Just before the new year, we caught wind of Taito's plans to bring one of its classic properties to the App Store. Originally released as RayForce in arcades in the early nineties, it made its way to the Sega Saturn with its name intact but due to trademark issues was released in various other international markets under different names, including Layer Attack, Gunlock, and Galactic Attack.

Now it's once again been resurrected yet again as RayForce [$11.99] for iOS devices, and is now available.

Taito is touting this as a pixel-perfect adaptation of the arcade original, which while being true to the original also looks like it hasn't been enhanced visually for the much more advanced iOS hardware. However, it does feature original arcade controls for purists as well as an easier iPhone control mode made specifically for the touch screen. Also, there are plenty of customization options so you can suit the play to your own particular style, and there is full Game Center support for leaderboards and achievements.

Since I never played much of the original RayForce back in the day, I'm really stoked to be able to finally give it some proper attention on my iPhone nearly 20 years later. Also, it will be interesting to see if Taito will bring the next installments in this trilogy, RayStorm and RayCrisis, to the App Store as well. As we dig into RayForce to see what it's all about, you can grab the game with the link below or check out some player impressions which are trickling into our forums.

  • Anonymous

    Hmm, $11.99 for a port... while the iOS port of Sonic CD was $0.99 on launch.

    This is why I bought Sonic CD to support Christian Whitehead's efforts, even though I knew I wouldn't have time to play it.  It's not that every app should be available for $0.99, but that kind of quality at such a welcoming price really deserves to be commended.

    • http://twitter.com/thebenchwarmers BenchWarmers Clique

      well said!

    • Anonymous

      Umm, the iOS port of Sonic CD was $1.99 at launch.  But who's keeping track? :-)

      • Anonymous

        Oops, you're right!

  • http://twitter.com/stuartcarnie Stuart Carnie

    It will be interesting to see how the fan base responds to the price.  $11.99 is not really bad, when back in the day your could easily pour that kind of money into the game in a single session if you wanted to

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      It's pretty crazy how much the App Store has skewed the gaming value proposition. This is something I'd have bought on a cartridge (or disc, I suppose) for $50 without hesitation a decade ago.

      • Anonymous

        I think it's more about opportunity costs to the consumer rather than the intrinsic value of a game.

        The perception of a price point as expensive or cheap is relative.  It's not expensive because it's $11.99.  It's expensive to most people because there are many other games on the App Store equal (or greater) in scope to be had for $5 or under.

        Of course, if you're looking specifically for "RayForce on iOS" then opportunity costs don't apply so much.  However, most consumers are just looking for "fun game", and with so many at lower price points, it's naturally harder for a $11.99 game to compete.

        A decade ago people willingly paid much more for laptop computers (just a random example).  But that doesn't necessarily mean it makes sense for someone to buy an entry-level laptop at 2002 prices today (when many alternatives are available for much less) just because they were willing to pay that price a decade ago.  They could still buy it for whatever reason (I suppose nostalgic factor would be the reason for some with this port)... Just don't be surprised that the market doesn't embrace it.

        This has much less to do with what a particular game is "worth" (which is often different to different people).  This is just economics and the free market at work.

      • Anonymous

        some skewing, and perceived value.  this is something i wouldn't have bothered with even in the bargain bin. why would i bother paying $12 for it now all of a sudden?

        then again, you put the ultima series on an ipad and the tables will probably be turned.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

        Exactly. A DECADE AGO. Not today. Things change. With tech advancements you get to expect more for the same amount of money.

      • http://twitter.com/MichaelMatzat Michael Matzat

        Well, that was a decade ago. A used copy on ebay is at about 22$... and thats for your TV System, can be resoled and has propper controles wich (even today) is usualy soled at a higher pricepoint than a mobile console game or even cellphone game.

        So NO ONE would pay 50$ on any normal version of that game today. Using that number is as silly as asking for everything to be 99 cents.

        If you want to be at a high pricepoint like that in the AppStore people need to know your shit (Square Enix) or have something very special and uniq. (like King of Dragon Pass) Because how should i know wich Arcade Shooter is the one i should spend 10-16$ on?
        There issent even a lite Version for you to play level one and try some, there just is some old game and they expect you do just jump right in and buy... "just like ten years ago, with a cardridge/cd". But guess what, we are not a decade ago so stop pretending we are. :)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

      You spent $12 to beat this in a single session? So Taito should charge what terrible players would have to spend to beat it?

  • Joe Lagomarsino

    I think I bought Raystorm for playstation maybe a few months after it came out for $13.

  • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

    what's with shm'ups on app store and their price tag?!? this ain't the 1st title with that weird price tag... i'd expect that on square titles (not that they are worth all that) or GTA3 (which was under 5 bucks then went on sale), but come on.. shm'ups? really?
    although the app store games are most likely .99c or something around that, it's not the case of something being expensive, it's just weird for that genre IMO..

  • Anonymous

    I have been calling for price increases to improve the quality of the iOS games and to see new AAA titles(or even one AAA title), NOT for seeing old shit ported and sold at humongous prices.

    • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

      GTA3 may or may not be your cup of tea, but hey, it was released for under 5 bucks for a great port. on the mac app store, it is 15 bucks. and loads are buying it anyways.
      The Bard's Tale, also a port, is a AAA title in my opinion, and was 7 bucks (almost half of these $12+ games).
      there's no need to raise the app store games price tag, because they know they'll profit even from a .99c app, and specially from (which i dislike) in-app purchases. 
      lots of devs are going freemium these days, unfortunately...
      say, had they released Tactics Ogre for instance, i'd buy it for 10-15 bucks (which is the common port on PSN or XBLA), but not everyone would. same thing goes to this and or any other "expensive" game on app store. as i said on another post, i think this is just weird for the shm'up genre. diehard fans who pay $12 won't beat a rush .99c sale on some other title (or even this, should it go on sale)

      • Anonymous

        GTA3 was a cup of really old piss to me. Didn't play it back in the day, but now its totally obsolete, which PS1 game shouldn't have to be.

        Bards Tale is not a new AAA game. Bards Tale was hardly AAA title back in the day, today it not even an A title, but I'm glad that at least these ports of old games are coming to iOS, as they are the absolutely finest there is right now. Its rather revealing about the situation; new AAA games are too expensive to make for the iOS, new games are too expensive to even port for it, so they are finding some old crap to port instead. The problem with these old games is that they have been made for old controllers, which makes them fit more or less badly on touch screen only devices. Thats why I want some new blood on this platform. If a new Mass Effect was made solely for iOS, it would be entirely different matter. I would actually prefer to play Mass Effect on touch screen device, as it would enforce the sci-fi feel. I would also prefer to play any FPS game on the iOS, as the gyro + screen in players hands makes it close to virtual reality. I loved NOVA's controls, even if its bad game.

        I want to see game prices to go up...well not all games. The current mini games, casual games, ports of free flash games, and ports of old console games can stay low, as they cost next to nothing to make, but I want to see some new really stunning AAA games too on this 700$ device.

      • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

        well then you should stick to consoles... whether you like it or not, iOS devices are still mobile devices. console "new" "AAA" titles of course will always be > mobile 'new' or ported games.
        as for new games, Dead Space and Infinity Blade are good ones (not here to judge what may or may not be "AAA" title) and they both were released in a reasonable price tag. they both went on sale. there are others iOS either exclusives or specific port/spin-off/new games which are around 3-7 bucks at launch, and great in both quality and value.

        point is, devs know they don't need to raise their price to make great quality games (as for a mobile device). 
        so, whether or not you like my examples, those ports i mentioned above weren't released as humongous price - or do you think they were?
        i don't share with your urge to raise the price tag on new games (not ports nor casual), the iOS gamers have different view from console hardcore gamers (i am both, i don't mind paying 60 bucks on, say, Skyrim even though it is pure glitch and not really top-notch, although i love it, but as far as my iphone goes as a gaming device, 5 bucks is somewhat "hmmm" and above 7 is "no way i'm buying it". they always go on sale, and the app store customers know it)

      • Anonymous

        Aah, the good old "then get out of here" -rhetoric. I just bought a 700$ device, partly because I swallowed a small bit of the "phones make the hand consoles obsolete" -lobbying, so I'm not going to just leave after paying 700$, until I either get those games games or money back, and I'm not expecting to get my money back, so I'm doing my part to rally for the quality games.

        The value in iOS gaming is not so bad, but I'd love to start seeing the quality part happening too. All the best examples on iOS are good for the money, but I'd like to at least move my character for my self, perhaps even experience a little adventure every now and then. EVERY mobile Unreal 3 engine game right now is gimped in one way or more. I'd like to see that change immediately. Those 0,99 - 4,99 are good for what they are, but I would love to also see  20$ - 50€ games if that's what it takes to make the good games.

        Also, I bought both Mass Effect AND (a proper) Dead Space for PC for a 5€, that makes fun of iOS "value", not to mention "quality". FEAR3 was under 5€. Dead Space 2 is 7,5€ right now and so on, and so forth.

      • Mark Booker

        Get a room.

      • Anonymous

        I got 5.

      • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

        then why would you pay more $$ for games that "PC makes fun of" on iOS?!
        like you said, you got the "real" games on PC for. why bother with iOS games then? even worse, why bother wanting them to become more expensive?!! that makes no sense at all.

        if you expect PC games on iOS devices, be prepared to waste another $700 or whatever on the next model, and the following, and then the next one... you get the idea, since you are a PC gamer after all...

        your opinion is valid, but your arguments are not, sorry. now "get out of here" like you said yourself.

      • Anonymous

        Like I said:
        -The touch screen
        -The gyro
        -"The current mini games, casual games, ports of free flash games, and
        ports of old console games can stay low, as they cost next to nothing to
        make, but I want to see some new really stunning AAA games too on this
        700$ device."
        -I want even better games for iPhone
        -Arguments are back

        I didN'T say:
        -I expect PC quality
        -I want PC games to become more expensive
        -I'm a PC gamer

        Where did this come from: "then why would you pay more $$ for games that "PC makes fun of" on iOS?!"? I don't pay a cent more on this quality, in fact, after burning almost 100$ on mini games that I have deleted after one game, I have become much more suspicious and attentive towards the quality. I'm ready to pay more on higher quality.

      • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

        what would you want me to do? convince you that higher quality games aren't possible on the app store? heck no, i do believe better stuff are yet to come.

        i've been an ipod gamer since 2005 (when the classic ipod video launched) and got an xbox 360 later that year as well. comparing 360 games with the ones back on launch, there isn't a remarkable overhaul in graphics or whatever, because the hardware is still the same.

        looking at ipods and since the ipod touch and the iphone, games have evolved in such a way that no consoles have. well, every year the idevices come up with new hardware, big step or not, it is still a step, and older models become obsolete.

        games [in the iOS platform] are getting better and better, but also comes with a hold back, either get a new iphone/ipod to run newer stuff, or suffer from lag and performance issues (not to mention incompatibility).

        now, imagine the new price tag for games, coming up at 19.99, 39.99, 59.99 whatever. the app store is filled with crapware as it is, and some nuts charge that much every now and then. if the new standard gets that high, expect a new wave of crapware, this time much more expensive. 

        "20$ - 50€ games if that's what it takes to make the good games. " that's not what it takes to make good games. that never was. their profits mostly come when the games price drops, specially on occasion. you don't pay in advance to let devs make a new game. paying .99c or $59.99 for an existing game won't make the next one better or worse. sometimes devs quit, a game gets cancelled, they come up with something no one likes. that's life, they get paid for it whether the game's price is right or not.

        you don't seem to pay full price on PC games anyway (your examples show that, since at launch they were tagged full price i believe), so why, and i ask again, why bother increasing iOS games price if that's not what makes game better?? would you buy them? would you wait for a sale?? 

        i do want to see new titles better and jaw-dropping or whatever, but again, making more expensive games is not the way to it, devs know. they are aware that if they make a great .99c they will profit, so why would they bother making an exclusive new game for a small % of the app store market?? they focus on consoles/pc for that... 
        but if you do have a great idea that hasn't been around, using the touch screen, gyroscope and whatnot, go sell it to a great developer, or program yourself and publish for as much $ as you like to. 

        and yes, "phones make the hand consoles obsolete" was a scam. shame. it is still a phone. (or an ipod). you paid $700 for a phone, not a gaming device (although it still is with its limitations) when you should have gotten a psp or DS then…

      • Anonymous

        I mostly agree. As a gamer of all trades, I am certain that iPhone could run almost any game. The biggest disagreement between us seems to be the money that games require to make. Average game budgets range from 3.000.000$(3DS) - 5.000.000(Wii) - 10.000.000-2.000.000(HD-Ready consoles). If game costs 5$ you need to sell 600.000 copies to get even on average 3DS game. If the price tag was @ 20$ you need to sell only 150.000 games. If a game absolutely needs to sell half a million copies to even get the investment back, many publishers wont take a risk.

        I buy full price games all the time for all kinds of platforms. Good games are just so numerous novadays, that I cannot...or even have time to buy every one at full price. So I can enjoy the "secondary" games on reduced prices. Many of them I would rather play on iPhone or iPad(which I don't yet have).

      • Anonymous

        "Also, I bought both Mass Effect AND (a proper) Dead Space for PC for a 5€, that makes fun of iOS "value", not to mention "quality". FEAR3 was under 5€. Dead Space 2 is 7,5€ right now and so on, and so forth."

        And Dead Space on iOS is priced similarly, while being a full fledged game not missing anything from its console brethren....Your point doesn't hold much weight.

      • Anonymous

        I tried to put youtube links to compare the quality of Dead Space to mobile Dead Space, but it seems that youtube links are illegal here, so let me just say, that not even close. Compare different versions chapter 1 for example.

  • http://twitter.com/bdf Bruno Del Frate

    I wouldn't mind to pay a higher price if I get a top quality game, but I'll place this on my Appshopper wish list and wait for a price reduction. Come on, Taito! $11.99 for a 2D shooter from 1993? Really?

  • Anonymous

    The game was only $20 when it came out, IIRC...

    this is insane.

  • Chris Aanerud

    I approve of these increased prices. Of course I'm not going to take the plunge (the game is decent, but I have the PSX version) and I hope that Taito doesn't drop the price in a week.

    Hopefully higher prices will end up driving out freemium drivel and result in better quality games.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

      So YOU'RE not going to buy it, but OTHER people should in order to fund expensive games for YOU? Yeah, good luck with that.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

      Please. Games like GTA ported cost LESS and offered FAR MORE content. Taito is doing it WRONG.

  • Stéphane Cocquereaumont

    I think that Taito is in fact addressing the Japanese market, it's quite different than here. Japanese almost never buy non-jap shmups and they are ready to pay a premium price for those classics. 

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Inaba-kun

    I bought this in Akihabara on the Saturn about 5 years ago for, if memory serves, about ¥6000. That's about 6x more than the app store price. Obviously I was buying a collector's item, and a rare physical disc, but still, even at this price, this looks like a solid deal.

    The game itself is a good but not great shooter. The top tier Cave and Treasure stuff is on an entirely different level. 

    Can anyone who has bought this port confirm that it's 60fps on an iPhone 4?

  • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

    Well, since everyone is in a complaining mood... I'll just add this:
    I've now looked into supporting iCade in my own game and it is pretty darn easy. (I'm about to implement it so if I find differently I'll come back and eat my words). So... with a retro port like this or with any arcade conversion or even arcade-like game it's pretty inexcusable not to support it. Yes, it may bring only a few more sales, but it is immensely more enjoyable for those of use with iCades, it's virtually free promotion as buzz gets around that your game has support, it buys goodwill... just do it, please. :)

    • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

      Okay, I shoveled the driveway and got iCade hooked up in my game since the above post that was about an hour ago. I'm a bit rusty at Cocoa and I used iCade-iOS on GitHub, so... no excuses. ;o)

  • Anonymous

    Where is the iPad version?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_URQOKQFXGJ2JAKZ6MODNSQSEUI Bernie -

    too expensive at 11.99. i'll wait for price cut AND see if taito will include additional features and contents. they did a good job on space invaders infinite gene. here's hoping they'll keep up the good work with this one.