DANGER ZONE (PART L)
MIXED AND REMIXED II
The electrifying return of 2000's shmup legend!
For a deeper analysis of the gameplay, graphics and original music by Go Sato, read the original Raiden III review.
The PlayStation 2. Talking about Raiden III is talking about the PlayStation 2, one of the biggest powerhouses of Arcade-at-Home, even more than its rivals, predecesors and successors. From the Oretachi Gesen Zoku releases of Moon Cresta and Sonic Wings, The Shooting: Double Shienryu, the Taito Legends series, all the console ports of the majority of Cave's shmups and the end of the arcade shmup port lineup with Triggerheart Exelica Enhanced (God rest her XBOX Live Arcade soul). Sum up the whole coin-up conversion list would be a long story, but there's no doubt the PlayStation 2 was the champion of arcade porting, and Raiden III was no exception. Raiden III was a solid port back then, not as perfect than the PC or Arcade version as it had a lower graphic resolution, but it was a well made attempt earning the second place on the homeporting list, and another of many statements of the arcade potential of the console.
While most people thought that Raiden III was done and forgotten, all of a sudden MOSS re-releases the game under the Mikado line, which means we have a remixed port of the game. Yeah, this is Raiden III x Mikado Maniax. I guess the "X" is pronounced as "Raiden III cross Mikado Maniax" (saying "Raiden III "eks" Mikado Maniax" sounds odd), unless they're playing that dumb fad of writing an "x" as separator. "¿What were they thinking?" Only God knows.
New menu with very familiar features that remain unchanged since 2005.
The main menu offers the same features of the PlayStation 2 and the PC versions. The main game which can be played solo, with a friend (Dual) or solo controlling both ships at the same time (Double). Score Attack is unlocked after completing each level of the game, regardless if you continue or not, you can unlock all of the levels in one session, unless you're a Raiden III professional you wouldn't have any problems to do that, especially considering that you only have two continues on your first playthrough. Newcomers and average users will burn those credits for sure. Fortunately, you can get more credits as you continue playing, for instance, clearing more levels and after clearing the game you'll be getting the Free Play option, making the arcade experience more home console-like, and fully possible to clear the game on higher difficulties.
August 6th, 2219
Being Raiden III the "core" of Mikado Maniax's, the gameplay remains unchanged. 7 Levels of non-stop shooting action that brought Raiden to the modern era. The newest features of the game were the Flash Shot System and the weaponry. The Flash Shot System is a bonus mechanic based on how fast you kill an enemy or even a boss as soon as it appears. While this mechanic is affected by how strong your ship weapons are, bombs are also useful to obtain the maximum bonus of 2.0, twice the enemy's original score value. As for the weapons, along with the basic Vulcan (Red) and Laser (Blue), the game introduces the Proton Laser (Green), a flexible laser that passes through enemies acting as a "Wave Beam" at the same time. Not as strong as the regular laser, but is stronger than the Vulcan. While all the previous Raiden entries had the option of regular Missile or Homing, Raiden III introduces the Radar Missile which combines the full-frontal trajectory of the standard missile with a simple homing capacity and average strength. The bomb was also improved as well. Rather than the traditional bomb drop before blasting, the bomb blasts immediately as you press the bomb button covering most of the screen.
New feature: Unlockable materials.
While this is not mentioned by the game, every time you play the game you'll be getting "Game Points" which will be unlocking more content for the game such as new tracks and new wallpapers based on the official artwork of the game and even on the arcade flyer up to original ones featuring Mikado-chan. The unlocked remixes will become part of the selectable "Sides".
Get the mix, do the list or play the original music.
It's your choice.
While Raiden IV x Mikado Remix gave you the option of playing the original or the remixed soundtrack in one option, here you're allowed to select which remix or the original version want to hear on each stage, giving you a more free selection rather than let one option decide for you. Rather than having one remixed soundtrack you have two sets of remixes which you can pick for each stage, the boss battle and even for the ending. You can pick the same song for all the stages if you want! But in "Fairy"'s case, the remix keeps slow pace of the original, staying on the heartwarmer, aim-for-gamer-nostalgia level tune that follows the ship's return to the first stage of Raiden as it reverts to become a fairy which borrowed the ship's power to fight back. Speaking of the first Raiden, there's a heavy metal arrangement of Gallantry and a Seibu-sound card styled arrangement of Lightning Strikes ("Lightning Strikes -RYU Mix-") which sounds like if it was an unused theme from the first Raiden. One of the things that we all know about Raiden IV x Mikado Remix was that the opening was remixed with no chance of change the music. This is addressed on Raiden III x Mikado Maniax. If the player's using the regular soundtrack, it'll play the original opening music while choosing any of the Remixed "Sides" will remix the intro theme. This also addresses the Stage Clear, Game Over and Name Entry themes as they also get the remix treatment.
RAIDEN III - CURIOSITIES MANIAX
- Second release of Raiden under the Mikado line.
- First Re-release of Raiden III.
- First release of Raiden III on XBOX and Nintendo.
- Second release of Raiden III on a Sony console.
- Third Raiden release on Nintendo's console since Raiden Trad (SNES) and Raiden IV x Mikado Remix (Switch).
The Raiden legacy lives up to this day.
Raiden III x Mikado Maniax is a recharged return of a PS2-era shmup with modern features that make it look a little more complete and fully justify the purchase despite owning the original Raiden III.
Now we only need the Arcade Archives releases of Raiden II and Raiden DX to complete the "Raiden Family" on our consoles, especially on the Switch and the PlayStations.
The "Eda Scale" is on the positives again!
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