Con Raiden III x Mikado Maniacdeveloped by MOSS and published by NIS America, we return to the myth lived in one of the golden periods of the videogame scene. It was 2000, at the time no one would have ever imagined where the industry would arrive and what the enormous leaps and bounds made over the years would be. In fact, talking about Raiden III x Mikado Maniax is not easy at all: it is a historical series, one of the most important and successful in the world, as well as one of the most played in Japan, where it has achieved extraordinary results and a huge effective quantity of nuances and worthy sequels. But what happens if you replay the third chapter after so long? And why do it especially now when there are certainly more attractive choices like The Legend Of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?
Nostalgia, rogue nostalgia! To say it was Albano, che sang it with determination. To reiterate it is once again MOSS, which returns after some time to propose a dense work full of many facets. Proposing such a work, admittedly arcade, is by no means a simple task: imagine getting to do it after so many years away and many other re-propositions. The occasion, however, remains tempting in any case for the care taken in the few but effective game contents which have however kept the very essence of the myth of Raiden III x Mikado Maniax unchanged. still immortal today.
It must be said, however, that someone might not be exactly comfortable with a playful proposal of this type, even if the quality, combined with attention to detail and a good way of presenting itself on Nintendo Switch, could in any case to tempt the enthusiasts of all time. Raiden III x Mikado Maniax kept us glued to the screen of our Nintendo Switch for several hours, projecting us directly with our fictional DeLorean to those heydays. In this sense, it is undeniable being able to contain the emotion of reliving a production of this type: it becomes magical to be able to test it by hand after so long since the last time, interfacing with a production which, in addition to offering further contents, keeps the his game design and literally delves into it.
Before proceeding with the review, a clarification needs to be made: even if there aren’t many modes, the title focuses entirely on replayability. Raiden III x Mikado Maniax is largely replayable by selecting the appropriate difficulty, although the story mode remains the default. In the main menu, although some details may be irrelevant, everything is divided in a simple, effective and intuitive way. No one can get confused, and certainly the most interesting addition to the play package is the ability to relive the boss fights, rushing headlong to death. On the other hand, who doesn’t want to defend the Earth once again as has already happened to Serious Sam or many other iconic protagonists of a narrative plot that always knows how to fascinate? Who knows, but let’s proceed in order.
A classic story: aliens are coming, it’s time to save the world and arrive in time for lunch
What a strange world, don’t you think? You can never rest easy in the Solar System. Or better, in video games our poor Milky Way is always forced to contend with aliens of various types who have to make ends meet and find a new home. Apparently, in fact, here there is not even time to realize that they have ended up in a very ugly crawl space full of bestiality of all kinds. The bad guys we have to face are called Crystals and they have no intention of leaving the Earth in the hands of humanity for much longer. Thus begins a full-blown invasion that has nothing to envy to today’s ones. A state-of-the-art human spacecraft, however, is the only thing separating the Earth from disintegration, and it is the narrative framework on which the entire story is based.
In Raiden III x Mikado Maniax do not expect a story full of emotions, because there are none and absolutely does not want to deal with them. The plot is just hinted at and not very thorough, however supported by a lore that is proposed in a blatant and precise way. There is discovery, which is always excellent, and there is curiosity, which perhaps has pushed man too far, making him discover horrors worthy of Alien. Actually, we would have preferred that the story had been treated with more care and that each element had been better prepared. We repeat: this is not his goal. Raiden III x Mikado Maniax wants to return to the past without too many ceremonies, leveraging its game design and play structurea choice that we find absolutely in line with the intentions of the team.
Raiden III x Mikado Maniax is pure adrenaline
Some of you will surely have been in an arcade and will remember how certain arcades were offered at the time. Well, Raiden III x Mikado Maniax follows this philosophy perfectly: you move the ship up and down, left or right as needed and then focus on enemy ships. It might sound simple but it’s not at all: the purpose of productionIndeed, it’s not being easily approachablebut complex and intricate in every light. The levels to reach the conclusion, although very few, still contain an excellent dose of replayability and playful density.
The game design, simple and effective, manages to have its say in any case. If Space Invaders has had a significant impact in the industry, it is precisely thanks to him, and Raiden III x Mikado Maniax does not do something very different. It expands the concept and still makes each fight easier and faster. In the adventure you shoot, dodge enemy shots and then repeat, and death always comes knocking again, as if it never really wanted to leave. On more than one occasion we have been forced to repeat the same missions even more than once, clashing with ruthless bosses who have been able to seriously give us a lot of trouble.
In addition to having a significant impact on the total evolution of the levels, each setting is different in its own way: the latter focus solely on a specific type of game design, approachable precisely in increasingly difficult and complex challenges. Even the lowest difficulty, with all the necessary solutions and maximum life points, the problem is not solved: to survive you need quick reflexes, or there is the risk of losing the challenge well before starting. This approach to game design, even if functional to the title in question, is executed perfectly and is a lesson that teaches how simplicity is often the best solution to offer a worthy title in every nuance. Although it is obviously a title of a generation and with a different philosophy than the modern oneIn any case, the attempt to re-propose it remains commendable.
Also notable is what happens in the levels. There are tons of explosions on screen and often the best beam is the one you just collected, to be thrown at the sender and then focus on other enemies. It is certainly not easy to be able to survive, but if the attempts are approached with conscientiousness and intelligence, what can be created is excellent and worthy in every light. Have you ever fallen in love with an old-school video game that still retains its charm? It really seems that it happened to us all right, and we didn’t even choose it.
A nostalgia that shines with many lights
Yes, Raiden III x Mikado Maniax is a title that knows how to present itself to the public after such a long time since the last time. It’s not just a revival of a great classic, but a more refined and detailed version with new contents to be discovered and explored. In the main menu, in fact, it is possible to view the artwork of the ships and one’s scores. Unfortunately we haven’t had the opportunity to test the game with another friend: let’s imagine that in two, however, the experience reserves huge and pleasant surprises.
On the technical side we have nothing to complain about, so much so that the production – in addition to being multifaceted – fulfills its purpose perfectly. Perhaps we would have liked to have the work in full screen, so as to allow us to fight enemies directly. Not bad, because the rest works even after all these years. If you love old school and can’t do without video games that make you jump out of your seat, Raiden III x Mikado Maniax is the right opportunity for you.
Piattaforme: PS4, PS5, PC, Switch, Xbox One e Xbox Series X|S
Publisher: NIS America
Definitely, Raiden III x Mikado Maniax is the right opportunity to fully relive an incredible and improved title from every point of view. Forget about taking it easy or finding a way out of this ordeal of madness. Excellently represented and precisely proposing an interesting game design, the work reaches its goal, being positively rediscovered by a large circle of enthusiasts and the most curious.