Beautiful motion and elegant aerial gunplay highlight this catchy arcade update. It’s Raiden, with the intense vertical framing and saturated laser weapons. The too-chatty narrative, playing out while dodging thousands of incoming bullets, is as bad a decision as one can make in terms of design. In this case, the story is also a hemorrhaging mess about alien crystals and rogue governments, all utter tripe. Couple this with the spiffy online component – wherein players send kudos for special achievements back-and-forth to each other, live – and the amount of ongoing activity is positively ludicrous.
Underneath is a stellar genre entry though, classy and wholly engaging in the best example of interactive catharsis. High accessibility invites both sweat-fueled high score/high difficulty runs and passive marches through enemy territories. Satisfying bosses crumble section by section, and the intense explosive pop when smaller foes fade out keeps Raiden V forever captivating.