Flash! Back! Now count up your sins!
A little over 10 years ago, we were given one of the first Kamen Rider anniversary series. Kamen Rider Decade gave us a look back through ten years worth of Riders, and how their stories evolved the franchise into what it is today.
With another anniversary series currently airing, it seems approprriate we take another look back over the years, but this time we look at the Drivers, how they’ve progressed in terms of technology and gimmick, and if they still hold as much charm today as they did back then.
Next up we have the W Driver.
Stylishly coloured in black and silver, and sporting red detailing, the W (Double) Driver serves as a perfect platform for a technological Driver.
Using oversized USB drives as gimmicks, the W Driver is simple to operate, and still oh so satisfying.
There are three kinds of “Gaia Memory”, Body, Soul, T2. Body is on the right, Soul on the left, and T2 operate independently, often used for Accel or the Lost Driver. They are identifiable by the colour of the USB port, Body has a golden colour, Soul is a silver, and T2 are a blue tinted silver.
The Memories operate on a button press system, press the button on the front to trigger the call out (IE: Joker! or Heat!). When inserted into the Driver, another system of pegs and buttons inside trigger the standby and full Henshin sounds, this is done by a peg inside the Driver pressing a button inside the USB connector part of the Memory.
To start, take two memories, for the left side you have Cyclone, Heat, Luna and Fang, and the right, Joker, Metal, Trigger. Ideally you want one from each side, though it does work with ones from the same, however the sounds will overlap and just give you a jumbled mess.
To be correct to the show, press the button on the front of the “Memory” and get a nice loud callout, then insert into the Driver. Once both Memories are in and the activation jingle sounds, pull each side of the Driver to the side and let the music fly.
Also featured with the Driver is a “Maximum Drive slot”, typically located on the right side of the belt. To use, close the Driver, remove the desired Memory, and insert directly into the slot. You’ll get another standby sound after hearing “Memory name here – Maximum Drive!”, press the button on the side and off you go, showing those Dopants who’s boss!
If you’re using Fang, it’s a little more involved than just pressing a button. Fang is quite unique, in that it is themed after a Dinosaur! Quite a snappy little Dinosaur as well!
Going from Dino mode, fold up the rear legs, spin the USB out and fold in the front legs, then press the button. After inserting into the Driver and opening it up, fold Fang over so it sits in the middle of the Driver, and fold down the mouth, just hidden in the back of the right leg (now positioned over the second memory). You’ll be presented with a skeletel, and very asthetically pleasing Dinosaur head, with a horn over the nose.
The horn isn’t for looks however, in this case it is used to trigger Fangs Maximum Drive feature. Press down on the horn 1, 2 or 3 times to trigger different attacks, in order you’ll get “Arm Fang”, “Shoulder Fang” and finally, “Fang, Maximum Drive”.
Now as far as the show is concerned, Fang can only be used in conjunction with the Joker memory, as this allows greater control over the wild nature of Fang. With the Driver however, any Body Memory will work with it, so the unseen combinations of Fang/Trigger or Fang/Metal can be used.
Moving along now, the Lost Driver!
While I could have done this part as a review of its own, the tech is identical to the W Driver, and for the most part I would just be repeating myself, and you would be bored beyond belief!
The Lost Driver, as said, operates the same as the W Driver, but it is quite literally half of the W Driver. Specifically the left side, as the Memories inserted into it are “complete”, serving as both “body” and “soul”.
Unlike the W Driver, the Memories used in the Lost Driver don’t have a delay between the call out and the music, so once you pull the Driver to one sie, rock away!
The Lost Driver features two Memories, Skull and Eternal, though is only supplied with Eternal. It also features a Maximum Drive Slot.
All Memories work in each Driver, but those for the W Driver will feature a delay between the initial call out and the jingle, this is because they feature a delay to allow the second memory to do its own call out before the music.
Overall, I personally think the tech holds up, the Drivers themselves feature a simple mechanic, there to trigger the electronic gimmick devices placed inside it. This feature would later be used again for Ex-Aid and its Gashats, but more on that in another review.
Word of caution however, if you are displaying a W Driver, or either of the Lost or Accel Drivers, do not leave a memory fully engaged in the Driver, as the constant pressure on the button switches will both drain the battery inside the Memory, and weaken the spring to a point where the Memory will no longer function.