ININ Games released Taito and M2’s Ray’z Arcade Chronology late last month on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, and I’ve been playing and enjoying it quite a bit on Switch. While most of M2’s releases like this have introduced me to a game, I actually did play quite a bit of the Saturn version of RayForce through Layer Section and Galactic Attack S-Tribute from CityConnection. The other games included in Ray’z Arcade Chronology are new to me though. The Ray’z Arcade Chronology includes the trio of games in the series with the two later 3D games also including their HD versions. Barring the home console versions when applicable, this collection is exhaustive, and M2 has done a superb job as usual. In my Ray’z Arcade Chronology Switch review, I’m going to cover the games, the features included in this release, and whether it is worth your time and money.
If you’re new to this series, Ray’z Arcade Chronology Switch includes the 1994-released vertical shoot ’em up RayForce, the 1996-released vertical shooter with 3D visuals RayStorm, and the final game in the series which was released in 1998, RayCrisis. Both RayStorm and RayCrisis also feature HD versions in addition to the arcade versions. Before getting into the two games I hadn’t played, Ray’z Arcade Chronology Switch’s version of RayForce is sublime and I do not need the S-Tribute version anymore. RayForce has been an absolute joy to play on Switch
RayForce was the most interesting inclusion in this release because I had already played the S-Tribute release. The Ray’z Arcade Chronology version is my favorite for sure, and you can see the difference between the features and gadgets across M2’s release and CityConnection’s S-Tribute release in the comparison below. Not only does the Ray’z Arcade Chronology version feel better to play, it also has more features and is overall the definitive version of RayForce on Switch.
When M2 released G-Darius HD, I loved what the team did for that release with the original and HD version. With RayStorm and RayCrisis, we have similar HD versions of those games. Some publishers would just opt to release these, but M2 also allows us to play the original arcade versions with the older visuals. I continue to be impressed with the team’s work on these releases. RayForce is still my favorite of the lot, but RayStorm has been fun to play. RayCrisis is my least favorite game in this package though.
As a true M2 release, Ray’z Arcade Chronology offers various screen options, gadgets which you can toggle on or off, different game settings and accessibility options, and control options. The gadgets are always a highlight in M2’s releases, and while the Ray’z Arcade Chronology isn’t as amazing as an M2 ShotTriggers release, it is close. With screen options, you can opt for pixel perfect or fullscreen and fit to screen display types with smoothing and scanline options. You can also enable a background if needed. TATE mode is also available alongside an option to keep the menu orientation same as the game or different. There isn’t really anything missing when it comes to screen and gameplay options in M2’s Ray’z Arcade Chronology.
The one major disappointment in Ray’z Arcade Chronology on Switch (and PS4) is the lack of a proper gallery or museum with information, interviews, and more. This release could’ve done with one of those so we could have trailers, a digital artbook, and more.
Ray’z Arcade Chronology from M2 and ININ Games is an easy recommendation even at full price for any fan of vertical shoot ’em ups. While I think RayForce is the highlight, any fan of the Ray series of games will find a lot to love in the Ray’z Arcade Chronology. M2 never misses, and this release has just about everything I wanted. I do hope that ININ Games’ next release involving M2 manages to go the extra mile and also give us a museum for the games included.