Review: Raiden V: Director’s Cut (PS4)

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RDV_ps4 limited

How great is UFO Interactive’s Raiden V: Director’s Cut? So great that I went and grabbed the previous installment on the PS3 (which just so happened to be part of this past weekend’s PSN Flash Sale and was $2.99 very well spent), slightly kicking myself (ow!) for missing it a few years back. I’d been cutting back on arcade shooters for a while, but something about this well-aged series has always drawn me to it. It’s probably because it brings back certain good memories, but it also helps that it’s been a consistently entertaining set of games despite some lesser console versions not being as fun.

This newest installment is more polished visually and aurally and thanks to its busy color palette and tons of explosions, it really looks and feels a hell of a lot busier to the eyes and reflexes. There’s so much going on that I found myself laughing out loud (to no one in particular, as usual). Skilled developer MOSS has reworked the traditional vertical arcade game screen so it’s packed with information to the point of distraction should your eyes float to the left or right of where the real action is. But you won’t let that happen, right?

Hey, the future of the planet is at stake, pal – eyes on the prize and all that.

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Raiden V: Director’s Cut Blasts Onto PS4, PC

 

Raiden V_Moss

Holy Cats – bullet hell pioneer Raiden is a quarter of a century old. Actually, it’s 27 if you go by purely chronological order, but I believe the series took a tiny bit of time off between installments and developer changes. Anyway, UFO Interactive and developer MOSS are finally jetting out the PS4 and Steam versions with added content (it seems Xbox One owners who got this last year are missing out) as Raiden V: Director’s Cut .

 

 

If you’re a longtime fan, well you know the drill in this arcade shmup: earth gets invaded by a fleet of alien ships and it’s up to you (solo play) and a partner (if you go co-op) to take out the trash before it blows all over the globe. Actually, those aliens end up invading a few global spaces, so it’s up to your fast reflexes and non-blinking eyes to get the job done.

Game Modes:

•Story Mode – All new story full of twists and turns! The story alters depending on your performance!
•Boss Mission – Defeat bosses under special conditions and compete in the leaderboards!
•Gallery – Dozens of character, concept, and game art waiting to be unearthed!

Features:

Tag in a friend and unleash devastation on your enemies!

Extreme Graphics – Full 1080P support to bring every explosion, missile attack, and Boss Kills to earth-shattering realism on HDTVs and monitors!

Tri-View HUD – New levels of frenetic, heart pounding, pulsing action as real-time game status changes, command center data and gameplay simultaneously update you on the action and your performance!

Fully narrated storyline for the first time in the series!

Fight your own path through a branching storyline!

Choose between three different ships to pilot, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and outfit them with nine different weapon types!

In addition to the game currently available on PSN, gog.com and Steam, you can also download some really nice free themed wallpapers for your PC here. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get some eyeball exercise with a side of reflex action testing (or, I’m downloading this as we speak, folks).

-GW

Sega 3D Classics Collection: A Throwback That’s A Keeper For Nostalgic Fans

Sega 3D CC_3DS Longtime Sega fanatics have probably been wondering when the company would get to revisiting some of it’s well-aged classics outside the usual suspects and come April 26, those fans who (paradoxically) own a Nintendo 3DS will get to dive into Sega 3D Classics Collection for the more than reasonable price of $29.99. The retail and eShop release will contain nine games total:

7 Classic Games:
Power Drift
Puyo Puyo 2
Fantasy Zone II W
Sonic The Hedgehog
Thunder Blade
Galaxy Force II
Altered Beast

2 Bonus Games:
Fantasy Zone II
Maze Walker

In addition, you can disguise (or try to disguise) your 3DS with a set of Sega-themed stickers that will come included with launch edition copies of the game. Or you can save that sticker sheet for future use or even slap them on all the actual Sega consoles in your collection. Of course, if you’re a collector, those stickers will stay stuck to the paper they come on, right? Yeah, I figured as much. Me, I want this for Maze Walker, Galaxy Force, the two Fantasy Zone games and Power Drift, but everything will get played to death at some point. As much hard work went into getting this set of games out, it would really be nice to see a follow up at some point just to get Space Harrier II, After Burner and a few other classics onto the 3DS in that eye-popping 3D. As usual, we shall see…

Humble NEOGEO Bundle: Instant Arcade For Your PC? Yeah, That’s a Buy

humble neo geo bundle 

If you just got a nice and nostalgic heart flutter when you ogled that logo above, go pop an aspirin (drink a nice big glass of water with that!) and have a seat. Humble Bundle and SNK/Playmore are teaming up to bring you (at least) 21 NEOGEO arcade games for less than what you’d drop in an arcade during the 90’s on a gaming binge. Seriously. Ten bucks (and you should pay MORE, frankly) gets you those 21 DRM-free games pictured on the page, some excellent game soundtracks you can listen to as you bop down the street or drive around in your vehicle of choice, and the promise of MORE games dropping into your Steam account in a week. $167 worth of games for a tenner is pretty fantastic, but it gets better if you happen to use Firefox or Chrome as your browser. Why? Well, you can sample all but one of the games in the bundle for FREE, that’s why!

Once you’ve had your fill, whip out that wallet and get to the buying and supporting charity part. Humble appreciates the business and you need a ton of fun classics for that backlog you’re growing, right? Yeah, I thought so. If you’re REALLY feeling generous, you can pay $40 or more for all of those games (and games to come) and get an NEOGEO 25th Anniversary Limited Edition METAL SLUG SV-001 T-Shirt sent to you in the mail. Pick your poison and then pick some time out to play with your new games library. Whatever you do, pick quickly as this sale is only running for the next dozen days.

Star Wars: Battle Pod – New, Yet Nostalgic, Now In Arcades!

 

Star Wars Battle PodWait, who’s still got an arcade near them? And I don’t mean a mascot character “pizza” chain (yuk!) or a psuedo-pub grub hub with over-sized tablets posing as arcade games. All kidding aside, as soon as I saw that Star Wars: Battle Pod trailer above, I got a hearty laugh because it’s pretty much a far better-looking version of Namco’s classic 1991 arcade game Star Blade. Given the relatively short length of the experience, the specialized cabinet and its unique screen that allows for flawless immersion, the chances of seeing a home version of this game would normally be zero. On the other hand, with VR technology finally getting some sort of roll out within the next year or so, I could see this as some sort of pack-in or downloadable digital game to keep Star Wars fans happy.

In other words, it’s your move, Bandai Namco… Um, let the Wookie win?

The Internet Arcade: Your Monday (and Every Other Day) Just Got A LOT Less Productive…

Internet Arcade (Partial) 

Holy Cats. And here I thought archive.org was a disorganized mess of free movies and music files of assorted quality plus the home the not so perfect Wayback Machine where one can dig up archives for old websites no longer online. Well, the Archive’s Jason Scott has compiled over 1000 classic arcade games running on the MAME/MESS/JMESS emulators (which were cooked up by many other creative folks) and you can lose a week playing as many as you can for FREE.

The catch? Well, you’ll need the latest version of your current browser, meaning you’ll be online when you’re supposed to be working hard on those spreadsheets or whatever. However, be warned that Firefox works the best over anything else, meaning you Chrome and Safari users may have issues with running this perfectly. So, yeah… so much for getting to do important stuff like walking the dog, raising a family or stocking your zombie-proof shelter. Also, a controller is recommended, as keyboard controls are going to be funky on many titles. That’s being tweaked as we speak. Finally, the sounds and music will be a bit garbled on some games. Crank down the volume if you’re using headphones so your eardrums don’t crack when some high-pitched MIDI tune blasts them.

I’ve scanned that list of games and my eyeball popped out of my head a few times. If I had a controller with me here at the away office, I’d be playing some BLASTER, Q*Bert, Crystal Castles, Crazy Climber, The Three Stooges and way too many others to list here. This is a work in progress, so it’ll be fiddled with and fixed as time passes. I’m NOT going to go back to that page today at ALL or else I’ll get nothing done at all. YOU can boogie on over there yourself just to ogle all the awesome marquee art. Consider this your museum trip for this week. Yes, another excuse to call gaming educational is always a great reason…

WIN FREE STUFF! Kill The Bad Guy OR R-Type Delta Game Codes (Pick ONE & Play!)

 
Hokay, people. I’m up to my earballs in E3 stuff, but I need a break. How do I take a break, you ask? I GIVE STUFF AWAY! Well, not all the time, but you don’t need to know what I do when I’m not hanging out here, grrrr! *Ahem!* Anyway, I have ONE code here for Exkee’s recently released Kill the Bad Guy on Steam (yes, you need a Steam account!) and ONE code here for Tozai Games’ R-Type Dimensions for the PlayStation 3 on PSN (so you’ll need a PS3 and PSN account). Oh, it’s a North American code, so it won’t work outside the U.S. of A. at all. Steam codes should be universal, though. so you can Kill The Bad Guy anywhere you live!

 
So, HOW do you get ONE of these two codes, you ask? Well, dearies… hit reply and just drop a comment below naming the game you want and BOOM!, it’s all yours. No need to leave any contact info, as I’ll know how to reach you through the MAGIC of email and WordPress knowing who you are when you respond. If you don’t win, fear not. I’m cooking up a sort of random giveaway of extra Steam codes I have here that are duplicates of stuff in my way too massive backlog (which now extends into 2016! Yaaaaah!). I won’t get to that for a while, as I’m up to my earballs in E3 stuff in case you didn’t remember. Anyway, stop reading this and go try and win a game already!

Review: R-Type Dimensions (PSN)

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Developer: Southend Interactive
Publisher: Tozai Games
# of Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Official Site
Score: A (95%)

Some things never change, and in the case of R-Type and R-Type II, this is a great thing even if you’ve always hated both for being so incredibly brutal to play through. Developer Southend Interactive has put together a neat little retro package with a few great modern twists for you arcade shooter fans as well as anyone looking for a true old school challenge that’s finally flown onto PSN after appearing on the Xbox 360 last year. R-Type Dimensions is an absolute must-buy if you like your games tough, tricky and full of replay value. Sure, both games combined only total a mere fourteen stages, but just like back in 1987 and 1989, both games will test your reflexes to the maximum. And if you take what’s here for granted, how far you can throw a controller.

If you’re terrible at these types of shooters, terminally lazy or just want to see the endings of both before you flee this mortal coil, Dimensions includes couch co-op play and a new Infinite mode that gives you multiple lives, allowing anyone to blow through the game no matter how many times you’re blasted into space dust. Of course, purists will want this because the classic games are intact and perfectly presented in terms of gameplay and even the terrible “Get me a proofreader!” text that spells out the rather minimalist story… Continue reading

WIN FREE STUFF! R-Type Dimensions PSN Codes Up For Grabs!

R_TD If you happen to have a PS3 and a PlayStation Network account and are sitting around staring at a wall right now just wishing you had something nicely nostalgic and hard as hell to play, I’d bet you look as if you could use something nice and free today.

I think I can oblige just a tiny bit with Tozai Games’ R-Type Dimensions, which landed on PSN a few days back. If you’re bouncing up and down in your seat right about now, okay, okay… knock it off and listen up. Two codes, both for North America (which means they won’t work anywhere else!), ONE each for two lucky winners. Just reply below (no need to put any personal info in that response) and the code is yours!

R-Type Dimensions Out Today: Say Bye-Bydo, You Alien Creeps!

 
And here I was, thinking it would be a quiet day today. Nope, too many games hitting retail and digital, including Tozai Games’ one-two punch for the PS3, R-Type Dimensions. It’s both the original arcade games plus modern remakes with a few play modes and new options that make the game even more (or a bit less) challenging, it’s hard as heck nostalgia that won’t break the bank at only $9.99 on the PlayStation Network. Yes, you need to get this just in case there really are cranky aliens up there coming to visit and you’re suddenly drafted into service…