SNES A Day 45: Raiden Trad

raiden_trad_us_box_art

Approximate Release Date: April 1, 1992
Genre: Scrolling shooter
Developer: Micronics/Toei Company
Publisher: Electro Brain

For a bit, I was convinced that Raiden Trad would be a good scrolling shooter for beginners to the genre.

And then I died.

Raiden Trad is suffocatingly dependent on power-ups. The starting weapon is so weak that even mid-tier enemies take longer to blow up than they probably should. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem – after all, Earth Defense Force handles a focus on acquiring stronger and stronger weapons as a requirement well – but Raiden Trad commits the sin of taking away your power-ups on death.

If you die at a boss, you’re screwed. Bosses have too much health to take down with the default pea-shooter you respawn with. For example, I wasn’t able to beat the first boss after dying right before it and going in weak. But the next time I had just a few upgrades and managed to kill both bosses before they could move. The second boss is particularly difficult, where even on Very Easy I have been unable to topple it. It’s frustrating to die at a boss and be unable to push out enough firepower to move on.

And you will die. Raiden Trad isn’t a difficult game, even on Normal, but the game runs at a fairly low frame rate. The game looks nice, and it’s consistent, but it’s not a worthwhile tradeoff when your ship just feels sluggish. It’s slow and almost impossible to weave through the sea of bullets during boss fights without being clipped.

I wanted Raiden Trad to be the shooter I could recommend to newbies, given the very easy Very Easy difficulty option, but I can’t ignore the bad power-up and boss design. In the state it is in, I can’t recommend it to anyone.

Tomorrow: The worst name in video game protagonists returns in Super Adventure Island with Master Higgins!

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