By Taito Arcade/Playstation 2000

First Impressions by Matthew Ross


The gameplay is pretty much identical to Raystorm. You can pick from 3 different ships ( the new ship in this game is called the 'Waverider'). Two of these are basically variants of the R-Gray 1 and R-Gray 2, but with different names. The last one's different, with homing missiles as a standard weapon. One nice change is that your lock-ons now have a much more mobile targeting reticle, so you can hit enemies at the bottom of the screen. Unfortunately, you will be going solo this time around.. the 2 Player feature didn't make it in. When the game starts, you get to choose 3 stages to play, much like the Thunderforce games. This seemed like a cool idea at first, but then I reached the end of the 3rd stage, where I was faced by two gigantic bosses. After beating them, I really felt the game was starting up, but the credits began! It seems that the game is only three stages long! Quite astonishing, really (Must be longer than that surely?! - Mike). I managed to clear it on the first try using 9 credits, which says quite a bit considering I died an aweful lot. Boss fights are OK, but a bit boring. None of them are very challenging, and they have very little personality. However, the music for some of the bosses is incredible, and you end up wanting the bosses to last even longer so you can hear more of it...

Fortunately, the game is fun enough to be somewhat replayable. After beating the game with only 5 credits, you unlock 'secret players' in the options menu, which means you can use the R-Gray and R-Gray 2. The game REALLY feels like Raystorm using the old ships. I hope there's a lot more secret stuff to unlock, since I'll feel more like I've gotten my money's worth :) There's also a 'Special Mode', which should be longer (I hope!), since you don't pick any stages at the start.

Graphics are very good for a PSX - a little above the level of R-Type Delta. Everything's very smooth, with little polygon warping and lots of lighting effects. Tons of transparencies and cool special effects make the game look very sharp! The music is fantastic - easily the best Zuntata stuff I've ever heard. I'd waste no time in buying the soudntrack - it's that good. I've spent almost as much time letting the BGM-test run as I
have in the game itself!

Basically, you've got a nice, playable game with flashy graphics and awesome music, but there's not much else. Raystorm was much better. It's worth buying, but try and get it cheap, if you can. Better yet, buy the soundtrack CD! Zuntata really deserves support for their amazing effort this time, but I'm not sure that Taito does. It's a cool game, but rather disappointing eventually.

Matthew Ross

So here it is.. the eagerly awaited third game in Taito's Layer Section/'Ray'-shooter series. Matthew Ross gives his first impressions. Lock-on-lasers away..!!

The Neuro-Computer Con-Human, which was created for the good of mankind, has gone rogue. Commence Operation Raycrisis and dive into the Neuron Network. Start up the Wave Rider Cybernetics Link to join in the battle against the machine. Raycrisis is the prequel to the Rayforce series, based on the recent Taito G-Net arcade game.

Everything takes a cyberpunk theme this time; the story is set before Rayforce/Galactic Attack, and you're trying to stop the Con-Human computer in
virtual reality. This makes for some trippy graphical effects, but it's not nearly so exciting as dodging
huge spaceships and laser beams! The levels are consequently rather dull, with different areas
morphing in and out at will.

(Above) Before starting a game, you choose a path
that you wish to take (as in Thunder Force V). Areas
are called "Parts" and have names like Memory,
Consciousness, Emotion, Intelligence, Consideration,
and Self. You can choose the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th stages.

The Wave Rider is essentially your ship and you can choose from three types. WR-01 is like the original Rayforce ship (8 lock-on max) found in Galactic Attack. WR-02 is like R-Gray 2 from Raystorm (up to 16 lock-ons with a thunder snake laser that lets you lock-on other targets while it's zapping others). WR-03 is a bit different- you use the photon chain weapon instead of a lock-on laser. The Hyper Laser and Super Attack weapons are brought over from Raystorm. The Hyper Laser is used by getting ALL of your available lock-ons on one certain major target like a larger aircraft. Wait for this target to fly near a group of smaller enemies, and they will go down as well so you can rake in a bonus. The Super Attack called Round Divider is basically your smartbomb which will clear out bullets and leave you invincible for a few seconds. Taito did not tamper much with the game play of Raystorm. The powerups will be familiar to Raystorm players- there are the red pyramids (shot level up), green diamonds (for additional lock-on capabilities), and the blue star-pickup which gives you Maximum power.

Thanks Matthew! Raycrisis does look like to some extent a worthy release for Taito's most famous of vertical shooter series.. but to be honest I don't really fancy paying the high import prices for the game at the moment. Although I'm a big Taito and Zuntata fan and like the 'Ray' series it's just not one of my all time faves.. know what I mean? I do look forward to playing it at some point though ;) Mike

Raycrisis Links:

Gameoverdude.com review
Taito's Arcade

Soundtrack samples

Credits: Some info from Steve's review at
gameoverdude.com. Screenshots from Taito and IGN

I'll be adding more info and hopefully screenshots
when I get a chance to play the game myself!

Other reviews in the series:
Rayforce (aka Layer Section/Galactic Attack)
Raystorm (aka Layer section 2)

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