Ray’z Arcade Chronology (Nintendo Switch) Review

A Ray of Sunshine!
Ray’z Arcade Chronology Header

TAITO’s Ray’z Arcade Chronology finally got a release on Nintendo Switch thanks to ININ Games and M2. This compilation brings 3 classic games back from the past in fully-remastered glory. If you’ve never had a chance to play them before, this is the perfect opportunity to dive into some extremely enjoyable arcade shoot-’em-up history.

Sadly, this digital chronology doesn’t include R-Gear an unfinished prototype RayForce sequel, but players still get access to 3 stellar games – 2 of them offering both the HD version and the original versions.

RayForce, RayStorm, and RayCrisis in one package

Ray’z Arcade Chronology features RayForce, RayStorm, and RayCrysis.

Each remastered game features an option to enable scanlines and tweak a variety of UI elements to your liking. As M2 are no strangers to bringing old games back to life on modern hardware, so all 3 of the games in this package run ridiculously smoothly even when there’s a lot going on during massive battles. It would have been nice if a “Rewind” feature was included in the game but the fact that you can quick-save and quick-load at any time assists with the game’s high difficulty in a similar manner.

Diving into the games themselves, RayForce was released in 1994 in arcades in Japan, with a subsequent port to the Sega Saturn and later Microsoft Windows.

It’s as classic as you can get when it comes to scrolling shoot ‘em ups and still feels great to play almost 30 years later. Players will be thrust straight into the heat of battle, able to fire their basic layers and homing missiles at incoming enemies that are in either the background or foreground. It’s pure, classic, unadulterated shoot-’em-up fun.

Ray'z Arcade Chronology RayForce 1994

RayStorm – the game that came after RayForce though not thematically related – has access to significantly enhanced graphics over its predecessor and renders ships that are no longer 2D.

After a brief introductory cutscene that was clearly intended to show off the graphical advancements, players will take to the skies in their advanced spacecraft and do battle with a range of different enemy ships and more. TAITO clearly wanted to show off with this title and both its gameplay and presentation are fantastic. This is the real star of the show in Ray’z Arcade Chronology and the title we sunk the most time into racking up high scores.

Ray'z Arcade Chronology RayStorm 1996

RayCrisis, the third title in this Chronology, serves as a prequel to RayForce, and features a far more techno-themed aesthetic that better ties into the story of the original.

Players in this title use their Waverider ship to fight against enemy artificial intelligence forces and it plays out quite similarly to RayForce – albeit with enhanced 3D visuals.

Ray'z Arcade Chronology RayCrisis 2000

When it comes to the overall visual package and performance, Ray’z Arcade Chronology looks and plays fantastic on Nintendo Switch.

The ability to pick up and play a shoot-’em-up on the go is immensely satisfying, while the Quick-Save and Quick-Load feature seals the deal. You see, battles can be quite chaotic and the ability to quickly reload makes it easier to get used to the game’s difficulty over time. The small form factor is also perfect for an arcade collection that will easily keep you entertained as you tackle levels and earn high scores. The soundtracks of all titles are great with TAITO’s Zuntata band doing an amazing job here as per usual.

It would have been nice if there were some more historical details, development anecdotes, or concept art included but, sadly, that isn’t the case here. There are challenges to complete though, which adds to the game’s longevity – especially for completionists.

A Ray of Sunshine!

Overall, the Ray’z Arcade Chronology is a solid collection of shoot-’em-up games from an era long gone. If you’ve enjoyed classic titles and remasters of R-Type and G-Darius, chances are you will enjoy Ray’Z too. If you’re a fan of games where dodging enemy projectiles while dishing out massive amounts of damage is the order of the day, give this a go.

Ray’z Arcade Chronology

Ray’z Arcade Chronology
8 10 0 1
Total Score
  • Gameplay
    8/10 Very Good
  • Graphics
    8/10 Very Good
  • Design
    8/10 Very Good

The Good

  • Great collection of retro shoot 'em ups!
  • Quick Save and Quick Load feature
  • Numerous UI options
  • Excellent Soundtracks

The Bad

  • R-Gear is not included in this package
  • No additional bonus concept artwork or history
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