Critical Gamer's Matt M writes: Raiden has always been a controversial character. His debut performance in Metal Gear Solid 2 was at the expense of a protagonist, Solid Snake, who was well loved by gamers. With his flowing, golden locks, androgynous appearance and a sneaking suit that hugged his buttocks far too tightly, Raiden was the antithesis of the chain smoking, rugged and gravel voiced hero that we were pining for.
Reaction to Raiden’s surprise inclusion was overwhelmingly negative and alongside a narrative that was at times incomprehensible, he helped sour many on what was still an excellent game. Even Kojima Productions couldn’t pass up the opportunity to mock Raiden, parodying him in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater with Raikov, a Russian major, to whom he bore a strong resemblance and who happened to be Colonel Volgin’s secret lover. MGS4 was kinder to Raiden, as he appeared in a cybernetic exoskeleton and wielded a katana that cut through steel; he became a cyborg bad-ass that was the polar opposite of his original incarnation.