| paleface [sys=PCB; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=JPN] |
|The second game in the Raiden Fighters series is a mostly natural progression from the first, with a nice bump up in playable ships, the size of the bosses, firepower, a-yu-nd so on. The option ships are very important, taking lots of hits for you, and providing a significant increase in firepower. Fortunately, you get powerups that give them to you pretty frequently.|
Ships have charge shots, and there's some button combination that opens up special ships with increased power (like that little dragon dude). Oh, and there's a "Special" mode that you can pick, that's a boss-rush mode--a faster way to munch quarters, how ingenious!
The stages are very pretty and memorable, such as the reflective-water swamp, and the train level with a massive train roaring along (and yes, I realize this happens in a lot of vert shooters, including Raiden III (see entry 938).
There's a bit of score juggling with medals that fall downscreen from things you blow up. They start out only giving a few points each, but the more you collect without losing any offscreen, the more valuable they get.
This game has some rather nice techno-ish music. I don't usually notice shooter music much, so this stuff is doing something pretty nice to stand out. It does get you pumped to blow things up.
If there's a problem I have with the game, it's that, with weapons powered up, and options flying around, it can be really tough to see your ship. Options very frequently look almost exactly like your own ship, and sometimes move around semi-independently, so often you'll see a big nasty bullet pattern headed your way, and go to dodge it, only to find that you aren't sure which of the three upscreen-facing ships is yours. And missiles in particular, with their smoke trails, can block up the screen and make it hard to see incoming fire. Enemy bullets sometimes blend in slightly with the background, too; or maybe I should say, they just don't always do all that much to stand out from it.