Infinite ammo baby!
Ah, the convenience of infinite ammo. No limits to the amount of pew-pew and destruction you can wreak on your enemy. Go all day and all night, just like your pilot alter-go in Raptor: Call of the Shadows.
Raptor is a pretty simple, vertical scrolling shoot’em up, much like Tyrian 2000 and other arcade games of the mid-90s, still popular at your local Timezone today. Its title screen is accompanied by an ominous, thunderous sound. Another clap of thunder reveals that you’re a mercenary tasked with killing off as many of your employer’s competitors as possible, while also laying waste to their operations. This is the kind of game that is full of explosions. Me likey!
There are three environments and nine levels in each, with a scaling difficulty level, linked with the number, ferocity and weapons used by the enemies you encounter, including the bosses. The main objective is to kill as many of the cannon fodder ships as possible, whilst avoiding being killed so that you can earn your way to buying bigger and better means of destruction. Even though the environments differ, the types of enemies you encounter are reasonably predictable, making the game not overly difficult.
Even though Raptor is simple, reasonably short and has graphics that have since been superseded by generations of technology, there’s just something about its no frills gameplay that makes it worth revisiting. Kind of like your grandparents’ home, full of old stuff, like wooden TVs and AM radios, that have no business surviving in today’s mobile and WiFi connected world. Yet, Raptor does, it’s aged well and it’s got that extra bit of pixie dust that undoubtedly makes it just that much better.
I love going back and playing games like this: simple, clean and devoid of any bugs that can ruin your enjoyment. It speaks to a bygone era, where things were much simpler, developers weren’t strapped with the impossible demands of multiple endings, while maintaining some semblance of a plot that can be realistically written by
slave monkeys their team.