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Radiant Silvergun Review

Official Score

Overall - 90%


Radiant Silvergun is one of the best shmups of all time, and Live Wire’s release manages to capture Treasure's treasure in the best light. For those who have yet to dive into its intricate world, this is a must play.

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The team at Live Wire has teamed up with the industry veterans at Treasure to release the shoot-em-up Radiant Silvergun on Steam. Featuring a unique scoring system with a number of quality of life improvements, should players hit the battlefield once more?

Radiant Silvergun Review

Featuring an over-the-top anime story with even more over-the-top reactions, Radiant Silvergun tells of a world that has been wiped out by a stone-like object. As one of the last survivors, it’s up to players to pilot a craft and get some sweet, sweet revenge.

Of course, Radiant Silvergun prides itself first and foremost on its action. This isn’t a typical shmup with a simple rate of fire; variety is the spice of life in this title. Each shot is mapped to a different button, with players choosing from accurate homing shots and homing spread shots, forward vulcan lasers, backward shots, and even diagonal shots. There’s even a meter that transforms one’s homing sword into a hyper sword with a period of invincibility – just the thing to get the edge in battle.

Sounds confusing? It can be difficult to figure out which button to press in any given scenario, but everything becomes second nature before too long. Having a suite of options is absolutely refreshing; something we wish more shmups had. It helps the game feel lively throughout its different stages, making players feel like an unstoppable machine once everything clicks.

Another thing that makes Radiant Silvergun stand out is its leveling system. Defeat enough foes with any given weapon, and players will be able to gain EXP to make it that much stronger. Leaning on one weapon is all fine and dandy, but tight corridors and its many, many bosses mean that players need to vary things up. Spraying and praying will lead to “No Refuge;” wrangling the intricacies of the system is key.

Once players get down the shooting mechanics of this title, they can then move over to its chaining system. Enemies are in pairs and are color-coded; defeat three of any type and players will be able to pull off a chain. Those weaned on its sequel Ikaruga will know the deal, and there is even a setting to emulate the style found there.

Therein lies the joy of Radiant Silvergun; everything has been carefully organized for the perfect run. Getting to the point where one can one credit clear means that players can see the sheer amount of work that went into designing its world. While this title is a bit on the short side, nailing the tight corridors, getting a high score, and even finding the secret bosses means truly absorbing oneself into its world – a shining quality of a great shmup.

For those that have already played the title in previous iterations like the SEGA Saturn import and the Xbox Live version on the Xbox 360, this release features a number of quality of life improvements.. Players can hit the leaderboards, and can also choose between the Arcade and Story mode with voice overs and anime headshots. Everything can be tweaked to one’s liking, and while there aren’t too many extra features outside of the core game, what is here serves as the definitive version of Radiant Silvergun.

Radiant Silvergun is one of the best shmups of all time, and Live Wire’s release manages to capture Treasure’s treasure in the best light. For those who have yet to dive into its intricate world, this is a must play.

This review of Radiant Silvergun was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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