Lightning Warrior Raidy review
Enjoyable but Lacking
It's no secret anymore that I've really got into the whole visual novel genre, and it's obvious that most of the ones I've played through have distinct adult themes. Raidy caught my eye because it was an adult themed title with actual gameplay. As much as I love visual novels, I can't call clicking decisions gameplay and so I thought this might prove to be an interesting take on the concept. Aside from lacking the relationship concepts I was hoping for (should have done some research on this beforehand) Raidy was a bit disappointing. It's not really such a bad game, but it has some notable faults that a collection of X rated CGs can't disguise.
Lightning Warrior Raidy throws you into a series of passageways and rooms with naught but a sword, a lame excuse for armour and a special attack and basically tells you 'Good Luck'. Movement is done either with the arrow keys on the keyboard or by using the mouse to click the onscreen arrows. Since Raidy moves in set steps it makes movement a bit stuttery but at least we get the freedom to move about. The four arrows allow you to move forward, back and turn left and right. Since these arrows are always visible you can always use them, even if it means headbutting a wall.
Each floor is essentially a maze area where you have to find your way from the entrance to the boss chamber, and from there it's a short walk to the stairway to the next floor. This makes up one half of the gameplay, as simply finding your way around can be a challenge in itself. Each floor usually has a map hidden around somewhere that shows the layout on your minimap, but said maps usually are not near the entrance so you spend some time searching blind.
Finding your way around is made more difficult by the placement of fake walls and warp spots, which obviously won't be known until you walk into them. Sometimes this can get a little irritating when you either have to headbutt the wall trying to find an opening or you walk forward and suddenly find yourself back near the entrance because a warp was there. Othertimes this is used fairly well, like using warps to cleverly access areas or locating a secret passageway.
Unfortunately, there are some other elements that don't work as well. First of all, objects aren't visible until you trip across them, which can make exploring for pickups a but hit and miss as rooms initially appear empty. Even the staircase to the next or previous floor is not visible until you walk right into it. This can lead to some additional battles when you're just trying to see if something is there.
There are also very few puzzles to solve outside of simply finding your way around. There are a few obscure ones, but ultimately not all that much to challenge the mind. Given the nature of the game I might have understood this if the maze like floors weren't tricky to find your way around, so it's a bit strange and leads to some repetition.
Raidy makes use of the classic random battle system, where 'monster' girls appear out of nowhere to fight. Each floor has its own set of three monster girls comprising of weak, medium and strong (relative to the floor - later floors will have even the weak enemies posing a threat).
Combat itself generally covers the RPG basics, with some odd choices. You've got your basic attack that is free to use but can potentially miss. You'll be using this the most since there's no consequence to using it. For a bit of added punch you can use her lightning blade attack, which has an interesting system in place. This attack will always use up half of Raidy's current MP, and the damage output is based on the amount of MP used. This way it's almost impossible to be unable to use it but it grows weaker as your MP drops. It would have been nice to have more than just these two attacks though.
Items can also be used. Generally these cover the standard HP and MP restorative items, but you do also have items for curing poison. Items themselves are earned as rewards randomly from battles or finding them in chests, as there's no shop system to speak of. That's about it though, as the game's item system simply isn't as extensive as your standard RPG.
For some reason there's also a guard option that decreases incoming damage for one turn, but it's completely pointless. Since it's 1 on 1 fighting then all guarding does is give the enemy a free turn. You also have an option to run from battle, which can succeed or fail like any other RPG. Generally the stronger the enemy in relation to Raidy's level the less likely an escape will succeed, but running from some of the higher levelled enemies may be required to survive.
You also have the bosses on each floor, although really these are basically stronger enemies. One interesting trait is that most bosses have a secret that you must find out first by finding the prisoners on the same floor, or else you'll automatically lose the fight. Of course, this can also be annoying too, as it means restarting from the last save if you run into a boss room without it, and this happens without warning. Once you have the secret you can fight them as normal, spamming items and lightning attacks more than you would in basic fights.
The difficulty is of some concern. It has a tendency to spike between floors, so while you'll end one floor owning even the hard enemies, even the weak enemies of the next floor will be significantly stronger than you and it will take some levelling to counter this. It may even require saving often and this can lead to some frustration when you just want to move on.
Like any RPG Raidy earns experience for every battle she wins and levels up at a notable rate. As you increase in levels you'll improve stats like attack, defence, accuracy and avoid, as well as boosting the max HP and MP you can hold. The jump between levels is fairly notable without taking it to extremes so it feels worth it. You can also affect stats by finding equippable items in chests around the place.
Raidy isn't a particularly long game, especially for a RPG. Part of the lifespan is made up of grinding due to the difficulty so that's not too cool anyway, but even past that there isn't a great deal to see.
As expected from a game of this nature, the visuals are stunning. Character artwork is stunning, with some fairly creative girl designs based on common monster archetypes. There's also quite a range of them, with sets of 3 to each floor and the appropriate boss. The girls aren't animated as such, but start off in a battle pose and switch to a more revealing defeated pose when you beat them. The interior of the tower is also impressive looking at first, with weathered stone brick walls and wooden doors scattered about the place. The drawback here is a total lack of variety as it all looks the same. By the time I'd reached the end of the second floor I was pretty tired of seeing the same wall designs only for the same ones to hit me like a brick to the face upon entering the third floor.
The HUD is very clear and provides a wealth of information. The top-right has a minimap of the area (although before finding the relevant map it's pretty much blank). This is an excellent way of finding your way around. It can even be toggled on or off if you wanted to free up that portion of the screen, although turning it off is not recommended. Basic stats for Raidy are listed at the top left corner, showing level, HP, MP and condition. Then you have the options and subscreen icons along the bottom that are clear and simple to use with a mouse click.
The game also packs some nice CGs in here that are beautifully rendered. Practically all of them are adult themed and cover a variety of themes, although it seems the boss monster girls of the tower have a thing for tying damsels up. Boss CGs are interesting in that there are two sets for each depending on whether you win or lose the fight as well. Needless to say Raidy doesn't feel a need to act reserved with these, although it's a shame that a CG gallery isn't open until you've cleared the game.
Soundwise the music is nice but repetitive. Battle music is quite upbeat, while the tower exploration music has a sort of medieval subdued tone to it, but the number of music tracks in the game can be counted on one hand so it becomes boring after a while. Voice work is alright even if Raidy herself sounds less like a hardened warrior and more like a high school student. Oddly I found the voicework of the boss characters to be more compelling and believable, but in all not too bad.
As for the plot... haha. The core background isn't terrible but is flimsy. Girls have been disappearing from a town and Raidy comes along and enters the tower to stop the kidnappings. That's really about all it amounts to as the rest is simply finding prisoners and finding the bosses. There's some conversation exchanges happening but Raidy's reactions are just too unnatural and naturally the boss characters don't get much screentime to really develop. Any sense of credibility is kinda thrown out the window anyway during some sequences, like when Raidy comes across a guy that promises to give her a useful item if she complies with his requests (the nature of which you should be able to guess) and the whole scene just paints her as gullible and thick.
Granted I was never expecting the next Final Fantasy coming into this game, but even with such expectations Raidy has problems. There's just not enough substance, whether you're addressing the gameplay, sound or plot. There are some neat concepts in here and there's some enjoyment before repetition sets in, but there was such potential that's been missed here. It's an interesting alternative adult title but the experience ends up a little average.
was this review helpful to you?
In order to comment on this user review you must login