[Review] Raptor: Call of the Shadows


REVIEW # 00000000 00111110

Raptor: Call of the Shadows is only one of the games heirs of the long tradition of one of the oldest video games genre, the shooter. It’s even one of the major hits (at least technically speaking) for Apogee, the company which had its golden age in the early 90s with games such as Duke Nukem. I started playing Raptor in 1995 the year after I got my first PC when I found it in a bunch of games a friend of mine borrowed me for a couple of weeks. It’s a shame it’s only a one-player game!

My heart says…

I want to be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of the shoot ’em ups. Maybe I was born in the wrong era, I only watched the tail of the golden age of arcade shooters, I missed the boom of Space Invaders and I started to enjoy some of the most iconic titles only very recently: I tried and enjoyed for example Defender, Galaga and Galaxian only this year. However in the old days I have to admit I tried any kind of game and talking about the shooters (horizontal or vertical, even if I have an unjustified predilection for the vertical) the two I played the most were Raptor and the almost forgotten and slipped through the cracks Tubular Worlds (I think just because it was in a cheap game compilation). And I kinda liked it! Lately I’ve read that Raptor got a wide praise from the critic so this time I was quite farsighted!

Splash screen

The main menu of Raptor is so 90s…Unfortunately is more gloomy that the game actually is, but the most heartwarming part of it is the “Order Info”. From this tip you should easily tell which one is the company behind the game

Graphics

Raptor received very good reviews regarding the graphics and I can only agree with them. Every scenario is full of colour, detailed and the game do not suffer any slow down even when the action is most intense. It’s quite simple after all but sometimes is better to do something simple that works instead of something too detailed that in the end fails.

Narrative

We read from 3D Realms site:

In the future a mercenary flying the [advanced] Raptor, is sent on interplanetary missions to [destroy] top competitors of MegaCorps

At least there are no alien asses to kick. Just a sane and mortal competition between corporation. Stuff for conspirationists and Syndycate fans…

Gameplay

As you can imagine the game is rather easy, at least concept-wise. You have to fly yor jet through a sort of light version of a bullet hell until the end of the level when you’ll find the classic boss you have to fill with lead in order to destroy it.

The game is divided in three macro “worlds”, called sectors: Bravo, Tango and Outer Regions and each sector is divided in 9 levels, called waves for a total of 27 different scenarios. Needless to say, the best ones and the most various are the last 9 (Outer Regions). The aim is obviously, to destroy everything that appears on the screen, in the air or on the land and every “kill” gives a number of credits proportional to the strenght of the target. Collecting credits is vital since the jet can be upgraded and boosted with deadly weapons and shields, fundamental to advance through the game.

There are four difficulty levels, Training, Rookie, Veteran and Elite.

In comparison to other shoot ’em ups, Raptor jet is very durable and doesn’t fall in pieces everytime is hit; on the other side, there are no “lives” to spend so once you’re destroyed, you’re dead.

Sound

What can you expect from a top down shooter? Sound of missiles, bombs and explosions. So nothing special.

Longevity

Raptor is not an easy game and to beat it you have to be very patient, try a lot of times and be rather precise. This means that the longevity level is set to high. Luckily is not boring as some other games on the genre so it’s quite exciting to play it over and over again. So…you have to give it a try!

Final Score 71/100


Year: 1994

Developer: Mountain King Studios

Publisher: Apogee

Genre: Shooter, Vertical Scrolling Shoot ’em up

Game Mode: Single Player

Original Platform: MS-DOS, Windows, Linux

From the same developers:

  • DemonStar (1998)

From the same publishers:

Inspired to:

  • 1942 (1984)
  • Aleste a.k.a Power Stike (1988)
  • Xenon (1988)

If you liked it you can also try:

  • Tubular Worlds (1994)
  • Raiden (1994)

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Don’t feel bad! Shoot ’em ups aren’t really my type of game either. I can definitely see the appeal in the stress release, but they’ve just never been my thing. It’s funny though, I grew up in the age of Space Invaders and Asteroid, but my nostalgic love for those games didn’t translate to the modern era. I think they could be fun if you have more than one player and can either compete or collaborate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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