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 Post subject: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:37 am 


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I'm still new to the world of shmups. According to Wikipedia there are a bunch in this series:

  • Raiden (1990)
  • Raiden II (1993)
  • Raiden DX (1994)
  • Viper Phase 1 (1995)
  • Raiden Fighters (1996)
  • Raiden Fighters 2 (1997)
  • Raiden Fighters Jet (1998)
  • Raiden III (2005)
  • Raiden IV (2007)
  • Raiden V (2016)

What's the current opinion on each of these and their various ports? Are there any that are considered particularly good or bad? I just discovered VP1 and played the first level in MAME and it seems initially enjoyable enough to mess with further. Screenshots of some of the other games look pretty. I'm wondering which others in the family I should check out.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:44 am 


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komatik wrote:
What's the current opinion on each of these and their various ports?

Depends on who you ask. You'd best play what you can yourself and form your own opinion. Note that Viper Phase 1 has two versions, though, an "old" version and a "new" version which changes a number of things, among them replacing the limited-ammo weapon powerups with more traditional weapon selection powerups.
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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:50 am 


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Ack, I guess I should have figured that someone else would have asked something like this before (and so recently too). Thanks for that link. And yeah I saw that VP1 had two versions, I just snagged the "new" one since I assume there must have been a reason for improving it.

I might as well redirect this question slightly then: what do people think specifically about the console ports of the Raiden games? How do they compare to the original arcade versions?


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:22 am 


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This excellent thread by Perikles has some information for the first Raiden, and a ton of other games.
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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:45 am 


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Oh awesome, thanks, I'll definitely take a look at that too (I'm currently still halfway through page 2 on the first link).

Also: for some of them (ie; Raiden II) there appears to be both normal versions and "easy" versions. Are the easy ones the extra checkpoints I seem people mentioning or something else?


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:16 pm 


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So that first thread is mostly people arguing about Raiden 1&2. There's not much about the others in the Raiden core line, Raiden Fighters og is only mentioned in passing, and nobody mentions Raiden Fighters 2/3 or Viper Phase 1 at all. I'm still interested in what people think about the rest of this family.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:33 pm 


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The "Fighters" games are a good deal more fast-paced and have a boatload of selectable ships to try out (though balance is another story) plus oddball scoring systems to master, so even folks who aren't huge on the "main" Raiden games might end up digging them. III and IV play more closely to the original trilogy, with 3D visuals and a few tweaks to make things a bit more forgiving (hit area, powerup system), though some find III in particular to be a bit "dry" for lack of a better word. V adds a bunch of stuff, with mixed results - additional story, branching paths, the "cheer" system - and tends to be somewhat divisive among the fans.

That's about as honest an attempt at a summary as I'm capable of, though others more familiar with the series could definitely improve on it.
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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:55 pm 


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If you have an xbox 360, grab raiden fighters aces. It has ports of all 3 fighters games, and all 3 are aces (boo, me). Also raiden 4 is available for 360, and is likewise aces.

Personally I like the fighters games the best. The main raiden games are more traditional "old-school" lower-bullet-count-but-you-still-eat-shit-a-lot shmups. There are still scoring bonuses and hidden tricks, but the fighters games are more like raiden on crack. Scoring bonuses and hidden tricks galore. But not too difficult to play for survival, so you can learn survival, get comfortable, watch some scoring replays to see how bonkers the game is at high level and start incorporating some of that in your runs. Really quite a good time.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:02 pm 



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Don't forget to give Raiden 5 a chance. Honestly I think its better in comparison to Raiden 4. But it introduced new mechanics and cheesy voice acting which didn't seem to gel with the current fanbase. Also no tate (why?).

The raiden fighter games play differently from the other entries in the series. The new mechanic of building metals is so much fun though.

Here is my ranking of the Raiden games.

Raiden DX > Raiden 2 > Raiden > RF Series > Raiden 3 > Raiden 5 > Raiden 4 Overkill


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:11 am 



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The raiden fighters series blows thr original series out of the water. Raiden Fighters 2 and Jet are perfection.
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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:53 am 



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To Far Away Times wrote:
The raiden fighters series blows thr original series out of the water. Raiden Fighters 2 and Jet are perfection.


Really? I've always preferred the original series over Fighters recently... In fact I've had a fallout with Fighters because I just couldn't handle Jet's brutal difficulty. Especially with its true final boss criteria.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:39 am 


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Well I ended up just grabbing a bunch of them and trying them out in MAME (still no idea why there are so many revisions, especially when there's no apparent difference between them). Although the games definitely look pretty - I really like the theme of flying over the countryside and the effort they put into making the landscapes interesting and nonrepeating - I think I'll agree with others who have said the gameplay is rather unfair. Powerups are basically just bait instead of helpful, there's an unnecessary number of below-the-line snipers, and the games all swarm you with a dozen enemies 10 feet into stage 1 regardless of romset or dipswitch settings. Picking the Raiden or JudgeSpear in the RF series is slightly less of a pain since you can just grab any powerup without worrying what it is, but it's not enough to offset the rest of the problems for me. I really want to like this series but I don't think I'm going to be able to.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:58 pm 



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Quote:
still no idea why there are so many revisions, especially when there's no apparent difference between them

Mostly localized versions for unusually many regions, not really different variants.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:50 pm 


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I'm not even talking about the translated ones for different countries but all the others. Like, for example there's:
  • Raiden II
  • Raiden II (US, set 1)
  • Raiden II (US, set 2)
  • Raiden II (easy version, US set 1)
  • Raiden II (easy version, US set 2)
  • Raiden II (hard version)

But all six of these are apparently the same. They're all in English and have identical gameplay as far as I can tell. The same goes for the other games.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:56 pm 



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Before you get into Raiden play the Toaplan shmups that inspired it like Twin Cobra.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:29 am 



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There exists the Chinese region variant single layer pcb that goes by the name of "Raiden Fighters Jet 2000" (basically a Seibu Kaihatsu SP1 motherboard with an SP1 cart all on a single pcb setup). Seibu also produced a single layer Raiden Fighters Jet pcb with the better Yamaha sound chip soldiered on-board that is highly desired (compared to the single layer RFJ pcbs that use a lower sound quality audio chip instead -- was done to save on production costs in the long run).

Of course, getting ahold of a dedicated SP1 motherboard and a SP1 cartridge of any of the Raiden Fighters SP1 carts of Raiden Fighters, Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Diver & Raiden Fighters Jet will give you better audio (not to mention stereo output with the on-board Yamaha audio chip indeed) -- just would need access to a super gun or a Japanese candy cab setup & you're good to go.

The Seibu Kaihatsu produced Viper Phase 1 U.S.A. SP1 cartridge for use on a SP1 motherboard setup was released for the North American arcade market courtesy of Fabtek U.S. licensee/distributor of the Seibu Kaihatsu arcade games. It's interesting to note that the Viper Phase 1 U.S.A. SP1 cart is the same in terms of gameplay and game mechanics of it's Japanese SP1 cartridge counterpart, Viper Phase 1 -- New Version.

Both Raiden III and Raiden IV were released on the Taito Type X arcade platform (a HDD + dongle key setup).

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Last edited by PC Engine Fan X! on Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:39 am 



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xxx1993 wrote:
To Far Away Times wrote:
The raiden fighters series blows thr original series out of the water. Raiden Fighters 2 and Jet are perfection.


Really? I've always preferred the original series over Fighters recently... In fact I've had a fallout with Fighters because I just couldn't handle Jet's brutal difficulty. Especially with its true final boss criteria.

Jet is hard but you can always go for one of the easier clear conditions if you dont care about the TLB and such. The branching path system is interesting and makes the game feel different.

RF2 with the slave or fairy is a fair challenge but not that hard compared to a lot of other shmups.

Mostly though I like the fighters series since it's much faster paced and feels a bit more modern than the original games.
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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:56 am 



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I have to do the True Final Boss. How else will I feel like I've won? Going to Simulation Level 50 doesn't feel like I've done anything. And don't get me started on failing the Real Battle...


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:24 am 


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komatik wrote:
I'm not even talking about the translated ones for different countries but all the others. Like, for example there's:
  • Raiden II
  • Raiden II (US, set 1)
  • Raiden II (US, set 2)
  • Raiden II (easy version, US set 1)
  • Raiden II (easy version, US set 2)
  • Raiden II (hard version)

But all six of these are apparently the same. They're all in English and have identical gameplay as far as I can tell. The same goes for the other games.


If you're not obsessed with the games like I am you won't notice the differences in these variants. Some of them have different enemy placements, and attack patterns. Off the top of my head, Stage 1 has these large tanks in the forest that aren't present in the most common variant. There's also a version of Raiden II that runs on Raiden DX hardware and also has a huge difficulty increase, with increased enemy presence. The Stage 1 music also sounds slightly different on that hardware. I'm not entirely sure why Raiden II had so many different variants produced, but I'm very certain there are lots of others floating around in the wild that quite possibly have not been dumped. I do recall playing a variant that was extremely generous with bomb power ups, and I have not found any roms that match that one on the internet. I also recall someone else on here telling me there's an even earlier variant that predates the most common one, and it doesn't even have the Miclus bonus item in it. Neither of these are on the internet as far as I know. And don't forget about the strange "New" versions of II/DX which have poor sound and music, as well as reverse stage orders in II. If anyone who is more familiar with documenting hardware, a complete list of all these variants would be very interesting to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:53 am 


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^ Note guys that's an old set naming scheme, it was changed to the following in 0.202, not that it helps
Code:
raiden2eg  Raiden II (easier, Germany)
raiden2ea  Raiden II (easier, Japan)
raiden2e  Raiden II (easier, Korea)
raiden2eua  Raiden II (easier, US set 1)
raiden2eu  Raiden II (easier, US set 2)
raiden2f  Raiden II (France)
raiden2g  Raiden II (Germany)
raiden2k  Raiden II (harder, Korea)
raiden2dx  Raiden II (harder, Raiden DX hardware, Korea)
raiden2nl  Raiden II (Holland)
raiden2hk  Raiden II (Hong Kong)
raiden2i  Raiden II (Italy)
raiden2j  Raiden II (Japan)
raiden2a  Raiden II (set 2, Hong Kong, Metrotainment) - not working
raiden2b  Raiden II (set 3, Japan) - not working
raiden2c  Raiden II (set 4, Italy) - not working
raiden2d  Raiden II (set 5, Easy Version) - not working
raiden2sw  Raiden II (Switzerland)
raiden2u  Raiden II (US, set 2)
raiden2  Raiden II (US, set 1) - PARENT

just for reference here's DX
Code:
raidendxch  Raiden DX (China)
raidendxg  Raiden DX (Germany)
raidendxnl  Raiden DX (Holland)
raidendxa1  Raiden DX (Hong Kong, set 1)
raidendxa2  Raiden DX (Hong Kong, set 2)
raidendxj  Raiden DX (Japan, set 1)
raidendxja  Raiden DX (Japan, set 2)
raidendxk  Raiden DX (Korea)
raidendxpt  Raiden DX (Portugal)
raidendxu  Raiden DX (US)
raidendx  Raiden DX (UK) - PARENT

and V33 hardware variants
Code:
r2dx_v33_r2  Raiden II New / Raiden DX (newer V33 PCB) (Raiden II EEPROM)
r2dx_v33  Raiden II New / Raiden DX (newer V33 PCB) (Raiden DX EEPROM) - PARENT

And it's about to be modified again in 0.209 (DX set too) :o :?
Image


EDIT: bonus: original Raiden set (as of 0.208 again, no changes planned for 0.209 afaik)
Code:
raidenkb  Raiden (Korea, bootleg)
raidenk  Raiden (Korea)
raidena  Raiden (set 2)
raidenb  Raiden (set 3)
raident  Raiden (Taiwan)
raidenu  Raiden (US set 1)
raidenua  Raiden (US set 2)
raidenub  Raiden (US set 3)
raiden  Raiden (set 1) - PARENT
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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:11 am 


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Furry Fox Jet Pilot wrote:
If you're not obsessed with the games like I am you won't notice the differences in these variants. Some of them have different enemy placements, and attack patterns.

I guess I'll have to try to pay more attention. Are the "easy" variants actually any easier or was that name given to them based on a theory? They all seemed pretty identically brutal to me.

Xyga wrote:
And it's about to be modified again in 0.209

Honestly. This is one of the things I can't stand about MAME. Every time you update, half your library stops working and you have to download everything all over again or spend hours rebuilding with scripts because they moved everything around again for the millionth time. In a way I'm glad I don't have much nostalgia for most old arcade games because if I had to maintain a full library with hundreds of titles I think I'd just shoot myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:50 am 


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Viper Phase 1 is named differently but plays a lot like the Raiden games.

Raiden Fighters has the name but plays very differently.

I recommend skipping Raiden and Raiden II/DX and just playing III and onward, and the Fighters games. I also recommend playing Toaplan games.

Ixmucane2 wrote:
Quote:
still no idea why there are so many revisions, especially when there's no apparent difference between them

Mostly localized versions for unusually many regions, not really different variants.

These have small gameplay differences. For example, the Japanese versions of VP1 and the Fighters games don't loop, but other versions do. Different versions of the Fighters games have different timers for the Miclus items. Things like that.

komatik wrote:
I'm not even talking about the translated ones for different countries but all the others. Like, for example there's:
  • Raiden II
  • Raiden II (US, set 1)
  • Raiden II (US, set 2)
  • Raiden II (easy version, US set 1)
  • Raiden II (easy version, US set 2)
  • Raiden II (hard version)

But all six of these are apparently the same. They're all in English and have identical gameplay as far as I can tell. The same goes for the other games.

These are similarly complicated. The "easy" and "hard" labeled Raiden II versions have some different enemies and enemy behavior. It's a real mess.

The US version of Raiden DX has a separate button for autofire. I don't think any of the others do.

Raiden IV has something similar with its bizarre OverKill version: the score attack mode is set to a strange default that you can't change, and the Boss Rush mode now uses OverKill rules (new scoring system) for no particular reason.
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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:45 pm 


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Despatche wrote:
Viper Phase 1 is named differently but plays a lot like the Raiden games.

Yeah I discovered that, unfortunately.

Despatche wrote:
Raiden Fighters has the name but plays very differently.

I dunno, it didn't really feel like it to me. Lots of details like the powerups weren't the same but the overall attitude was pretty similar I thought. Much too similar for me to enjoy them at least.

Despatche wrote:
The US version of Raiden DX has a separate button for autofire

How do you get that to work anyway? Pressing it doesn't appear to do anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:05 pm 



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komatik wrote:
Furry Fox Jet Pilot wrote:
If you're not obsessed with the games like I am you won't notice the differences in these variants. Some of them have different enemy placements, and attack patterns.

I guess I'll have to try to pay more attention. Are the "easy" variants actually any easier or was that name given to them based on a theory? They all seemed pretty identically brutal to me.

Xyga wrote:
And it's about to be modified again in 0.209

Honestly. This is one of the things I can't stand about MAME. Every time you update, half your library stops working and you have to download everything all over again or spend hours rebuilding with scripts because they moved everything around again for the millionth time. In a way I'm glad I don't have much nostalgia for most old arcade games because if I had to maintain a full library with hundreds of titles I think I'd just shoot myself.


You'd prefer us to just ignore new findings?


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:38 pm 


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MameHaze wrote:
You'd prefer us to just ignore new findings?

No, I'd prefer you to give a shit about end users and understand why people use your software in the first place.

You're FAR to willing to inconvenience people and break stuff. I understand the issues with arcade machine emulation and why you chose the shared-information design that you did, I understand the challenges that that design presents, and I recognize and appreciate all the work that's been put into the project over the years, but at the same time you people are often uncompromising idealists to the point of ridiculousness and seem to actively enjoy making life difficult for your users. (Users that you don't even really seem to care about anyway because building a system that plays games was never actually your goal).

This is not an argument in favor of shitty hack-based emulators so don't try and redirect it to that. Again, I understand and appreciate the effort that's been put in and what it's achieved, but you need to understand that I think I speak for quite a few people when I say that MAME is a royal pain in the ass for no good reason, and that we only use it because there's no other choice, not because we actually like it. Ignoring whether I fully agree with your goals or not, there are many ways to achieve them that are much easier on people then the way you're doing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:57 pm 


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this is going to be interesting
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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:54 pm 


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eh, I'm not going to turn this thread into yet another 10-page nurdrage storm on this topic. There's little I can say that hasn't been said before. And anyway if it goes on for more than 10 minutes it'll get co-opted by the ZSNES fanbois and derailed like always.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:07 pm 



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We we can do things correctly

..or we can do things incorrectly and ignore new findings, because people are allergic to change

Those are basically the two choices in the situation

There comes a point where all facts about something are established and things for that given game are highly unlikely to ever change again.

MAME is designed to last 100 years, 200 years, maybe more. By the time we reach that point the amount of time the incorrect sets were supported will pale in comparison to the amount of time the correct sets have been supported. If instead we let the incorrect sets live for 50 years and ignore new information, it's only going to be worse later, and be nearly impossible to actually establish facts at that point.

This has nothing to do with wanting to be user hostile or trying to inconvenience people. These are simply things that can't be compromised on if you look at the long term goals of the project.

Unfortunately, I have seen people post that they DON'T want to dump their PCBs (that they know are undumped revisions) in some cases, because they don't want the MAME romset to change. That is worrying (and a little selfish) so people expressing hatred towards the change aren't exactly helpful as it provides 'validation' for that viewpoint.

Regarding Raiden 2, it's actually interesting that there are several codebases, and while often several sets are based off the same revision (the majority being based off one) there are actually multiple code revisions too, which presumably have minor bugfixes or the like in them. Then, beyond the regular sets, you have the 'easy' and 'harder' versions with different enemy types / placements where the changes are obvious enough to even a casual player. If people weren't dumping new sets, paying attention the variants etc. those might not have ever been found.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:08 pm 


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MameHaze wrote:
Those are basically the two choices in the situation

This right here is probably my biggest complaint with the MAME crowd- you people see the world in black and white. Any time anyone ever criticizes the project on any level you always fall back to ye olde "hacks are bad, mmmkay?" and "lol you just hate change", even when issues of emulation accuracy and progress have nothing whatsoever to do with the points being criticized, because you can't wrap your brains around the concept that there's more to this than the false dichotomy you've created for yourselves. I can hate the ass backwards way you guys handle rom organization. I can also hate stuff like ZSNES for being full of hacks. These two things are NOT mutually exclusive. You guys keep thinking the situation is a binary heaven or hell choice, that the way you do it is the one singular god-blessed option that could ever be, and are completely incapable of any sense of sliding scales or pragmatism.

MameHaze wrote:
MAME is designed to last 100 years, 200 years, maybe more.

This is nothing more than mental masturbation soaked in liquefied pretentiousness. Nobody, nobody, is going to be using 100+ year old software for any reason, ever. Whatever is counted as a personal computer at that point in time will need and emulator to run the emulator to run MAME.

MameHaze wrote:
Unfortunately, I have seen people post that they DON'T want to dump their PCBs (that they know are undumped revisions) in some cases, because they don't want the MAME romset to change. That is worrying (and a little selfish) so people expressing hatred towards the change

Again, this has nothing whatsoever to do with people hating change, it's people hating YOU. You just keep hiding behind that excuse and deliberately misrepresenting the issue because you love blaming the users for your own bullshit. Also, I find it ironic that a project with an extreme "fuck you, you and your time are worthless, it's my way or the highway" attitude calls anyone else selfish.

But anyway, as I said before, all of my points have been reiterated by many people many times before me so nothing in this post is new information. You've clearly made your decisions and nothing's going to change so there's no point rehashing shit that's been done to death.


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 Post subject: Re: Can anyone give me a quick rundown on the Raiden family?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:28 pm 


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Location: The Edge Of The Ape Oven
This is why a good portion of the forum sticks with ghetto-ass ShmupMAME 4.2. Despite having a few other arcade emulation options on my PC, I'll probably stick with it until something 200% more user friendly comes along, and even then it will probably take me 5 years to switch over. I understand and respect the need to (within reason) update the software to increase playability, but I absolutely despise not being able to always play shmups within 2 seconds of opening an emulator.

I'm all for reducing input delay as much as possible since I find little value in accurately emulating the original input delay with the exception of allowing a perfectly accurate version to compare with potential "legacy scores". I think it's silly to burden future generations with arbitrary input delay, but I wouldn't want to leave WR tier players behind because they were born too early.

Half of the time I play shmups it's on a 50 inch plasma tv that probably adds about 4 billion frames of delay and with a controller adapter that might double that number. Sure, if you're approaching high level play or your game has a lot of RNG you're going to want as efficient of a setup as possible, but for the most part, people spend too much time worrying about the hardware and software around shmups and not enough time playing the games they enjoy.



Side note: I don't actually have a problem with collectors (not greedy PCB investors) or hardware/software people, and I can respect what they do to varying degrees, but it just isn't how I appreciate shmups.
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