One of the most popular genres that spawned from Space Invaders was the scrolling shoot-em-up. Most popular in the genre, 80's games such as R-Type and Super Aleste set new benchmarks in on-screen animation. Bringing perfect conversions of Japanese arcade classics, Raiden 1 and 2 to PlayStation, The Raiden Project looks set to hit the 90's with a vengeance.
After a brief introduction of what at first appears to be a 3D shooting game, players will no doubt be initially surprised to come across two 2D games. This may come as a bit of disappointment, but once you begin one of the two games available, addiction soon sets in. Benefitting the PlayStation version is the ability to increase the number of credits and continues available to you. As you begin either game the top-down levels appear to be quite sparse. However, within a minute, hordes of tanks and spacecraft appear, with the destruction of your ship at the top of their priorities. To aid you in your missions, there are a variety of ammunition power-ups. With persistent play, your ship can eventually gain some blinding attack power that fills the screen. This can often lead to confusion, especially in later levels when the enemy attacks in startling numbers. Often, the best strategy is to concentrate on the opposition’s weapons. Knowing the difference between debris and enemy firepower can often be the decisive factor between success and failure.
The Raiden Project can often be a test of endurance due the arcade’s typically harsh difficulty settings. But it’s a great compilation that doesn’t have you running down to the change booth every five minutes.