RedRaptor (XSX) Review with stream

A vertical shooter published by EastAsiaSoft, RedRaptor has its heart in the right place, but a few inconveniences hold back the experience from making this a must-play. 

Thankfully, this is not a roguelike so stages will be the same each time. However, this is a shooter designed around the need to grind. With each attempt, the player will earn gold from defeating enemies. This gold can then be spent on the main menu to increase typical shooter stats: increase weapon power, can add bits to your ship, enhance defense, etc.  

Since there are many abilities to enhance, the player will need to grind the first stage several times before the boss of stage 2 can be defeated (there is definitely a difficulty spike with this second boss). Once a couple hours have been spent replaying the first area to gain enough gold to become strong enough to actually make progress, the excitement will diminish. This also cheapens the online leaderboard. The highest scores are players that have taken the time to unlock everything whereas newbies have no chance to climb those ranks due to simply being unpowered.  

The ship has a health bar and it is possible to find shield drops from defeated enemies, there is only one life available. Die and it is back to level 1. The purchased ability upgrades are permanent but there is an odd option to buy – 2x gold on the next run.  However, this optional item must be repurchased each time and essentially must be purchased if you want to make a dent in buying new upgrades. After spending my hard-earned cash on this 2x one-time upgrade, I decided to quit back to the main menu a few minutes into playing the first stage to adjust options since they are not accessible during gameplay. This unfairly burned my 2x upgrade purchase, which was annoying. 

Also, it needs to be said that this game is loud. This is why I needed to go back to the options; the audio is uncomfortably loud. If you watch my stream embedded in this article, I had to turn it off completely.  

While the gameplay is fluid, not having any slowdown, it is odd that the player’s ship is locked to the four main directions. Not being able to use the analogue stick to move in any direction is limiting and also makes the game a little tougher. After playing for a while, I got used to it, but it just feels a little weird for a shooter. 

RedRaptor has the groundwork of a solid shooter: upgradable abilities, fluid gameplay, and simple straight-to-the-point gameplay. There is even a subtly hidden QR code on the main UI that leads to the dev’s website, which is pretty cool. But the grindy gameplay and difficulty spikes isn’t for everyone. There is potential here and is a perfect example of what could be if it ever gets a sequel.  

SCORE: 6.5/10

Also Try: Feeble Light 

Better Than: Wings of Bluestar

Not Quite As Grindy As: I, AI

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGazPlease consider supporting me on Patreon.

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