AGH Jaguar Review: RAIDEN

by Atari

I suppose that Imagitec did as good of a job as they could in porting Raiden to the Jaguar. That being said, however, I just can't get into this version -- not after experiencing the thrills of the original (arcade) Raiden. This translation of the Seibu Kaihatsu classic has you defending both the Earth and the Moon from alien attack in a vertical scrolling playfield. At your disposal are a variety of weapons including machine guns and lasers and your goal is to kill everything that moves while at the same time picking up power-ups for additional points and firearms.

There wasn't much done to enhance the Jaguar version, which might have been ok had the developer not watered down what was a straightforward -- if not exemplary -- shooter. The weapon system isn't too deep, nor are the enemies thrown your way. The most obvious downgrade is in the audio department, where the crisp sound effects and atmospheric music found in the arcade version are compromised to fit the game in a small ROM cartridge. Sound effects seem muted, and the teeth-shattering booming bass is ommitted in this one. Control is also troubling; your ship's movement is painfully slow. Instead of the knee-jerk impulsive maneuvers that we're used to making in 2D shooters, you'll find yourself planning ahead on where to move to compensate for the sluggish control. Finally, the absence of a rapid fire feature is sure to numb your thumb after several minutes of play and really should have been provided as an option.

Still, fans of the original will more or less feel at home with Jaguar Raiden. The enemies and stages are all there, and flicker and slowdown are thankfully not present anywhere. But hardcore shooter addicts might want to think about opting instead for the vastly superior PlayStation version that's faster, flashier and better overall. And if you don't have a.... hell, do yourself a favor and buy a Playstation.

Title Raiden
Publisher Atari
System Atari Jaguar
Graphics 6
Sound 5
Gameplay 5
Overall 5
Reviewer Keita Iida

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