Radiant Silvergun features a unique and innovative weapons system, with seven weapons available at any time. The player has three buttons to control the weapons; the weapon fired depends on the combination of buttons pressed. The three primary weapons are assigned to the three primary buttons of the pad. The A button fires standard, forward firing projectiles. The B button fires homing projectiles (versatile but rather weak). The C button fires out two lasers at a wide angle, which explode on contact. Pressing each of the buttons together will attack with a different weapon! A and C together will activate a close range targeting system, which will launch missiles at anything that comes near! A and B together will activate another targeting system, which fires two lines from the front of your ship and locks onto enemies and electrocute them! By pressing all three buttons simultaneously another (close range) weapon is activated, the Radiant Sword. This swipes around your ship in a circle and does damages close contact enemies (very useful damage the end-level bosses too).
Getting scoring bonus should be your main objective at each level, as there are no standard power-ups to be found but instead, each of your three weapons is upgraded by your score, depending on which weapons you use to generate the combos. Those combos can be achieved by shooting down three enemies in a row of the same color (oh yes, enemies can be classified as one of three colors: red, blue, or yellow) and you'll get a scoring bonus. More scoring means better firepower of your available weapons system.
Ok, gameplay is rather hard. Most of the time you will be forced to weave through corridors of deadly enemy fire, making it almost impossible to avoid a single hit!
The story of Radiant Silvergun is only available in the Saturn Mode of the Sega Saturn version of the game. Arcade Mode and the original arcade version of Radiant Silvergun do not include any cut-scenes or dialog save for a slide show at the end of the game consisting of stills from the ending video.
Graphically its spectacular with all sorts of fancy tricks that push the Sega Saturns hardware to its limits. You're flying straight over 2D scenery, but occasionally you soar into the sky, as the horizon tilts and the ground races beneath you, utilizing 3D polygon effects! This way the 2D world feels like three dimensional! Sprites move fast on screen although screen scrolls slowly.
Sound is equally good too. The game is pretty long, and there are only a handful of themes but featuring strong synthesizer orchestrations! Ok, after a while it is getting repetitive but, hell no, it's great!