by Phoenix Desertsong, Nostalgic Video Gamer
Raptor: Call of the Shadows was one of my favorite PC games growing up. It was a top-down vertical scrolling shooter by Apogee Software & Cygnus Studios from 1994. Sure, I probably wasted far too many hours playing it, but it was fun! It’s similar to another classic game called Major Stryker, which I also enjoyed immensely as a kid. For whatever reason, Raptor has really lived on unlike many of its contemporaries. Heck, there are YouTube streamers who still even play it on livestream!
This Raptor longplay on stream by cs188creations is super awesome. It’s 2 and a half hours long, so don’t feel pressured to watch the whole thing. But, you can get the whole experience by watching it. He played it on max difficulty WITHOUT SAVING! Yeah, he died a couple of times, but that’s what you get from going hardcore!
Like many older games, there were some cheats that made the game easier. These included skipping levels and a “god mode.” But, I always preferred to play the old fashioned way. I pretty much only played on MAX difficulty - Elite - but I always saved the game after every wave!
Pros of Raptor
The soundtrack for this game was so good that I’d find myself humming tracks from it all the time! There’s even a playlist or two of the Raptor: Call of the Shadows OST on YouTube! Despite there only being three episodes with nine levels each, the game has surprising amounts of replay value. There are also some cool easter eggs that I forget how to get at now.
The selection of equipment and weapons in Raptor: Call of the Shadows is also pretty expansive for such an old game. But, there are a few weapons which are clearly better than others, like the Auto-Track Minigun and the Twin Lasers. The graphics were superb at the time and it was critically acclaimed by gaming experts.
Really, Raptor’s a great game to play when you just want something straightforward where you blow stuff up!
Cons of Raptor
Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything I dislike about Raptor: Call of the Shadows. I will say that there’s a Windows version from 1999 that had some serious issues with its controls. Since then, there’s been a version released on Steam which is fine and an iOS version of the game, as well.
The only other knock I have against the game is it’s not packed with quite as many levels as other similar games. But, the quality of its 27 levels makes up for whatever replayability value it loses from having such a small number of levels.
Overall, it’s really fun to watch other people play Raptor that have such a nostalgic fondness for it like me! At one time in 2015, it looked like there was going to be a sequel to Raptor: Call of the Shadows, but it never came to be. If you’re looking for a classic game to fire up, this is definitely one that’s worth a couple hours of time for the serious retro PC gamer!
You can find the DOTEmu 2010 version available for download on Amazon or the newer 2015 release on Steam.
Games similar to Raptor: Star Defender 4 & Alien Stars by Awem Studios
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