I think we’re all ready to leave 2020 in the distant past, and we’re almost there with just a little over a week to go. Fortunately, we get to end the year on some high notes, as you’ve seen from the news this past week, and I think that today’s announcement will bolster that further.
Shortly after the exA-Arcadia system was revealed back in 2018, some developers announced their support for the platform, including Seibu Kaihatsu. While there was no official confirmation of what they were going to announce, “Lightning will rise again” came with the pretty obvious connection that the game they’d bring to the system would be something from their legendary shoot ’em up franchise, Raiden. If you’re new enough to gaming to not know the series, it got its start in arcades back in 1990, spawning several sequels and a few spin-offs.
As you already saw from the title, the franchise is coming back home to the arcade thanks once again, as MOSS and the MIKADO Game Center have announced a crowdfunding effort to develop a new “remix” edition of the game called Raiden IV x MIKADO remix. This will also be available at home on the Nintendo Switch.
As the headline to this post mentions, Raiden IV will be available outside of Japan as it is launching on the exA-Arcadia system that we have often covered on the blog here (something that sites like Kotaku got wrong when writing about the recent release of DoDonPachi EXA…they failed to mention the platform and broader availability). The exA has brought many shoot ’em ups back to the scene, offering a modern take on the Neo Geo MVS idea.
The game has been developed by MOSS (who created the original Raiden III, IV & V titles), and while this upcoming EXA edition will feature the original game in all of its arcade glory, it will also include some other additions to make this the “Definitive Cut” that you’ll want to play.
For MIKADO’s part, beyond funding the project, their main thrust is in bring together several music groups to create an alternate, remixed soundtrack, including Heavy Metal Raiden, O.T.K., Fantom Iris, Go Sato, and Cosio. Combined they will produce “16 gorgeous songs[ …] reborn with live recording and new arrangements!” They are also doing this as a way to bring people back to arcades in a post-pandemic landscape. You can listen to these songs here, although it will always be nicer during gameplay:
The exA edition will also feature low input lag (lower than what you’ll get on the Switch); All console exclusive content that the previous arcade releases missed out on; and the graphics have been updated to support 4K UHD. More will be announced down the road, but with those features, this will be the version of Raiden IV that you’ll want to play.
“But my local arcade doesn’t have an exA” you might say to that – no need to worry in that regard, as exA has plenty of plans in place for a bigger US rollout next year, which will make it easier to find one. It should also make it easier to ask your local arcade for it too.
This new version of Raiden IV should be available as of 4/22/2021; I also would not be surprised to see exA produce a limited edition EXA board for this like they have done with titles like DoDonPachi, Vritra Hexa and Strania EX. What do you think about this addition to the exA library?