Take Flight and Save the World (For the Third Time)
It has always been easy to stumble upon an entry in the Raiden series at an arcade, be it from our youth or the setup at every anime convention. While there have been numerous entries in the iconic SHUMP series, Raiden III was the most common one to find. Now that it’s available on the PC, fans won’t have to venture far to enjoy this arcade classic.
Raiden III x MIKADO MANIAX is an enhanced remaster of the iconic arcade game for the PC. It brings all the defining elements of the series along with bonus content to add more value to the experience. This is perfect for retro gamers and those who grew up playing the original.
The Third Crystal Invasion
As with previous games in the series, Raiden III x MIKADO MANIAX once again has players take on the role of a Vanquish Crystal Defense (VCD) fighter pilot. The Crystals are attempting to conquer the earth and have launched another invasion. Players will take control of a new model of the Fighting Thunder and battle their way across numerous levels in an attempt to save the world.
If you ever played a Raiden game at the arcade or an anime convention then you know this story all too well. There isn’t much to the story and that is ok. This series is less about the plot and more about the intense action. That is ok as you are more interested in the combat than the actual plot.
Fighting for Humanity
Raiden III x MIKADO MANIAX is an intense game that strikes a balance between being a traditional SHUMP and incorporating modern elements. This is a game that will be easy to learn but difficult to master as you are quickly tossed into the action. Gameplay has players pilot their fighter around the screen as they take down the enemy forces while dodging their attacks. Along the way, players will pick up additional bombs plus power-ups that will boost the abilities of the Fighting Thunder. Best of all, players can fight the Crystal invasion solo or with the help of a friend.
At the end of each level, players will then battle the boss. Each boss will present their own challenges that will test the player’s skill and make them think fast. Do expect to die multiple times before having a good idea of your enemy and developing the right strategy. These moments are both challenging but also very rewarding. They are also my favorite part, which is why I’m so thankful for Boss Rush mode.
The game is not limited to just a simple run as it’s rich in replay value. Players have the option of going it alone but that is no fun as this is a game that is better to play with a friend. Regardless of how you play, it will reward you with new wallpapers, music, and more to enhance the experience. At the same time, players can adjust the experience to make it easy or challenging. The overall point is that you could enjoy Raiden III x MIKADO MANIAX however you like.
Chances are, you have probably taken a good look at the screenshots and said to yourself “Wow, that is a small window for the actual game to be featured on“. Congrats on noticing the biggest issue with the game. The screen where all the action takes place is just too small. Not helping is the image of your fighter taking up more space than it needs to.
Just like with Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix, it’s one of those annoyances players will have to get used to but it won’t hamper the overall experience.
Take to the Skies (Again)
Raiden III x MIKADO MANIAX brings the arcade classic to the PC with all of its defining aspects along with bonus content. It has the defining elements of the iconic vertical scrolling shooter while also being rich in replay value. Do expect to enjoy playing this with a friend but going it solo could also be fun.
Disclaimer: NIS America provided the game used for this review.
This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.
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