Rayforce was first released in Japanese arcades in 1993—when I was fifteen. The game is now out on the iOS. For $11.99.
I honestly think this is the most expensive iPhone game I've played. (I'm not counting all the money I stupidly sucked into Tiny Tower. Those were dark times, so let's not speak of them.)
There are two game modes. The iPhone Mode is the one finger, easy-flick mode, and the Arcade Mode attempts to be a faithful recreation of the original game. There is also an Auto shooting mode that continuously fires bullets as well as a Manual one, which kind of felt like the Auto Mode.
If that weren't enough options (and this game is really about that), there's a Zoom viewing mode that fills the screen and an Original display that shrinks it. On the iPhone, which is what I played this on, it made the screen tiny. However, when I played it on Zoom, my fingers kept getting in the way. The Original viewing mode has a space where I could move my finger around and not interfere with my play. That meant I had to sacrifice gameplay with being able to see.
Taito boasts that it's possible to play the game with one finger. I kind of wanted to play it with a joystick, but that's beside the point. It's an iPhone game, and you know what you're getting into. Ditto for shmups. You either like shooters or you don't.
I actually liked Rayforce okay, even though there are the same gripes I've always had about this game (the ship's hit box is too big, for example). From what I played of this port, this version seemed like it's okay. The stumbling block for me was the price point. I did not pay for this (Taito sent me review code), but I'd have a difficult time convincing myself to pay that much for lunch, let alone Rayforce.
Twelve bucks! While there are other pricey shooters on iTunes, there are bullet hell shmups for only a couple bucks. I'd say wait until Rayforce goes on sale. Right now, it's as though Taito's pricing is done in how many quarters players would burn through in 1993, not that there are already a wealth of cheap, wonderful iPhone games available for purchase.