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Raiden IV

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Raiden IV is an arcade game that follows up from the events of its precursor, Raiden III. It was developed by the Japanese company Moss Ltd, under the license of Seibu Kaihatsu, and currently in co-operation with Taito. UFO Entertainment has distributed the Xbox 360 version in North America.

HistoryEdit

Raiden IV Wallpaper
Raiden IV made its first location test that was held at Akihabara Hey in July 22-23 2006, on an Egret II system. Its version had three difficulties: Light, Original and Strong, as well as including the feature that the 1P has a plasma laser, while the 2P has a proton laser. The "ground door" that opens to reveal the Level 1 boss consists of "bushes" and "roads". Cutscenes are seen showing the first boss exploding, but, it does not show the second boss exploding, however.

The 2nd location test was held again at Hey and at Taito Game World in Shinjuku on October 14-16. The cutscenes showing the boss' destruction is nixed in this version. The 3rd location test was held at High-Tech Sega in Shibuya and Taito Game World in Shinjuku on December 27th. In this version, the previous idea of having 1P having the plasma laser while 2P has the proton laser was nixed. Instead, players were able to select either plasma or proton laser to play through before starting the main game. 2nd Round for the game after 1st Round was completed is implemented. The 4th and final location test was held at Shinjuku Gesen Mikado on February 20th 2007. In this version, Flash Shot System's multiplier is increased to 5.0x at maximum. Strong difficulty is nixed, however. The damage power of weapons are readjusted. Enemies that appeared during Stage 2's mid-boss were nixed. Moss launched Raiden IV arcade on June 7th 2007. The official arcade website is opened. First details for Xbox 360 port of Raiden IV revealed in June 2008, which will include new stages, Live support, TATE options and download content. Release date of home port to be September 11th 2008 by Moss, it was later pushed back to October 2nd as the game needed more polish and to erase bugs.

GameplayEdit

The gameplay of Raiden IV is basically identical to its prior installments, although its level design is different than Raiden III, but it is exactly the same as Raiden II, as the player starts from in-land, over the farms. In later levels the game progresses through a vast cityscape, into the sky, and finally onward to space. The player faces many enemies, powerful stages, and fearless bosses. The Flash Shot System, first introduced in Raiden III, returns in IV. Multipliers are given for destroying enemies that just appeared on screen; the faster players destroy enemies, the higher the bonuses are.

WeaponsEdit

As with previous Raiden titles, the ship fires simultaneously with two weapons: the main weapon and the sub-weapon. Weapons have a power level, which increases by collecting individual powerups. In addition there are bombs that fill more or less the whole screen, harming enemies and dissolving all enemy shots. At the beginning of the game or after the player dies, the default weapons are a three-way Vulcan (see below), a marked increase of firepower over the one-way Vulcan of the previous Raiden games, no secondary weapon and three bombs (the number of bombs can be altered as a game option). The weapons, bombs and bonus items, like fairies, in Raiden III are retained and works the same as before in this game.

Main shotsEdit

R4mainshots

A screenshot of all the Main shots avalible

  • Vulcan: A traditional spread weapon that shoots streams of 2 or 4 small yellow bullets in 1, 3, 5, or 7 directions (including straight ahead). Powerups increase the spread of the number of bullets. Corresponds to the red powerup. Usable by both the default ship and the Fighting Thunder Mk-II.
  • Laser: A traditional narrow weapon, appearing as a single continuous forward-facing blue laser; lateral ship movement makes it swerve very slightly. Powerups increase the width of the beam and presumably the damage rate. Corresponds to the blue powerup. Usable by both the default ship and the Fighting Thunder Mk-II.
  • Plasma Laser: The "toothpaste" plasma laser from Raiden II and Raiden DX returns. Appears as a narrow purple beam that can swing in an arc from left to right. Once the beam strikes a target it will lock on and curve itself—sometimes very wildly—to stay on target. The beam will also damage any enemies that happen to be caught in its path to the target. Should the target be destroyed, the beam straightens out and the process repeats for a new target. One of two weapons that can be assigned to the purple powerup at the start of the game. Usable by both the default ship and the Fighting Thunder Mk-II.
  • Proton Laser (New): Altered from its original incarnation in Raiden III, it appears as three narrow purple beams with green outlines that swing markedly (up to about 45 degrees) with lateral ship movement. The beams can be focused by shaking the joystick to the left and right very quickly while holding down the shot button. Powerups increase the width and brightness of the beam, as well as the damage rate. One of two weapons that can be assigned to the purple powerup at the start of the game. Usable only by the default ship.

Main shots (Xbox 360 Ver.)Edit

These powerups are unique to the Xbox 360 version of the game and are made available by downloading two special ships: the Fairy and the Fighting Thunder Mk-II (the ship from the old Raiden games).

  • Fairy Vulcan: Cyan-colored instead of yellow, with a narrower spread to the bullets and a slight decrease to its attack power. Corresponds to the red powerup. Usable only by the Fairy.
  • Old Vulcan: Similar in appearance to the default but about 2.4 times more powerful. The tradeoff is that it requires more powerups to maximize (7 instead of 5). Corresponds to the red powerup. Usable only by the Fighting Thunder Mk-II.
  • Milky Laser: The laser that the Fairy uses is very similar to the Ixion in Raiden Fighters Jet. Blue spheres of light emerge from the ship, which immediately shoots out lasers that resemble "arrows of light". Although the size of the lasers is very narrow compared to other lasers, they are able to penetrate enemies like the proton laser, hence the name of the weapon. The damage inflicted is very powerful, and is able to destroy medium-sized ships with ease. When powered up to higher levels, more lasers will be shot. Corresponds to the blue powerup. Usable only by the Fairy.
  • Bubble Launcher: Shoots a stream of purple translucent bubbles. The speed of the bullets is relatively slow. When powered up to higher levels, the number of bubbles shot from the player ship grows in quantity until they cover a large portion of the screen, which provides a constant amount of firepower on enemies. Corresponds to the purple powerup. Usable only by the Fairy.
  • Proton Laser (Original): The original Proton Laser from Raiden III, appearing as a very narrow green beam that swings markedly (moving at an angle of about 45 degrees) with lateral ship movement. Powerups increase the width and brightness of the beam and presumably the damage rate. One of two weapons that can be assigned to the purple powerup at the start of the game. Usable only by the Fighting Thunder Mk-II.

Sub-shotsEdit

R4subshots

A screenshot of all the Sub shots avalible.

For all three variants, powerups simply increase the number of shots and there are three power levels.

  • Nuclear missile: Shoots dumb-fire missiles that spread out laterally then accelerate forward. In addition to direct hits, the nuclear missiles' explosions cause damage as well. Corresponds to the "M" powerup.
  • Homing missile: Shoots homing missiles that turn freely and target the closest enemy around the player. The damage is weak, but it is ideal for attacking enemies around the player. Corresponds to the "H" powerup.
  • Radar missile: A partially guided variant of the nuclear missile in which the missiles drift laterally until they align with enemies and charge forward. The radar missiles' explosions cause damage as well, just like the nuclear missiles. Corresponds to the "R" powerup.

Special techniques Edit

After collecting at least one missile powerup of any type, a special attack can be used. To perform it, the player must refrain from pressing the shot button for a certain length of time, until the attack becomes "charged" (indicated by lightning surrounding the ship). When the fire button is pressed again, many missiles of the equipped type will be fired at once. Each successful hit from these missiles grants an additional 500 points.

Miscellaneous itemsEdit

In addition to these weapon powerups, there are miscellaneous items as well.

  • Bombs: The bomb's action is the same as in Raiden III: a ball of flame spreads out rapidly from the position the player launches it. The bomb stock can be increased with bomb powerups, appearing as a "B" on a spinning triangle. The craft starts with 3 bombs and can carry up to 7; if another bomb powerup is collected at 7, bonus points are accumulated. Any bombs left over at the end of a stage are worth 5,000 bonus points each.

In X360 version, the bombs may act differently with 2 others ships, following;

- Lightning Fighter Mk-II will launch traditional old megabomb and the next 1.5 seconds will explode with blast radius, damaging everything and destroying all bullets in the bomb area. The downside of this version besides delay between bombs is the only 1/3 screen effect area.

- Fairy uses her friends to drop cluster bombs, like ME-02, damaging enemies and destroying bullets in whole screen. The only difference is attacking from behind to top of screen instead of spreading around player.

  • Extra Life (1UP): When picked up, the player receives another life.
  • Full Power-Up: This appears under certain conditions such as the player dies many times, and when obtained, the primary and secondary shots will reach maximum power. Bonus 10,000 points are obtained when this is obtained when the player already has maximum power. The powerup of this item appears to be the cyan letter "P". If player doesn't obtain any further powerups, after getting Full Power-up, the secondary weapon will be maximized as "Nuclear Missile" by default.
  • Fairy: The fairy is hidden in various parts of each stage in the game, which appears when the player shoots the correct location. When the fairy is obtained, it will help the player when the craft is damaged, by giving you a power-up item. Unlike in previous games where the player could be penalized for shooting it, this fairy cannot be hit by the player's shots.
  • Medals: Medals appears as a shiny golden orb. Higher score medals appear as winged orbs. True to the original Raiden series, only the accumulated total of medals influence the end-of-stage bonus (along with remaining fighters and bombs). However, medals are lost when a player loses a life, so a player is required to maintain their ship to the end of a stage in order to have any collected medals count.

Xbox 360 VersionEdit

Raiden IV Intro
The Xbox 360 version of Raiden IV comes with a couple of extra modes for added replay. There will also be downloadable content for purchase, which includes gamerpics and dashboard themes. New player ships, such as the Fighting Thunder Mk-II (Original Raiden) and the Fairy will be available for purchase and download in the marketplace for use in the game. A TATE option is included for players to view the game in either vertical or horizontal screens for their preferred shooting experience. There will be a total of 47 achievements with a total of 1000 points in the game.

Arcade ModeEdit

The Arcade Mode is the original version of the game, and consists of 2 types of gameplay: Light and Original. Light gameplay has an easier difficulty, meant for beginners and players new to the genre, while Original generates more enemies, faster bullets and slightly more complicated boss patterns.

Xbox 360 ModeEdit

The Xbox 360 Mode is exclusive to the home version and contains new enemy ships and 2 new stages and bosses not found in the arcade version. Stages can be selected to start playing once the level has been initially cleared.

  • Play Style: Solo offers single-player, Dual allows 2-player simultaneous play, while Double has one player controlling two ships, which offers a unique and challenging experience.
  • Stage: Allows players to select the stages they have already completed to replay.

DifficultyEdit

There will be 8 different difficulty modes to choose from.

  • Practice: Enemies do not fire shots in the game.
  • Very Easy: Enemies' shots can be destroyed by the player.
  • Easy: Enemies shots are relatively slow in this difficulty.
  • Normal: Default difficulty in console version.
  • Original: Same difficulty as in the Arcade version.
  • Hard: Enemies' shots are a bit quicker in speed, for intermediate players.
  • Very Hard: Enemies' shots are much quicker in speed, for expert players.
  • Ultimate: The hardest difficulty that enemies will come more numbers and double bullet speed. Some enemies will attack with Loop 2 bullet pattern.

Boss Rush ModeEdit

Players fight all level bosses without going through the stages.

Score Attack ModeEdit

Similar to the Xbox 360 Mode, the only differences are the enemy placements have now changed. Background music which were previously fixed for the specific stage can be selected in any level.

GalleryEdit

As players go through the game, 3D renditions of the enemy ships will be unlocked for viewing in the gallery.

World RankingsEdit

Xbox 360 players can place their best scores and rankings earned from Solo Arcade and Xbox 360 modes onto the Xbox Live leaderboards. Players will be able to compare, share and view game replays for analyzing of other players' performance. The mode requires the player to access an online version of the Arcade and Xbox 360 modes, separate from the offline versions, in order to place their scores.

StagesEdit

The original Arcade version of Raiden IV has only five stages total. If you're playing on Light Mode the game ends after beating stage 5, but if you're playing Original Mode the game will loop, with all the stages repeating with increased difficulty. After beating stage 5 on the second loop the true final stage is unlocked.

The Xbox 360 port includes the Additional Mode, which adds two new stages for a total of eight stages.

StageNameBossBGM
1 CountrysideExerey IssA Stormy front
2 CityOrdo, Fulas and MairazardCan't Retrace
3 OceanFamel YaFlap Toward The Hope
4 RuinsAguen and EwatTragedy Flame
5* Floating ContinentDa RuturaAll or Nothing
6* Space StationIsdogaramDepression
7 Enemy Huge BattleshipHorda GardiaAdvantageous Development
EX Final BaseHorda GestoradaRepeated Tragedy

* Additional Mode only

Raiden IV -Ultimate of Raiden-Edit

It is a video game soundtrack CD by INH. It includes Arcade, Xbox360, and remixed versions of game music tracks from older and current Raiden games, with a total of 27 tracks. The OST is included with the game for a limited time. INH has also offered a special PDF file DVD by preordering from their site. Named Raiden IV Secret File, the disc contains player ship specifications, enemy combat data, strategies for the game and concept art.

  • Tracks
  • Shoot like lightning (DEMO)
  • Coin
  • Carve your name (SELECT&NAME)
  • A stormy front (LEVEL1)
  • Metal storm (BOSS1)
  • Mission accomplishment (LEVEL CLEAR)
  • Can't retrace (LEVEL2)
  • Flap toward the hope (LEVEL3)
  • Tragedy flame (LEVEL4)
  • Advantageous development (LEVEL5)
  • Repeated tragedy (LEVEL5 EX)
  • Go to Blazes! GS (BOSS 2)
  • Brightness of peace (ENDING)
  • Preparations (CONTINUE)
  • GAME OVER for Raiden (GAME OVER)
  • Watch a Blazes (MENU, Xbox 360 Mode)
  • Omen of stormy (RANKING, Xbox 360 Mode)
  • Enumeration (GALLERY, Xbox 360 Mode)
  • All or nothing (LEVEL5, Xbox 360 Mode)
  • Depression (LEVEL6, Xbox 360 Mode)
  • GALLANTRY -Daisuke Nagata- (Remix)
  • Tragedy flame -Kou Hayashi- (Remix)
  • Flap toward the hope -WASi303- (Remix)
  • Conflict -INH- (Remix)
  • Lightning strikes -Shinji Hosoe- (Remix)
  • Fairy -Ayako Saso- (Remix)
  • Brightness of peace -Go Sato- (Remix)

Critical ReceptionEdit

Raiden IV has received below average review scores upon its U.S. release, with both IGN and the Official Xbox Magazine scoring it a 6 out of 10.

ControversyEdit

There has been controversy over Raiden IV about UFO Interactive's downloadable content. IGN's Eric Brudvig writes: "Though at first glance you might think there are 14 levels in Raiden IV ... there are in fact only seven with the second half of the game merely repeating the first.... UFO Interactive went ahead and added insult to injury with its use of downloadable content. After dishing out $40 for the game, you'll find that only one of the three ships on the main menu can be used. The other two must be purchased through Xbox Live." Backlash over the pay to play ships has created controversy at several gaming forums, with many users boycotting the game, leading gamers to wonder whether the extra content is worth the price to obtain them.

TriviaEdit

  • A modified form of the boss from level 2 in Raiden III makes its appearance as a regular enemy.

External LinksEdit

Raiden series
Main Series Raiden - Raiden II (DX) - Raiden III - Raiden IV (Overkill) - Raiden V
Raiden Fighters Series Raiden Fighters - Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive - Raiden Fighters Jet
Conversions The Raiden Project - Raiden Fighters Aces - Raiden Legacy
Other Seibu/MOSS shmups Stinger - Scion - Air Raid - Viper Phase 1 - Caladrius (Blaze)

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