Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 13, 2016

TG 16 Review: Raiden

Note: This review was done on actual Turbografx 16 with no emulation.

It is Raiden! Is this game one of the great lost classics? Will you keep coming back to it? And most important of all, will it earn the Malstrom Award, the gold standard of all gaming?

Note: This is a review of the Turbo Chip version of Raiden, not the CD version which is Super Raiden.

Perhaps the reader has heard of Raiden. It is a very famous shmup series that is still going on to this day.

Image result for raiden 5

Above: Raiden V is coming to Xbox One, a Generation 8 Console

“Wow!” says the reader. “This must be a popular series!”

It should actually scare you. Raiden series has gone from Generation 4-8. It lives beyond Gradius. I remember playing Raiden some back in the day, but I forgot about it. Raiden was popular enough that it was ported to every console under the sun. Raiden is also on Super Nintendo, Genesis, and even the Atari Jaguar.


Raiden is a port of the arcade game, and it is very well done with one big problem. There is no two player option. When you die in Raiden (and you will die), you go back to a check point. It is one hit, one death.

Raiden is THE game that started the bullet-hell shmup phenomena. There are bullets all over the place! The only way to play this game seems to be very patiently. You fly around, and you will die. You need to sit back. I find this way of playing boring and despise Raiden for it. On a console like the Turbografx 16 that is filled with shmups, there are so many other much more fun shmups to play than this. Your ship moves way too slow. The power-ups are OK. You never feel truly powerful in this game. Other than that, it plays like any other shmup.

If you hesitate to try Turbografx 16 because you “do not like shmups”, then you should avoid this game. Today’s shmups are bullet-hell shmups. It is not that you dislike shmups, you dislike bullet-hell. Raiden is the pioneer of bullet-hell. Current shmup games call Raiden ‘classic’ and ‘amazing’, I call it forgettable and the game that destroyed the genre.

Go play other shmups on the system!


Above: Note the frustration of the reviewer as he plays the game. “Fuck…. I hate this game…” This is how you will be, gentle reader.

Does Raiden deserve the Malstrom Award? No. This game is extremely overrated, hasn’t aged well, and only shmup nerds keep hailing the start of the game series that destroyed the shmup genre. Raiden is very well made, very challenging game, but you can skip it to go play something more fun and interesting.

[Back to TG 16 Table of Contents]



%d bloggers like this: