13th Feb2018

Digital Shorts: ‘RXN -Raijin-’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at RXN – Raijin -, a new shoot ‘em-up now available on the Nintendo Switch.

rxn-screen

If I was to tell you that RXN -Raijin-, a vertically-scrolling shooter, comes from developers Gulti Games, a team made up of former devs from Seibu Kaihatsu – whose most famous previous work was the Raiden series, you’ll probably know EXACTLY what to expect from this eShop title.

Yes, we’re in familiar shmup territory with RXN – Raijin - (a rather odd title if you ask me), which follows a group of three pilots who use their RXN mechs, which change from ship to robot for absolutely no discernable reason other than because it looks cool in a Robotech-way, to battle the Ulka, a group of organic and mechanical monsters under of the control of the maniacal Yukata.But the plot matters little (and unless you know to go into the settings and change the klanguage to English you won’t know what the hell is going on anyway), and neither does how it plays out in the game – all players need to know is that you pilot a space ship/mech against wave after wave of enemies in yet another bullet-hell shooter.

Surprisingly RXN – Raijin - looks, for a game made by a studio filled with experienced shmup developers, like a low-budget mobile title that has been ported to the Switch without any attempt at making the game fit the platform. The cut scenes play out with static animatics, the opening and close of each stage, where the screen is sans any enemies, is barren and basic. Which I guess helps after the enemies do arrive – which comes complete with an inoridinate amount of bullets, so many that you’ll have to take hits to survive (again something synonymous with the bullet hell genre) and hope that your shields will hold to the end of a level -at least you can discern bullets from the bland backdrops!

Like alot of these shmup titles, its the combat that makes the game. And if you’ve played ANY Japanese shmup then you’ll hae experienced all that RXN – Raijin - has to offer. It features all the standard tropes of the genre: a selection of heroes to chose from, each with their own skill and weapon set; different weaponary, each with different strengths and with the ability to upgrade; and the usual saving grace “explosive” option that wipes out enemies, bullets and pretty much anything in its wake – here taking a third of your lifeforce to make sure you don’t overuse it! They’rte all familiar aspects to the genre and developers Gulti Games have done nothing to make these – or any part of the game for that matter – different or unique from what has come before.

Which means that whilst yes, there might be 50 chapters of shmup to explore, the excessive price-tag of this eShop-only game is not really worth it when stacked up against other similar genre fare.

**½  2.5/5

RXN – Raijin - is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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