A review of ``Ray's Arcade Chronology'', where the classic shooting games ``Ray Force'', ``Ray Storm'', and ``Ray Crisis'', famous for lock-on lasers, can finally be played on Nintendo Switch, and simultaneous play by two players is of course possible, with options set is just so fulfilling

'Ray's Arcade Chronology,' which combines Taito's classic shooting game (STG) trilogy ' Ray Force ,' ' Ray Storm ,' and ' Ray Crisis ,' into one, will be released as software for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 in March 2023. It appeared on the 9th. It is said that there are 5 masterpieces in the history of shooting games, including HD remastered versions, so I played all three of the Ray series on Nintendo Switch.

Ray's Arcade Chronology | Taito Co., Ltd.


◆First work “Rayforce”
The first work in the Ray series was ``Ray Force,'' released in 1994. It is a 2D vertical scrolling STG composed of detailed pixel art, and is the first work to adopt the Ray series' feature of ``locking on to the enemy and shooting a laser''.

You can see what kind of game Ray Force is by watching the movie below.

Ray series first work 'Ray Force' review, vertical scrolling STG that draws a beautiful homing laser in 2D - YouTube

The screen aspect ratio is 3:4, making it a vertical screen.

The only operations are movement, shots, and lasers. What is displayed slightly above your own aircraft 'X-LAY' is the lock-on aim.

Aim at the enemy that jumped out from the battleship. Initially, you can only lock on to 5 bodies at the same time, but by defeating enemies and obtaining items, you can increase the number of bodies you can lock on to up to 8.

When you press the laser button, X-LAY fires a laser in a beautiful curve to attack the locked-on enemy.

The point of the Ray series is that by locking on and destroying many enemy planes at once, the points of the enemies that can be destroyed with a single laser shot will increase. If you lock on and destroy 8 enemies at once, the score for defeating the 8th enemy will be 128 times the score for the first enemy.

'Rayforce' is a 2D game, but its main feature is the concept of perspective on the screen. For example, the red enemy in the red frame below is waiting deeper than X-LAY. In this state, it cannot be destroyed with a shot, but it can be destroyed with a lock-on laser.

If you pass this enemy without destroying it with the lock-on laser, it will approach X-LAY and attack you. It is necessary to use different weapons depending on the enemy's position, such as lock-on destroying enemies at long range and shots destroying enemies at close range.

There's also a scene where you can shoot a lock-on laser at an enemy battleship that looks like it's just a background. ``Rayforce'' is a 2D STG, but its major feature is that the game's world is overwhelmingly expansive, thanks to its detailed pixel art and production that makes good use of the system. Since the enemy appearance pattern is fixed, it is possible to build a strategy pattern by remembering the terrain and enemy appearance positions. You can get a steady sense of accomplishment that is unique to shooting games where ``the more you play, the better you get.''

Furthermore, since the vertical screen 'Rayforce' is played on a horizontal screen with an aspect ratio of 16:9, information windows called 'gadgets' are placed in the left and right left space, and information windows such as scores, number of lock-ons, and The strength of the machine, game difficulty, BGM, etc. are displayed. I don't have much time to look closely while playing, but information about the story and world view that is rarely talked about in the game is also displayed, so reading through it will improve your understanding of the game.

In addition, 'Ray Force' was announced as an arcade game, and has since been ported to home game consoles under the name 'Layer Section'. In 'Ray's Arcade Chronology', you can change the BGM to the layer section version by selecting 'SOUND' from the 'Ray Force' option and switching 'Game BGM Settings' to 'LAYER SECTION'.

In addition, the screen of 'Rayforce' can be switched to portrait mode, so by rotating the monitor 90 degrees, you can play in portrait mode. With Nintendo Switch, you can also play vertically by placing the console vertically.

◆2nd work “Raystorm”
The second work in the Ray series is 'Raystorm', which was released in 1996. While the previous work 'Rayforce' was a 2D vertical scroll, 'Raystorm' is a 3D vertical scrolling STG using 3D polygons.

'Ray's Arcade Chronology' includes two types: 'Ray Storm', which is a port of the arcade version, and 'Ray Storm NEO-HD', a high-resolution version. The NEO-HD version is an HD version of the arcade version's graphic data, so the screen ratio is 4:3, the same as the arcade version. The following is a comparison of the screens of 'Raystorm' and 'Raystorm NEO-HD', and you can compare the changes in image quality by moving the slide bar in the center.

You can see what kind of game 'Raystorm' is by watching the following movie containing the play of the Raystorm NEO-HD version.

Ray Series 2nd work 'Raystorm' review, 3D vertical scrolling STG with innovative and deep system - YouTube

The screen is a horizontal screen with an aspect ratio of 4:3.

In the previous game 'Rayforce', you could only choose X-LAY, but in 'Raystorm' you can choose your aircraft from two types: R-GRAY1 and R-GRAY2. R-GRAY1's weapon is a wide shot and a homing laser that can lock onto up to 8 targets, almost the same as X-LAY. Score multiplier is up to 128x.

Another type of machine, R-GRAY2, is characterized by the ability to shoot lightning-shaped lasers that can lock onto up to 16 targets. You can lock on to up to 16 bodies, and the score multiplier reaches a maximum of 256x. However, since the attack power of the lightning-shaped laser is lower than the homing laser of R-GRAY1, the impression is that R-GRAY2 is ``suitable for earning scores, but its destruction performance is somewhat lacking.''

You can see how the weapons of R-GRAY1 and R-GRAY2 of 'Raystorm' are actually different by watching the following movie.

Review of the differences between 'Raystorm''s own aircraft 'R-GRAY1' and 'R-GRAY2' - YouTube

``Raystorm'' inherits the lock-on laser system from the previous game ``Rayforce'', but has new elements added. For example, by concentrating all of your lock-ons on one enemy, you can unleash a ``Hyper Laser'' with tremendous attack power.

Also, by filling up the 'SP ATTACK' gauge in the upper left, you can use special attacks.

When you unleash a special attack, your aircraft becomes invincible for a certain period of time and all enemy bullets on the screen disappear, so how you use it is very important.

Unlike the previous work 'Rayforce', which was a 2D vertical scrolling STG, 'Raystorm', which is a 3D vertical scrolling STG, has a slightly diagonal viewpoint, and there are terrain and backgrounds made of polygons, making it a little difficult to operate. It takes some getting used to. Even so, the range of play styles has expanded significantly due to the increased attack methods compared to the previous game, and the strategy has definitely become more advanced. Even with 3D polygons, the beauty of the laser is still there, and by trying again and again, you can build patterns and gain a sense of accomplishment as you advance your strategy.

In addition, 'Raystorm' of 'Ray's Arcade Chronology' includes not only the arcade version's BGM, but also '

Neu Tanz Mix ', which is an arrangement of the PlayStation version's extra mode BGM. To switch, select 'SOUND' from the options and switch 'Game BGM Settings'.

◆Third work “Lake Crisis”
'Rey Crisis', released in 1998, is the third work in the Rei series. It is positioned as a prologue to the first work, ``Ray Force'', and the story is about invading the virtual space of the mother computer ``Con-Human'' that appeared in ``Ray Force'' and stopping Con-Human from going out of control.

``Ray's Arcade Chronology'' includes ``Ray Crisis,'' a port of the arcade version, and ``Ray Crisis HD,'' a high-resolution version. You can compare the difference in image quality by moving the slide bar in the center below left and right.

The following movie is where I actually played Ray Crisis HD. The expressive power of 3D polygons has been improved compared to the previous game ``Raystorm'', and you can fully enjoy the complex and rigid science fiction world view while playing.

Ray Series 3rd work 'Ray Crisis' review, 3D vertical scrolling STG with ending that changes depending on 'erosion rate' - YouTube

The screen is a horizontal screen with an aspect ratio of 4:3.

A major feature of 'Rey Crisis' is that it has a save function even though it is an arcade game. You can save your clearing status by entering a passcode consisting of 4 alphanumeric characters and symbols.

If you enter the same passcode as the previous play, you can also select the stage you cleared last time. There are 5 types of stages, and you can freely combine them as you like.

Your machine is a device 'WR (Wave Rider)' that connects to virtual space, and in the initial state you can choose from two types: WR-01R and WR-02R. The WR-01R's armament is the same as the R-GRAY1 of 'Raystorm', a wide shot and a homing laser that can lock onto up to 8 targets.

WR-01R's armament is the same as Raystorm's R-GRAY2, which is a laser shot and a lightning-shaped laser that can lock onto up to 16 targets.

As in the previous game, you can shoot a 'hyper laser' by concentrating all lock-ons on one enemy.

In 'Rey Crisis', when you successfully use Hyper Laser, the score will now be displayed in the upper left corner. The ease of locking on has been improved compared to the previous game, ``Raystorm'', and you can now lock on to enemies just by aiming roughly.

The number displayed in the upper right corner is the 'erosion rate', which is the key to 'Lake Crisis'. WR is constantly being attacked by Con-Humans while connected to virtual space.

Therefore, if there are many enemies on the screen or if you miss them, the erosion rate will increase. To reduce the erosion rate, just defeat the enemy. In particular, if you lock on to a large number of people and defeat them, it will drop significantly.

Also, by quickly defeating large enemies and bosses that appear along the way, you can greatly reduce the erosion rate. However, the difficulty of the game increases as the erosion rate decreases, so the more enemies you defeat, the more enemies will appear and attack you.

Boss attacks are also more intense and annoying than in the previous game.

If you miss a moment, you may be hit with a mesh-like laser that will kill you.

The stages and enemy attacks change depending on the play situation, so it is not possible to conquer the game by just remembering the enemy's appearance patterns and terrain, and it seems that it is difficult to construct a strategy pattern for ``Rake Crisis'' even among the trilogy. However, the ending may change depending on the erosion rate, so it can be said that the replayability is quite high. Since I'm playing on a Nintendo Switch instead of an arcade machine at a game center, the good thing about it is that I can easily continue playing as many times as I want without having to worry about my wallet.

'Rey Crisis' has 5 stages in total, and the 5th stage is a battle with the final boss 'dis-human'.

The attacks of the giant dis-human have a high degree of murderous intent towards the player, and the player is forced to continue after being hit many times.

You can see how he struggles while being actually attacked by dis-human in the following movie.

``Rake Crisis'' final boss ``dis-human'' is killing me and I'm struggling - YouTube

After continuing many times, I finally defeated it. Please check for yourself to see what kind of ending you will receive.

In addition, 'Ray's Arcade Chronology''s 'Ray Crisis' can also play an arranged version of BGM separately from the arcade version. You can change the BGM by switching 'Game BGM Settings' from the 'SOUND' option.

◆“Ray’s Arcade Chronology” can also be played by two people
All of the Ray series were arcade games that could be played by two players. However, due to space limitations, it is quite difficult to play with two people in an arcade cabinet, and there are very few opportunities for two people to actually play the game. However, with Ray's Arcade Chronology, you can simply share the TV screen, so you can enjoy a relaxed two-player experience that you could not experience at a game center.

In particular, the home ported version of ``Ray Crisis'' was created entirely for one player, but ``Ray's Arcade Chronology'' ``Ray Crisis'' can also be played by two players, which was originally possible in the arcade version. It has become. So, the following movie is where two editorial staff actually played 'Lake Crisis'.

I tried playing 'Lake Crisis' with two people - YouTube

Before I started playing, I thought it might be a 'scrambling for lock-ons', but as the stage progresses the enemy's attacks become more intense, so there is no time to scramble for lock-ons. Anyway, the two of us will deploy shots and lasers. ``Rake Crisis'' has been enhanced with 3D polygons, so it's sometimes harder to see enemy bullets compared to the previous game, but since two players are shooting bullets and lasers, the screen becomes chaotic as the difficulty level increases. The puri was amazing.

Destruction of parts is important in boss battles, and since two people attack at the same time, there were times when I was able to defeat the boss more quickly than when playing alone.

The following is the result screen after defeating the boss on stage 3. By defeating the boss in just 30 seconds, the erosion rate dropped by 19%, and the erosion rate immediately after clearing was 18.1152%. I couldn't defeat the boss so quickly when I was playing alone, so the two editorial staff members shared their joy, saying, ``This is humanity's victory after all...''

◆Other functions
'Ray's Arcade Chronology' allows quick save and quick load. Once you start a game at a game center, you can't leave your seat until the game is over, but if you use the quick save and quick load functions of ``Ray's Arcade Chronology'', you can deal with sudden situations. To perform a quick save, select 'QUICK SAVE' from the pause menu. Multiple quick save data can be saved.

Select and load the saved quick save data from 'QUICK LOAD'.

The message 'READY?' will appear, so you have a few seconds to spare before the game starts after the data is loaded.

And since Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 are online compatible terminals, you can save your scores and replays on the ranking server. You can connect to the ranking server from 'RANKING' in the pause menu.

For example, below is the national ranking of 'Lake Crisis' at the time of article creation.

By downloading replays of players you are interested in, you can learn the patterns and moves of players at the top of the rankings.

When you're playing a game and have questions like 'How do I defeat this boss?' or 'How do I get through this stage without making mistakes?', you can find some hints by watching the play of top players. You might be able to do that.

Additionally, achievements may be unlocked if certain conditions are met during the game. You can view the game's achievements by selecting 'ACHIEVEMENT' from the title screen or pause menu.

You can check the unlock conditions for achievements you haven't taken, so you can make achievements your gameplay goals.

'Ray's Arcade Chronology' has been released for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. It is also available on Amazon.co.jp and can be ordered from 6,118 yen including tax.

Amazon | Ray's Arcade Chronology -Switch | Game

Amazon | Ray's Arcade Chronology -PS4 | Game

in Review,   Video,   Game,   , Posted by log1i_yk