Thursday, 6 September 2012

Rai-done

Not much to say about Raiden. I had a quick go on it today, but it keeps crashing after the third level and it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to get any further. Turns out it's the same game I've played a bit before on the Megadrive, called Raiden Trad there. No idea what the official difference is, but I don't remember the MD one being quite as hard as the PC one. Generally, a lot of that's down to the system (and emulation thereof), the PC just isn't made for vertical shooters - the keyboard is a terrible input device for it (though I did finally get the joypad working), and suffered wildly varying slowdown, being incredibly fast when nothing was on the screen and incredibly slow when there was tonnes on there. That's probably a Dosbox fault, but it still didn't make it much fun to play.

As for the game itself, it's a fairly typical and fairly difficult shooter. You have to shoot everything that moves while trying to collect power-ups wafting around the screen. As far as I could tell, there are two types of main fire (laser and fire), and two types of missile (homing and straight - make your own jokes there). That's not a great deal of variety, but every additional power up you get adds a power level to the weapons, so they get a bit more exciting every time. Except if you're anything like me then you'll only see the first couple of power levels before you die again. Also, normal missiles seem utterly pointless, homing ones are infinitely better. I guess that's why the power-ups run in sequence, so once you kill a certain craft then it will start as M for missile, then after about 10 seconds it'll switch to H for homing, so you need to avoid getting the power-up for long enough until it's changed to what you want. So there's all that stuff putting me off it. Although it's nowhere near a bullet hell shooter, there are still enough bullets and enemies around to make it really hard to get anywhere without running into something, and I'm rubbish at shooters. But the thing that I hated most about it is that it has enemies that fly in from behind you. I'm one of those cautious back-of-the-court types who likes to only move forward for pick-ups, etc., but if you do that in Raiden you'll generally be dead in seconds without even knowing what hit you. The game forces you to take on an aggressive play stance, always fighting up the field and attacking the enemy bullets rather than running away from them. I guess that was my biggest problem with it - I'm a shooter coward, and the game wanted to change me. As (someone) once said, you can't change the nature of a man.

Anyway, enough of that. Good to get another quick one out of the way. Next up on the list is...Avoid the Noid. Hmmm, this was a promotional game for Domino's Pizza back in the 80s. No idea what it's going to be like! Not sure whether I'll hit this next or try I-war. If this looks like a quick one, then I might just push through it quickly and add another one to the done list.

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