Atari Jaguar

from AEO Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 3

 |||   Jaguar Game Review & Hints: Raiden
 |||   By: Tim Wilson
/ | \  GEnie: AEO.8      Internet:

Type: Arcade - Vertical Shooter
By: Imagitec & Atari
Comlynx: Nope.
Two player simultaneous with 2 controllers

An arcade classic makes its way to the Jaguar - Raiden is a faithful
conversion of the late 80's arcade game. The basic premise is a
standard one, Space Pirates have attacked Earth, and it's your job (an
maybe a friend's as well) to rid Earth of this menace. You do this by
piloting your fighters over the landscape, blasting everthing, moving
or not.

The view is from overhead, you may move your ship in 8 directions. The
screen will scroll left and right a bit as you approach the edge of
the screen, but you always scroll upward at a steady pace. The
landscapes are detailed, and look very much like the arcade version,
even down to the "wandering cow" in the middle of the herd on stage 1.
So, as far as I can tell, the graphics are identical to the arcade,
even the aspect ratio remains the same. To manage that, Imagitec put a
gold "dashboard" off to the right side of the screen, that contains
information such as score, lives remaining and credits left.

The music and sound effects are also a copy from the arcade, just
like I remember them, with no changes. It may be an exacting copy, but
the music isn't that great in the first place, at least to me. The
music changes when you fight the boss monsters that end each level, so
when the music starts to sound ominous, watch out for a spray of
bullets. Thankfully, by pressing PAUSE, you can press the various fire
buttons to control the volume levels for the music and sound effects.

There are various power-ups availible after destroying certain enemy
units.  Blue powerup icons give you lasers, a high strength weapon
that fires directly forward. Red gives you multiple shots that spread
out. "M"s give you forward firing missiles, an "H" gives you homing
missiles, and a "B" gives you an extra nuclear bomb. Except for bombs,
the more of each kind of powerup you get, the stronger it becomes.
Lasers get thicker and do more damage, Scatter shots scatter in wider
spreads, with missiles, you can get up to six straight fire, and four
homing. Bombs you simply collect.  The bombs can be used to wipe out
large amounts of enemies, along with their bullets, in a large area
around the explosion. The best power up to get is "P," it upgrades
your weapon and any missile types to the maximum! Enemies vary from
single-shot-trashes-it to two-bombs-barely -scratches-it. For the
absolute maximum firepower, get all lasers and 4 straight-fire

Each level has a different tune, and a different landscape to fly
over.  Pastures, beaches, forests, or towards the end, another planet
and pirate space stations. The standard pattern is: fight aircraft,
blast tanks, destroy hard-to-kill trigger happy enemy midway, more
tanks and aircraft, then kill the boss monster to advance to the next
stage. Certain stages have unique enemies. "Boat-tanks," massive
squadrons of jets, even asteroid fields.

The game is very fast paced, my friend and I played the game
together, and started with 8 credits. You could also start with one,
three, or five.  Each credit gets you five ships, so we each had 40
ships to waste till we died. (plus any bonus ships) In about five
hours, we had enough skill to get to stage 8. Stage 8 is the hardest,
and is also the last. Afterwhich the game starts again, but the
enemies shoot faster and in different patterns.

Remember, this was with 40 ships EACH. I imagine if I pumped 8
quarters into a lot of games I could get as far. It was definately
challenging.  Since there was no other way of making the game easier
or harder, I imagine Imagitec put this feature in. A full game, from
stage 1 to stage 8 takes 45 minutes to an hour. There is plenty of
blasting going on, and since it does take a very long time, its hard
to memorize (for me) every last bad guy.

Verdict: A very good game, as far as I'm concerned, a good port as
well.  I enjoyed most of this game, except for the "boss" at the end
of each level. I really hate this concept, but other people dig it.  A
die hard Raiden addict was annoyed that the port wasn't perfect.  He
tells me the "firing logic is all wrong." I didn't notice.

 Sound:    ****   Lots of explosions, and blasting, great!
 Music:    ***    The music has variety, but I've heard better.
 Graphics: *****  Great scrolling, detail, and clarity.
 Gameplay: ****   Take out the end-of-level boss monsters and I'd buy it.
 Controls: ****   I wanted to be able to move the "bomb" button.
 Overall:  ****   Decent game, classic shooter.

Reminder: "Overall" is not an average, but a completely separate

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