X's are a great marketing scheme we can do to make something seem edgy or better than the competition! Kids these days like things that end in X! It's Xtreeeeee (too many e's)me!!!one! Raiden X is no different, this game is a tribute to the arcade originals... and it does hold true in a lot of aspects.

It has the insane, over-crowded, visually assaulting graphics. It has the techno beat soundtrack that you simply never want to end. It has WAY to many enemies, and bosses that die WAY to quickly. The Heat-seeking missiles are as overpowered as always... Oh some of you might not know what the original arcade based Raiden games are.

Well if you are part of that crowd, the original arcade Raiden games are a series (They made I and II really) that was hugely popular in arcades around at least North America. This arcade classic had teenagers dumping quarters in it by the metric ton. It was released originally in 1990, and then there were a few updates and new versions...

Game play in the original and this tribute are pretty simple. You are in control of man-kinds last defense. A super sonic jet fighter that destroys and annihilates everything in it's path. It gets upgrades during the course of the game to a max weapon/missile level. Once you achieve this level you just get points for the upgrades.

Specific to the game you will be playing tho, the ship can only take a single hit. This means avoiding things at all costs... and there are lots of things to avoid. It means you will find yourself holding down the Z key for damn near the entire game. But that's fine, accuracy and ammo don't really play much of a part in the Raiden games. Bombs however do play a pivotal role. The type of bomb you send out will be based on your current weapon type at the time. They are massively destruction one-click wonders that will destroy damn near everything on the screen. Saving these for boss fights only speed them up quite a bit. However take note that when your screen is full of baddies, sometimes it is worth dumping one just to make sure you don't lose a life.

Speaking of lives, this game gives you enough... when I played it on medium I was given 15 to start with. This number might seem absurd, but it isn't uncommon to lose them on a semi-regular basis. I mean my word I can go through 4 or 5 before you manage to score the max weapon upgrade setup... but don't worry once you do that nothing will even appear on the screen for a while, it is dead before that.

This game will push you to move fast, and keep your hands super twitchy. It really does deliver a feel very similar to the original. One of my few complaints is that there is only one type of ship to chose from, in the newer arcade version you have multiple options. However, this flash version does improve on some user friendly features. Firstly, it has a save feature that you can use at the end of each stage. And it has 5 separate files, this means that you can save a level in a different location if you lose a lot of lives and be able to go back. Also pressing the space button brings you to a full menu, giving you sound options as well as current game info. Furthermore, it allows you to change the graphical nature of the game from being high to low quality. This would allow for much nicer game play on a choppy system, something you won't know until in the game... perfect.

In the span of about 30 minutes you can get through a decent chunk of the game, even starting over once or twice. I was really pleased with this title overall, and would suggest it's twitchy nature to anyone. Also it might pull you back for more, just like the arcade.


Longevity: 3.5/5
Interface: 4.0/5
Addictiveness: 4.0/5
Sound: 3.5/5
Simplicity: 4.0/5

Overall: 3.8/5