Raiden V Director’s Cut review for PC, Xbox One, PS4

Platform: PC
Also on: Xbox One, PS4
Publisher: UFO Interactive Games
Developer: Moss Co., Ltd.
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1-2
Online: Leaderboards

If you’re anything like me then you love a good SHMUP. And if you’re really like me, then you like the definitive version of a good SHMUP even more! Yes, sometimes it does pay to be patient with the latest releases, and that’s exactly the case for Raiden V Director’s Cut.

So all this means that I’m also playing Raiden V for the first time. You could probably say it has nothing to do with patience but that this game got past me back when Raiden V released. Since UFO Interactive provided us a copy to share for the Director’s Cut release, I said why not see what I missed? Well from what I’ve played, I really missed a gem with this one.

While I wasn’t really following the story, I always enjoy a game that has lots of radio chatter. It really makes you feel like the mission has a purpose and your team will back you no matter what. Every now and then I’d catch a bit of what was happening with the mission, but just knowing that there are updates to how the mission is going makes you feel good and ready to take on the next enemy.

With that being said, Raiden V is another entry in the good old Raiden series. Lots of nice weapons to experiment with and different ships as well. I especially love the plasma shot. Even in its lowest form, it just wipes the floor with enemies on screen while they try to get a shot in. At power level 10, it’s almost no contest for anything standing in your path. Good luck, suckers!

It’s been a while since I’ve played a Raiden entry, so I can’t remember which weapons are carried over and what’s new here, but there’s almost no bad choice unlike some SHMUPS. Other weapons are standard spread shots, and some interesting choices like the prism which deploys an actual gem that changes the direct laser weapon into spinning blades of death. The prism is tricky, but I bet I can get it under my belt with more practice. I like interesting shots like this and had fun experimenting with what’s on offer.

I also like how when you stop firing, any onscreen items will be pulled to your ship. This is a great tradeoff to give players who are hoping to get a higher score. Sure, you don’t have to do this, and you’re probably better off just getting comfortable with enemy patterns before you start lowering your guard.

I don’t really care for the music, but the game looks and runs great. Lots of colors and exciting effects keep the action going. The controls are also good out of the box, and UFO Interactive provided a Steam key for us to check the game out on PC. It ran smooth on my computer with no issues, slowdown, or crashes.

Some other great features are co-op, always a good time if you have a friend nearby. The game also has an alternate special attack called Cheer, which unloads missiles across the screen for a while. I love this as it’s like having a second bomb on hand.

Another part of this game that will add variety are the branching paths on each stage. For example, you may think you’ve seen everything France has to offer, but just like in real life you really haven’t if you’ve only played the level once. Maybe I should visit sometime…

Anyway this is a great version of Raiden V, and since we now have the Director’s Cut that means you can buy it once and never worry about a newer version! Well, probably. Along with a 1080p facelift and revisions like a narrated story, there’s enough here to call this a sweet definitive edition of a fun SHMUP.

Grade: B