AGH Lynx Review:

by Telegames

Raiden Pic 1
Given the dearth of new releases for Atari's portable Lynx during the last several years of its life, you'd think that anything half decent (that was finished, of course) would have come out for the darned thing. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Fortunately, Telegames has acquired the rights to publish this game, and boy should you ever be grateful. Raiden is based, as the name kind of suggests, on the Seibu Kaihatsu arcade hit shooter. The game was ported to just about every popular system, such as the SNES, TurboGrafx-16 and even the Playstation. As a portable version, the Lynx adaptation more than holds its own, and even throws in a few unique twists along the way.

For players who aren't familiar with Raiden, it's your typical vertical scrolling overhead shooter, a-la River Raid and 1942. What gave the game charm was its booming soundtrack and huge explosions, much of which was surprisingly preserved in Atari's color portable version. Thanks to the Lynx's excellent stereo sound capabilities, you're treated to crisp tunes but without the bass. It's also one of the very few Lynx titles that forces you to play the game while holding the system clockwise. This may seem awkward at first, but after a while you realize the benefits this offers in giving you much more viewing area ahead of you thanks to the vertical screen configuration.

As a shooter, Raiden is is pretty straightforward. Be prepared expect to fire like mad while avoiding enemies (and their fire) and periodically tossing a smart bomb when things get a bit too haywire. But like any good shooter, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and Raiden is no exception.

Raiden Pic 2
Weapons are quite basic. You have the choice of using spread or laser missiles, or straight or homing shots. When you have them, be liberal in taking advantage of all your upgraded weapons and smart bombs because you lose all of them when you die. This is a frustrating trait that's prevalent in many shooters. In Raiden's case, it's not the end of the world when it happens, as the game isn't so hectic that you can't recover when you're back to square one.

Purists might scoff because Lynx Raiden also scrolls a bit horizontally as well. In my opinion, this only enhances playability and allows sprites to be rather large for a relatively underpowered machine like the Lynx. Besides, it's not like you can infinitely scroll the screen horizontally. It's quite minimal, and enemies that are offscreen generally won't sneak up on you while you're moving sideways.

With nary a hint of slowdown, huge enemies and smooth scrolling, Raiden is a showcase title that shows off the Lynx's sprite capabilities. Recommended.

Title Raiden
Publisher Telegames
System Atari Lynx
Graphics 9
Sound 8
Gameplay 9
Overall 9
Reviewer Keita Iida

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