Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix review (PS5)

Although Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix came out on the Switch back in 2021, it was recently brought to PlayStation, Xbox and PC by NIS America, giving us out first taste of this new release of a modern arcade shooter classic – we checked it out on a PS5.

I still remember the first Raiden that came out in the 1990s – I actually played it on an MS-DOS computer, and was super excited it was going to a 64-bit home console called the Atari Jaguar. But despite the popularity of the series, there have been long periods without a new Raiden game. In recent years, that’s been addressed (sort of) with expanded re-releases, and after Raiden IV: Overkill in 2014 the MIKADO Remix is the second major revamp of the shooter that originally came out back in 2007. Way to stay current!

Over all those years, the Raiden franchise has always stayed fairly loyal to its roots – a vertical scroller with a choice of two weapons (a spread shot or a laser beam) that can both be upgraded. Beyond the basics, you’ve got missiles and super bombs as well, but it speaks volumes to the quality of the gameplay and level design that Raiden is so acclaimed despite many of its mechanics being kind of the norm in shooters of this type.


Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix isn’t just a different take on the original game – it builds on the Overkill version by including that one as well, making it the only Raiden IV version you need to play. The 2007 arcade original is here, as are new modes that add two completely new stages to the game and give you a boss rush experience. And that Mikado part in the title? That actually relates to the soundtrack, with great tracks that were produced by Game Centre Mikado – a collaboration between various high profiles video game composers.

In case you never played Raiden IV Overkill, that mode introduces a fun risk/reward system where (larger) enemies stay on screen for a bit after you take them out, letting you boost your score. And while that doesn’t sound very risky, this happens while other enemies enter the screen and try to take you out as well, forcing you to play the game differently than you would the base game. It’s mainly for those who enjoy scores and not those who just want to survive and get past the bosses, granted, but those who embrace the classic arcade culture of climbing up the leaderboards will love it.


Another mechanic that you’ll see in Raiden IV is the Flash Shot, a way of scoring higher for taking down enemies as soon as possible after they appear. This encourages players to learn patterns, anticipate them and plan out their routes through levels. This can also be enjoyed in local co-op, which once you get better will even include a bit of strategy. And for an original take on that concept, you can also play in “Double” mode, which has you controlling two ships as a single player.

As a game that originally launched back in 2007, the area that didn’t age particularly well in Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix are the visuals, which fail to impress. When you consider contemporaries of the original game include Gradius V for the PS2, it leads us to the conclusion that we’d love to see Raiden move into the new generation of consoles – either through Raiden VI or with a remake of one of the existing titles, or even the original trilogy, which many at this point won’t have played.

But despite aging visuals, this one has gameplay that is timeless and it’s a brilliant shooter, especially for those who aren’t hardcore fans of the genre but like to casually enjoy an arcade shooter every now and then. Easily the best version of Raiden IV, and with a killer soundtrack that breathes new life into it even for longtime fans.

Score: 7.5/10

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