Raiden V has made its way to PC and PlayStation 4, but now known as the Director’s Cut with a whole host of new features making it a more robust offering. The sh’mup hasn’t seen too much innovation, and while it isn’t executed perfectly, Raiden V: Director’s Cut does a lot of things other games in the genre don’t, making it very unique to see in action. Raiden V: Director’s Cut continues the 25th anniversary celebration of the Raiden franchise and its presence on other platforms make for it a for sure purchase for fans of the series, genre, and newcomers alike.
Raiden V: Director’s Cut is by and large the same game we reviewed last year when it released onto Xbox One. It does however have some new additions that make it a beefier game that improves replayability and longevity. Now for the first time, you can play two-player couch co-op. There are new missions created for this version of the game. Boss missions give you special conditions to beat them for a place on the leaderboard.
Raiden V understands you don’t have a vertical monitor to play and fills the sides with story, graphs and swappable displays in really smart ways. Even the story chatter will come through during missions almost like Ace Combat to keep you in the action while it plays out. One of the side panels lets you send and receive “Cheers” which is the game’s form of online. During the campaign’s credits, it’ll list all those who helped you throughout your adventure.
When starting out, you must choose one of three ships that have different ratings and capabilities. Then, you choose your weapons which have three different variants and style of how they shoot. Then from there you’re thrust into the levels. I’m surprised Raiden V: Director’s Cut didn’t introduce a new ship to commemorate the anniversary and the release, but the ships that come standard are diverse enough.
Scoring in Raiden V: Director’s Cut is two prong: you earn score multiplier with enemies just in range, and then combo meter for getting kills in quick succession. In prior games, you’d get a set number of lives, now you have a life bar that diminishes with each hit. If you die, your score is reset but you’re able to use a continue and start the level over. Some enemies will drop miclus, or fairies that you can collect to earn medals and score bonuses. A problem in the core game is still present here, is that it is easy to lose enemies against the backdrops being so busy. So this where you can lose score because you couldn’t see the enemy hurts more than it should.
Raiden V: Director’s Cut is very accessible for those who have yet to play a shoot’em up, and while the series is known to be rather challenging, the many difficulties it offers will ease players of any skill level right in. And those looking for a high level of challenge will still find it here, as the hardcore nature of the game has not been diluted. The story is mostly forgettable, but the way it gets presented during gameplay is a huge step forward for the genre. Raiden V: Director’s Cut is simply a must have.
A pre-release Steam code was provided by the publisher for review purposes