Review: Ray’z Arcade Chronology – SHMUP Everything You See

During the early 90s, the games that dominated the arcade scene were shoot ’em-up titles. These were action-packed and made with the intention of getting players to spend more of their quarters in hopes of continuing, which was often due to the crazy difficulty of most of these games. Shmups as they came to be known were popular among gamers who loved a quick fix of fast-paced gameplay. During that era, TAITO released the Ray series in arcades, which consisted of three games that pit you against legions of mechanical enemies in a chaotic shooter. The Ray’z Arcade Chronology for PlayStation 4 (also on Nintendo Switch) bundles together all three games together into one package, allowing everyone to try out these classic arcade shooters for the first time if they never did so back in the day.

What makes the Ray series a little different than other shmup games is how it plays with the foreground and background of stages. You’re able to attack enemies ahead of you with your standard shot, but you also have a secondary shot that locks onto enemies that are receded into the background. Getting through stages requires you to actively fire both your weapons at incoming enemies in both areas, including bosses that you face at the end of each stage. This can be a lot of fun and get very chaotic, especially when the screen fills up with bullets from enemies coming at you in all directions. The Ray games can be very tough to complete because of this, but luckily the Ray’z Arcade Chronology lets you continue endlessly if you find yourself getting shot down.

The three games that are part of the Ray’z Arcade Chronology include Rayforce, Raystorm, and Raycrisis. Although the gameplay of each is primarily the same, the latter two games have extra features and changes introduced into the series. This includes 3D graphics and new attacks that started with Raystorm, as well as more stages and alternate endings that came with Raycrisis. If you find yourself enjoying one of the games, chances are you’ll feel the same about the rest. They’re easy to get into but can be very tough to finish.

Luckily there are some additional features in this package, but it’s only a fraction of what could have been. Both Raystorm and Raycrisis can be played in their original arcade versions, as well as an HD version with higher-definition graphics for modern televisions. The original Rayforce doesn’t have this at all, which is a shame because it’s the first in the series. For the other two games, there’s almost no differences between both versions outside of the visuals. You’re getting the same experience either way you play through them.

Although Ray’z Arcade Chronology has trophy support for all three games, there are no other extras related to them. There is no Gallery with artwork, no section that tells the history of the Ray series, or anything else related. It’s confusing why no other effort went into including any bonus content for fans of the series, including things that could have been unlockables for playing or finishing all three games.

Although the screen during gameplay shows things like what music is playing, including other technical details about your ship, you don’t have a jukebox or music gallery to listen to any of the music from any of the games. This is disappointing because it makes Ray’z Arcade Chronology feel very meager as a package, leaving Ray fans with little to nothing else to enjoy alongside these games.

Those that love being competitive with their arcade games have Replay downloads and Rankings to explore. You can compare your scores and playtime to everyone online, as well as save your playthrough to share with others in every version of these games. There’s not much you can get from interacting with any of this unless you really care about personal rankings and speed runs. Although this stuff is great to have, it would have been far better to have other bonuses related to the Ray series than just this alone. And although the games all have local multiplayer co-op play, it would have been even more interesting to allow online co-op multiplayer for each game. This would’ve made the entire package feel more valuable.

If you love classic arcade shooters, then you may enjoy checking out Ray’z Arcade Chronology. All three games are fun to play through and considered classics in the genre that still hold up well. The Ray games are quick to get into and challenging enough to test your skills to their limit. But if you were hoping for more from this bundle to explore more about the series, you’ll be disappointed at what is here. Without any additional extras or bonus features to enhance the experience of playing these games, Ray’z Arcade Chronology just feels like a meager package.

Are you a fan of classic arcade shooters? Will you be checking out Ray’z Arcade Chronology on any platform? Share your thoughts on everything down below in the comment section!

Ray’z Arcade Chronology
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    Ray’z Arcade Chronology - 70%


This bundle has three classic arcade games that are still fun to play through. Each game is easy to get into and very challenging to finish. Rankings and Replay saves are a nice addition, but there is a severe lack of extra content and bonuses. Two of the three games can be played with HD visuals, which look great on modern TVs. strives to be an apolitical, balanced and based pop culture news outlet. However, our contributors are entitled to their individual opinions. Author opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of our video hosts, other site contributors, site editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. This website contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. We disclaim products or services we have received for review purposes, as well as sponsored posts.

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Jakejames Lugo
Jakejames Lugo
Jakejames Lugo is a writer and content creator that has been covering video games, movies, and various sides of entertainment for over a decade. He has published reviews and articles on many different outlets and continues to make content for different platforms. Jakejames also makes video content regularly for places like YouTube and TikTok, and share daily posts about gaming on social media.

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