscape, into the sky, and finally onward to space. The player faces many enemies, powerful stages, and fearless bosses. The Flash Shot System, first introduced in Raiden III, returns in IV. Multipliers are given for destroying enemies that just appeared on screen; the faster players destroy enemies, the higher the bonuses are.

Weapons[edit]

As with previous Raiden titles, the ship fires simultaneously with two weapons: the main weapon and the sub-weapon. Weapons have a power level, which increases by collecting individual powerups. In addition there are bombs that fill more or less the whole screen, harming enemies and dissolving all enemy shots. At the beginning of the game or after the player dies, the default weapons are a three-way Vulcan (see below), a marked increase of firepower over the one-way Vulcan of the previous Raiden games, no secondary weapon and three bombs (the number of bombs can be altered as a game option). The weapons, bombs and bonus items, like fairies, in Raiden III are retained and works the same as before in this game.

Main shots[edit]

A screenshot of all the main shots in Raiden IV
  • Fighting Thunder ME-02 Kai: The default ship in the game, the Fighting Thunder ME-02 Kai (A modified form of the Fighting Thunder ME-02 in Raiden III) is capable of using the following assortment of weapons. Each one can power up to a maximum level of 5. The choice for the purple powerup must be made at the start of the game.
  • Red Powerup: Vulcan: A traditional spread weapon that shoots streams of 2 to 4 small yellow bullets in 3, 5, or 7 directions (including straight ahead). Powerups increase the spread of the number of bullets but decrease the damage each bullet can inflict (which is offset by the increased number of bullets fired with each shot).
  • Blue Powerup: Laser: A traditional narrow weapon, appearing as a single continuous forward-facing blue laser; lateral ship movement makes it swerve very slightly. Powerups increase both the width of the beam and the damage rate.
  • Purple Powerup, Option One: Plasma Laser: The "toothpaste" plasma laser from Raiden II and Raiden DX returns. Appears as a narrow purple beam that can swing in an arc from left to right. Once the beam strikes a target it will lock on and curve itself—sometimes very wildly—to stay on target. The beam will also damage any enemies that happen to be caught in its path to the target. Should the target be destroyed, the beam straightens out and the process repeats for a new target.
  • Purple Powerup, Option Two: Proton Laser: Improved from its original incarnation in Raiden III, appears as three narrow purple beams with green outlines that swing markedly (up to about 45 degrees) with lateral ship movement. Powerups increase the width and brightness of the beam and presumably the damage rate. One of two weapons that can be assigned to the purple powerup at the start of the game.
  • Fighting Thunder Mk-II: One of two ships that can be purchased for the Xbox 360 version of the game, the Fighting Thunder Mk-II is the ship from the original Raiden series of games. In general, it is capable of greater firepower than its future counterpart but requires more powerups to maximize the effect; each of its weapons can power up to a maximum level of 7. The choice for the purple powerup must be made at the start of the game.
  • Red Powerup: Vulcan: Similar to the ME-02 version but, more reflective of its original roots, it starts with a one-way shot of two bullets.
  • Blue Powerup: Laser: Similar to the ME-02 version but more powerful; its baseline power is almost as powerful as the ME-02 version maxed out and when itself maxed out is nearly 50% more powerful.
  • Purple Powerup, Option One: Plasma Laser: Identical to the ME-02 version except that it requires seven powerups to max out. Baseline and maximum strengths are identical to the ME-02 version.
  • Purple Powerup, Option Two: Proton Laser: Ironically, the Proton Laser used in the Mk-II is the original incarnation of the Proton Laser seen in Raiden III. It appears as a very narrow green beam that swings markedly (moving at an angle of about 45 degrees) with lateral ship movement. Because it is only one beam instead of three, its power is more concentrated than the ME-02 version.
  • Fairy: The other of two ships that can be purchased for the Xbox 360 version of the game, the Fairy provides a unique set of weapons, each which can power up to a maximum level of 5.
  • Red Powerup: Fairy Vulcan: Cyan-colored instead of yellow, with a narrower spread to the bullets and a slight decrease to its attack power.
  • Blue Powerup: Milky Laser: The laser that the Fairy uses is very similar to the Ixion in Raiden Fighters Jet. Blue spheres of light emerge from the ship, which immediately shoots out lasers that resemble "arrows of light". Although the size of the lasers is very narrow compared to other lasers, they are able to penetrate enemies like the proton laser, hence the name of the weapon. The damage inflicted is very powerful, and is able to destroy medium-sized ships with ease. When powered up to higher levels, more lasers will be shot.
  • Purple Powerup Bubble Launcher: Shoots a stream of purple translucent bubbles. The speed of the bullets is relatively slow. When powered up to higher levels, the number of bubbles shot from the player ship grows in quantity until they cover a large portion of the screen, which provides a constant amount of firepower on enemies. Corresponds to the purple powerup. Usable only by the Fairy.

Sub-shots[edit]

A screenshot of all the sub shots in Raiden IV

For all three variants, powerups simply increase the number of shots and there are four power levels.

Fighting Thunder ME-02 Kai and Fighting Thunder Mk-II:

  • Nuclear missile: Shoots dumb-fire missiles that spread out laterally then accelerate forward. In addition to direct hits, the nuclear missiles' explosions cause damage as well. Corresponds to the "M" powerup.
  • Homing missile: Shoots homing missiles that turn freely and target the closest enemy around the player. The damage is weak, but it is ideal for attacking enemies around the player. Corresponds to the "H" powerup.
  • Radar missile: A partially guided variant of the nuclear missile in which the missiles drift laterally until they align with enemies and charge forward. The radar missiles' explosions cause damage as well, just like the nuclear missiles. Corresponds to the "R" powerup.

Fairy: In place of the missiles, the Fairy has a unique assortment of sub-shots: the Flower, the Feather, and the Leaf. They still power-up similarly to the fighters.

Miscellaneous items[edit]

In addition to these weapon powerups, there are miscellaneous items as well.

  • Bomb: Each ship uses a unique bomb animation. The ME-02's bomb action is the same as in Raiden III: a ball of flame spreads out rapidly from the position the player launches it. The Mk-II uses a variant on it its trademark Thermonuclear Bomb, which is more powerful and remains longer but only works within a radius from the drop point. The Fairy's bomb is similar to that of the ME-02 but moves more slowly. The bomb stock can be increased with bomb powerups, appearing as a "B" on a spinning triangle. The craft starts with 3 bombs and can carry up to 7; if another bomb powerup is collected at 7, bonus points are accumulated. Any bombs left over at the end of a stage are worth 5,000 bonus points each.
  • Extra Life (1UP): When picked up, the player receives another life. They are well-hidden in select points in the game.
  • Full Power-Up: This appears under certain conditions such as the player dies many times, and when obtained, the primary and secondary shots will reach maximum power. Bonus points are obtained when this is obtained when the player already has maximum power. The powerup of this item appears to be the cyan letter "P".
  • Fairy: The fairy is hidden in various parts of each stage in the game, which appears when the player shoots the correct location. When the fairy is obtained, it will help the player when the craft is damaged, by giving you a power-up item. Unlike in previous games where the player could be penalized for shooting it, this fairy cannot be hit by the player's shots.
  • Medals: Appears as a shiny golden orb. Higher score medals appear as winged orbs. True to the original Raiden series, only the accumulated total of medals influence the end-of-stage bonus (along with remaining fighters and bombs). However, medals are lost when a player loses a life, so a player is required to maintain their ship to the end of a stage in order to have any collected medals count.

There are also a few secret items hidden in the game.

Game modes[edit]

Arcade Mode[edit]

The Arcade Mode is the original version of the game, and consists of 2 types of gameplay: Light and Original. Light gameplay has an easier difficulty, meant for beginners and players new to the genre, while Original generates more enemies, faster bullets and slightly more complicated boss patterns.

Xbox 360 Mode[edit]

The Xbox 360 Mode[1] is exclusive to the home version and contains new enemy ships and 2 new stages and bosses not found in the arcade version.[2] Stages can be selected to start playing once the level has been initially cleared.

  • Play Style: Solo offers single-player, Dual allows 2-player simultaneous play, while Double has one player controlling two ships, which offers a unique and challenging experience.
  • Stage: Allows players to select the stages they have already completed to replay.
  • Difficulty: There will be 8 different difficulty modes to choose from.
    • Practice: Enemies do not fire shots in the game.
    • Very Easy: Enemies' shots can be destroyed by the player.
    • Easy: Enemies' shots are relatively slow in this difficulty.
    • Normal: Default difficulty in console version.
    • Original: Same difficulty as in the Arcade version.
    • Hard: Enemies' shots are a bit quicker in speed, for intermediate players.
    • Very Hard: Enemies' shots are much quicker in speed, for expert players.
    • Ultimate: The hardest difficulty in the game.

Boss Rush Mode[edit]

Players fight all level bosses without going through the stages.

Score Attack Mode[edit]

Similar to the Xbox 360 Mode, the only differences are the enemy placements have now changed. Background music which were previously fixed for the specific stage can be selected in any level.

Synopsis[edit]

Plot[edit]

The Cranassians have returned again after numerous defeats against humanity. The World Alliance Military immediately launches the Raiden mk-II and its blue counterpart, the "Raiden mk-II Beta" to stop the invasion and save the Earth.

Characters[edit]

Development[edit]

  • The first location test for Raiden IV was held at Akihabara Hey on July 22–23, 2006, on an Egret II system. This version had three difficulties: Light, Original and Strong, as well as including the feature that the 1P has a plasma laser, while the 2P has a proton laser. The "ground door" that opens to reveal the Level 1 boss consists of "bushes" and "roads". Cutscenes are seen showing the first boss exploding, but, it does not show the second boss exploding, however.
  • The 2nd location test was held again at Hey and at Taito Game World in Shinjuku on October 14–16. The cutscenes showing the boss' destruction is nixed in this version.
  • The 3rd location test was held at High-Tech Sega in Shibuya and Taito Game World in Shinjuku on December 27. In this version, the previous idea of having 1P having the plasma laser while 2P has the proton laser was nixed. Instead, players were able to select either plasma or proton laser to play through before starting the main game. 2nd Round for the game after 1st Round was completed is implemented.
  • The 4th and final location test was held at Shinjuku Gesen Mikado on February 20, 2007. In this version, Flash Shot System's multiplier is increased to 5.0x at maximum. Strong difficulty is nixed, however. The damage power of weapons are readjusted. Enemies that appeared during Stage 2's mid-boss were nixed.
  • Moss launched Raiden IV arcade on June 7, 2007. The official arcade website is opened.[3]
  • First details for Xbox 360 port of Raiden IV revealed in June 2008, which will include new stages, Live support, TATE options and download content.[4]
  • Release date of home port to be September 11, 2008 by Moss, it was later pushed back to October 2 as the game needed more polish and to erase bugs.[5]

Version History and Ports[edit]

Arcade version[edit]

Xbox 360 version[edit]

The Xbox 360 version of Raiden IV includes:

  • New game modes: Xbox 360 Mode, ScoreAttack Mode, Arcade Mode, World Rankings, Boss Rush mode.
  • A TATE option is available for players to view the game in either vertical or horizontal screens for their preferred shooting experience.
  • A total of 47 achievements with a total of 1000 gamerscore.
  • Replay saving
  • 2 extra stages for total of 7 stages. The stages are used in stage 5 and 6.

Xbox 360 Mode[edit]

  • PlayStyle: Player can choose between 1-player SOLO mode, 2-player DUAL mode, or 1-controller 2-player DOUBLE mode.
  • Stage: Player can choose any first 7 stages after completing first loop of stages, and any subsequent stages after completing second loop of stages.
  • Difficulty: There are 8 difficulty settings.

ScoreAttack Mode[edit]

This mode allows player to play a game consists of 1 selected stage.

Arcade Mode[edit]

The LIGHT course include 5 stages from the original arcade game. The ORIGINAL course include all 7 stages from the Xbox 360 Mode.

World Rankings[edit]

The online leaderboards contain records of players rankings in Xbox 360 Mode and Arcade Mode games running SOLO mode. with replays uploaded via Xbox Live. An eligible replay must consists of:

  • 1-credit play (without continuing)
  • Game starts with factory default, with a game starts with 3 fighters and 3 bombs
  • No game interruption

Boss Rush mode[edit]

The Boss Rush mode is unlocked after completing Xbox 360 Mode.

Downloadable contents[edit]

  • Additional ship #1: Raiden MK-II (80MP/¥100(Japan)/USD$1(US)): Allows controlling Fighting Thunder MK-II.
  • Additional ship #2: Fairy (80MP/¥100(Japan)/USD$1(US)): Allows controlling Fairy.
  • Raiden IV Theme (160MP(US)/50MP(Japan)/¥141(Japan)/USD$1.99(US)):
  • Raiden IV gamer pictures pack (100MP/¥71(Japan)/USD$1.25(US)): Desktop icon pack, including Raiden fighters, Fairy, Miclus.

A North American GameStop Exclusive Limited Edition (published by UFO Interactive) was made available on release which included a Secret File PDF Art Book and a soundtrack CD.

The Raiden IV Secret File edition of the game was sold in Japan via INH shop preorder.[6]

Update Patch[edit]

A console patch update to version 1.1 was made available on February 26, 2009. The patch is applied to the game through Xbox Live.[7]

  • Fixes:
  • Glitch that caused the sound effects occurring in the left speaker when in Stage Play menu to be missing at times is corrected.
  • Text in condition for achievement of Boss Rush Mode Clear has been corrected; no Continues allowed.
  • A glitch which causes the bomb count to reset to 3 each time the player accesses the next stage with more than 3 bombs in Double Play has been fixed.
  • Achievement for collecting all Micluses was inactive even when player has fulfiled the condition has been fixed; those that have met the requirements will now have the achievement pop up.
  • Fixes a bug in enemy ships' shooting time when player obtains a purple weapon crystal and then a red weapon crystal with the Fairy.
  • Freezes caused by inputting specific button commands have been fixed.
  • Improvements:
  • Display position for achievement and friends message pop-ups has been moved so as not to distract play.
  • Improvements to 1P selection of either red or blue player ship.
  • Integrates selection of player DLC ships together with starting a new game for better gameplay flow.
  • Improvements to sound effects of bomb explosions by Fighting Thunder Mk-II and Fairy ships.
  • "A" button is now usable to advance from Title Screen to Game Menu; previously only "Start" button can be used.
  • Improvements in controller button types in Double Play allow better player controls.
  • Searching for friends' online rankings is now much faster.

NESiCAxLive version[edit]

雷電IV for NESiCAxLive
Developer(s) Moss Ltd.
Publisher(s)
Series Raiden
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) Arcade:
  • JP 2012-03-29
Genre(s) Vertical scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Single player, 2 player Co-op
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Taito NESiCAxLive

This version was designed for the NESiCAxLive arcade download system. The game was unveiled on 2011-02-22 in AOU2011.[8]

New features include perfect mode, which incorporates the 7-stage game from the Xbox 360 version of Raiden IV, and background music from Ultimate of Raiden soundtrack, and allow using Fairy fighter.

Raiden IV: OverKill[edit]

Raiden IV: OverKill
Developer(s) Moss Ltd.
Publisher(s)

UFO Interactive (Asia)

Series Raiden
Platform(s) PlayStation 3 (PSN)
Release date(s)
  • JP 2014-05-13
  • NA 2014-04-29
  • EU 2014-05-28

Hong Kong2014-04-30

  • JP 2014-05-27 (arcade stick patch)[9]
Genre(s) Vertical scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Single player, 2 player Co-op
Cabinet Upright

This version includes two new missions,[10] 3 fighter types (Fighting Thunder ME-02 Kai, Fighting Thunder Mk-II, Fairy), a new OverKill Mode,[11][12] and a Replay&Gallery Mode.

Addition Mode includes 7 rearranged stages, without mission stage bonus.

OverKill Mode[edit]

OverKill mode consists of 7 stage per loop (2 loops total), and 2 types of mission stage, and the introduction of OverKill system.

When mid-size or larger enemy drops medal when destroyed. If enemy is shot during the destruction phase, the Over gauge raises, and the medal's level increases (up to LV5), resulting in higher score. Touching enemy unit with the Over gauge does not destroy the fighter.

  • Bonus item: 3000 points for air and ground type.
  • Bonus ring: 3000 points for gold, 1000 for silver.
  • Bonus medal: Appears when overkill occurs. LV1, LV2, LV3, LV4, LV5 medals worth 10000, 20000, 50000, 70000, 100000 points respectively.

ScoreAttck Mode[edit]

The game features 1 stage play with only three lives and no continues.

ScoreAttck Mode now includes custom music selection.

Downloadable contents[edit]

  • Raiden IV: OverKill Theme ($0.99USD): Includes background and XMB icons.

Soundtrack[edit]

Raiden IV -Ultimate of Raiden- is a video game soundtrack CD by INH. It includes Arcade, Xbox360, and remixed versions of game music tracks from older and current Raiden games, with a total of 27 tracks. The OST was included with the X360 version of game for a limited time. INH has also offered a special PDF file DVD by pre-ordering from their site. The disc named Raiden IV Secret File, contains player ship specifications, enemy combat data, strategies for the game and concept art. This Secret File is also available from American distributor UFO Interactive Games via a code printed on the American version of the CD.

Track list[edit]

  1. Shoot like lightning (DEMO)
  2. Coin
  3. Carve your name (SELECT&NAME)
  4. A stormy front (LEVEL1)
  5. Metal storm (BOSS1)
  6. Mission accomplishment (LEVEL CLEAR)
  7. Can't retrace (LEVEL2)
  8. Flap toward the hope (LEVEL3)
  9. Tragedy flame (LEVEL4)
  10. Advantageous development (LEVEL5)
  11. Repeated tragedy (LEVEL5 EX)
  12. Go to Blazes! GS (BOSS2)
  13. Brightness of peace (ENDING)
  14. Preparations (CONTINUE)
  15. GAME OVER for Raiden (GAME OVER)
  16. Watch a Blazes (MENU, Xbox 360 Mode)
  17. Omen of stormy (RANKING, Xbox 360 Mode)
  18. Enumeration (GALLERY, Xbox 360 Mode)
  19. All or nothing (LEVEL5, Xbox 360 Mode)
  20. Depression (LEVEL6, Xbox 360 Mode)
  21. GALLANTRY -Daisuke Nagata- (Remix)
  22. Tragedy flame -Kou Hayashi- (Remix)
  23. Flap toward the hope -WASi303- (Remix)
  24. Conflict -INH- (Remix)
  25. Lightning strikes -Shinji Hosoe- (Remix)
  26. Fairy -Ayako Saso- (Remix)
  27. Brightness of peace -Go Sato- (Remix)

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 66%[13]
Metacritic 63%[14]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com 7.5/10[15]
IGN 6/10[16]

Raiden IV has received below average review scores upon its U.S. release, with both IGN and the Official Xbox Magazine scoring it a 6 out of 10. IGN's Eric Brudvig writes: "Though at first glance you might think there are 14 levels in Raiden IV ... there are in fact only seven with the second half of the game merely repeating the first.... UFO Interactive went ahead and added insult to injury with its use of downloadable content. After dishing out $40 for the game, you'll find that only one of the three ships on the main menu can be used. The other two must be purchased through Xbox Live." Backlash over the pay to play ships has created controversy at several gaming forums, leading gamers to wonder whether the extra content is worth the price to obtain them.[17]

References[edit]

External links[edit]