Somewhere in the future the earth is being attacked by space pirates. You, a brave pilot, have the mission to stop them. Sounds like an arcade game directly ported from a coin machine? No wonder, it is one.
As a matter of fact, you need to destroy everything that appears on the screen. We have tanks, ships, planes, helicopters, super-duper enemies and lots of power-ups. What else do you need for a shoot’em up? Right, a two-player mode! Well, Raiden has all this stuff, and it’s fun!
In the beginning you have nothing but a little cannon and a few bombs. With the bombs you prevent all enemy fire from hitting you for a few seconds, in which you can easily destroy them without any risk. For the weaker enemies one hit is enough to take them down, but for some you first have to destroy their weapons and then take care of the rest. The job is easily done once you have the triple laser cannon with the quadrupled missile. For destroying special vehicles, ammunition depots or fuel tanks you will earn extra points, power-ups and medals. At the end of the level you will get some boni - of course. To finish each level you finally have to kill the stage-boss-fortress-ship-whatever. Take your bombs here for having an easy job.
The variety of graphics in the eight levels is great. You fly over forests, cities, lakes and meadows killing a lot of different enemies and leaving lots of scrap behind you. The vertical scrolling is mostly fluent. It is a bit slower when there is lots of enemies and speeds up when you killed them.
The sound is ... well, let’s better do not talk about it.
You can set the difficulty to three different levels, but this does not increase the amount of enemies - it just changes the amount of credits you have. Raiden is a nice little game that is OK for some time of fast shoot’em up fun - as long as you do not expect the ultimate challenge for genre-specialists. Due to the nice multiplayer-option and my opinion that sound is a secondary thing I give 4 points.
Use DOSBox at around 2200 cycles to have it not too fast.