The original Lightning Warrior Raidy, which we first got our hands on here in the west back in 2008, was a solid dungeon-crawling RPG with a significant lewd yuri element. Much of its appeal came from the fact that it added some actual character, personality and story to both its adventuring and its lewd scenes — the interactive elements of the gameplay helped players form a connection with the heroine, and made them want to see her quest through.
Lightning Warrior Raidy II, which we first saw in the west in 2010, originally came out for Japanese MS-DOS PCs in 1995. It was ported to Windows 95, FM Towns and PC-9821 a year later — then completely remade, much like the first game, for Windows XP systems in 2007. It’s this latter version that the localisation is based on.
Like its predecessor, Lightning Warrior Raidy II is a very simple dungeon crawler. Raidy once again explores alone, and battles one-on-one against enemies. Her available abilities in combat are limited to attacking, defending, using curative items and charging or using her lightning magic, and likewise most of the enemies don’t do much other than attack or defend.
There’s a lot of very recognisable elements in Lightning Warrior Raidy II if you played the first game. There are plenty of reused graphics and music tracks, for one thing — though there’s also plenty of new, original stuff, too — and the overall gameplay feels very similar for the most part. But there are a few notable differences worth mentioning.
Probably the most significant is the fact that Lightning Warrior Raidy II has abandoned the first game’s cumbersome map system, in which you can’t see a map of the level you’re on until you find a specific map item on that floor. This sort of thing is fine for the Zeldas of the world, but when it comes to dungeon crawlers like Lightning Warrior Raidy II, which are all mazes of twisty little passages that look very similar to one another, it’s a bit inconvenient for the player who doesn’t happen to have graph paper to hand.
With that in mind, Lightning Warrior Raidy II adopts a more conventional auto-map system in which stepping into a square causes it to be marked on the map. This means that in order to fill out the map you need to step on every square — some dungeon crawlers also fill out elements of the map that are in line of sight or in the surrounding eight cells — but this isn’t a huge issue; for the most part, it’s a whole lot more convenient.
The other fairly significant change comes in combat. Now, rather than Raidy using her lightning magic simply consuming half her current magic points, she can spend a turn or more charging up her magic — though this of course leaves her vulnerable to attack. The more turns she charges, the more powerful the strike she will be able to unleash, so this can be useful for dealing with enemies who are a little too tough for Raidy’s normal sword strikes to damage reliably.
Aside from this, things unfold relatively similarly to the original Lightning Warrior Raidy, although in Lightning Warrior Raidy II you’re exploring several different dungeons in the area rather than simply attempting to make your way up a single tower.
As in the previous game, Lightning Warrior Raidy II combines its dungeon crawling with elements of Japanese adventure games; often, opening a door into a room will switch to a piece of 2D art of what is in the room, offering Raidy a number of options as to how she might want to interact with what’s in there. There are a lot of empty rooms that are mostly there to waste your (and Raidy’s) time, but sometimes you’ll encounter characters or special locations — and it’s when you stumble across these that Lightning Warrior Raidy II is at its most interesting.
The addition of these simple adventure game elements helps elevate Lightning Warrior Raidy II from being a relatively unremarkable dungeon crawler — albeit one with lovely art — into something much more memorable and interesting. It’s these parts of the game that make the whole experience feel more immersive and packed with personality; it’s easy for dungeon crawlers in general to feel quite dry and mechanics-centric, but Lightning Warrior Raidy II, like its precursor, sidesteps that matter nicely.
It helps, of course, that once again all the enemies are monster girls in various provocative outfits — and that beating them in combat tends to strip them naked or at the very least shred their clothing. And, again, encountering the bosses tends to coincide with the game’s most sexual scenes — the western releases of the game have always made a big deal of the fact that both victory and defeat in boss battles results in some sort of sexual scene, though in the latter case you still get a Game Over and have to reload a save.
As in the original Lightning Warrior Raidy, the majority of the sexual scenes focus on girl-on-girl action, though it is worth noting that there are a few scenes involving men this time around — something which fans of pure yuri haven’t been a big fan of since the game’s original release.
The weak of stomach may wish to be aware that there are a few bondage, enema and scat scenes this time around — though the latter two in particular are very infrequent. There’s no option to turn them off as there is in some games that include this type of content, however, so do be prepared for them. Generally speaking you will, if you pardon the expression, see them coming and be able to steel yourself accordingly.
Essentially, if you enjoyed the first Lightning Warrior Raidy, there’s simply more of it to enjoy in Lightning Warrior Raidy II. Some of the content here may not be to everyone’s taste, but the same was true of the first game. Go in with an open mind and a strong stomach and there’s a really enjoyable, satisfying dungeon crawler to have some fun with here.
It’s not the most complex game in the world, no, but for those who enjoy fairly no-nonsense hack-and-slash adventures with some strong, appealing characters and pleasant art — not to mention a delightfully ’90s MIDI soundtrack — you might be surprised just how long this one will hold your attention.
Lightning Warrior Raidy II is available from JAST USA.
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