Japanese developer MOSS recently announced that the next game in the Raiden series will be arriving in 2015. Until that game arrives, the latest in the series — Raiden IV: OverKill — is exclusively available on PlayStation Store for PS3. Those fighting for a spot on the high score list, which also posts a replay of their session for the world to see, are standing a better chance with their chosen hardware thanks to the new arcade stick compatibility patch.
Playing Raiden IV: OverKill is a brutally instructive experience. Like Tom Cruise’s character in Edge of Tomorrow, you can expect to die countless times as you learn the patterns of your enemies. But once you’ve put in the work it takes just to survive the game’s onslaught, it dares you to take more risks by rewarding you for breaking up your natural movement patterns.
In the game’s OverKill mode, certain defeated enemies linger on screen in a slow crashing animation. Pumping these wrecks full of lasers, protons, and missiles charges an “OverKill” meter on that vessel. The higher that meter is filled, the more a medal dropped by the ship will be worth when it finally explodes.
But filling that meter comes at a cost: staying still long enough to fill it. An endless barrage of projectiles that will destroy your ship at a single touch means survival demands swift and constant movement. Maxing out an OverKill meter deprives you of this mobility, and then you’ll need to negotiate the chaos on screen again if you want to pick up the medal that is eventually dropped as your reward for filling it.
With its hardcore appeal, it’s no small wonder the game has recently been one of the top downloads off PlayStation Store in Japan. US Playstation gamers have shown in the past — by embracing games like Demon’s Souls — that they are up for a challenge and the deep satisfaction that comes with seeing hard work pay off, and those with arcade sticks can now take on that challenge with their weapon of choice.