Raiden IV x MIKADO remix Review

Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is developed by MOSS and published by NIS America, Inc.Microsoft Xbox Series X review written by Nick with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is a classic shoot-‘em-up title that feels like an excellent homage to the past, even while it still holds up in the present. If you are a fan of the shmup genre? Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is going to feel pretty comfortable and there is a lot to like here. If the idea of a ‘bullet hell’ scares you? Well, Raiden IV x MIKADO remix offers some features that make it somewhat more approachable, but it might not do quite enough to convert you to being a fan of the genre.

What we have here is a vertical scrolling shooter. It has a sort of narrow strip of screen as you fly upwards with stationary graphics flanking either side, as these titles were popularized for arcade machine cabinets. From there, you continuously fly upward through waves of enemies that are shooting things at you or attempting to bodycheck you into submission. The screen is often sprayed with an almost dizzying assortment of colored projectiles that fan out or move in patterned waves to dart around while you return fire to take them out.

It's about as tried and true a formula as exists in video gaming, and the genre remains one of my guiltiest pleasures. These titles tend to be challenging, even brutal at times, but fair as you learn the patterns and the waves and progress incrementally further each time. That being said, Raiden IV x MIKADO remix has some quality of life settings to adjust difficulty levels (right down to a training difficulty that means no shots are fired, making it easier to learn the enemy patterns, If not their projectiles. You can tweak some other settings too to make things easier or harder on yourself as well, and even when you run out of lives, there is progression now that allows you to pick up at your last completed stage. If you’re willing to die and learn (here’s looking at you, Souls fans), you’ll eventually progress.

Beyond the core mechanics of dodging and shooting, you have some different types of shots you can fire, both by picking settings on your ship at the start and augmenting them with powerups found throughout the game. These combined with the traditional screen clearing ‘bomb’ so often found in the genre, you are pretty well-equipped to handle waves of enemies as you figure out which weapon sets you prefer. That said, there are shooters out there with more variety in their weapons, something the Raiden series always feels just a bit light on.

One of the other cool features here, is this title merges different releases together and creates differing styles of play. There are some “Additional” levels, as well as modes that encourage you to take chances in different ways. One offers bonuses for clearing enemies out as fast as possible, encouraging you to learn patterns so you can basically ambush them. I liked the Overkill mode, in which after you kill some enemies, they leave a ‘junk heap’ in their wake. You then have a few moments to fire at that scrap and the more damage you do to it before it blows up, the bigger the points multiplier. It’s a fun bit of risk vs reward as it sometimes leaves you in one place a bit longer than is healthy, as in this genre being stationary is seldom a good idea.

On top of this, you have somewhat more standard modes such as boss or score attacks that have you trying to beat certain criteria within limited / standardized gameplay options. There’s multiplayer available too, if you just need more chaos on your screen at once.

In terms of the presentation and polish, it all looks and sounds slick. The pulsing soundtrack is fantastic and fits the bill nicely, and there’s a lot of fun effects with the backgrounds. A lot of shooters are relatively static with their backgrounds, and some get really involved with moving parts, additional ground-based enemies and things of that nature. Raiden IV x MIKADO remix leans a bit towards the latter, with some fun moments where things zoom and twist around, giving you a sense of flight and movement despite the fact you are always just scrolling upward the entire time.

Still, there are some limitations here to point out. Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is not a very long game – I saw most of what there was to see on easier difficulties in an afternoon. There’s not much variety in the ships or weapons, no secrets or unlockables to dangle in front of the player either. The original arcade game released in 2007 and the age shows a bit, not that the genre has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last decade and a half, but there are deeper options out there for shmup fans. These are pretty minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things though.


Simply put, Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is a lot of fun. Fans of the shoot-‘em-up genre should enjoy the ride, even if it’s not a particularly long one. It’s a polished experience that is both challenging and well-balanced with plenty of options to tinker with. The presentation (especially the music) is well done, the gameplay is polished and it’s a worthy update to the Raiden franchise.

Score: 7.75 / 10



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