Oct 30, 2014 // 4 minutes
R-Type Final is a game that I’ve known about for ages but still hadn’t played a huge amount until lately. It’s a side scrolling shooter that was intended to be the last in the R-Type series but was succeeded by two more games for the PSP.
So, being a side scrolling shooter, it’s an arcade title by nature so there ’s not a much resembling a story here, the main draw is purely the gameplay. Each level is prefaced by a quote presumably relating to the R-Type series but having not played the previous titles, I can ’t say I understand the actual conflicts going on in the backstory.
Then, ignoring all that, the gameplay is pretty straightforward as well. You control a ship, of which there are many, and you shoot enemy ships with beams and lasers. Little add ons drop from enemies and pass by you from behind your ship and collecting them gives you more lasers and what not.
Well, if there’s no story and the gameplay is fairly basic, what did I enjoy about it?
Personally, I loved the environments! The first level is one that sticks out clearly in my mind even after having played the demo of R-Type Final a little over 10 years ago now. While traditional side scrolling shooters had been literally that, R-Type Final made use of the Playstation 2 ’s 3D capabilities at the time, swinging the camera around so you move all around the stage. It becomes obvious how this affects gameplay with the first sub boss. It consists of slowly advancing towards the crab-like boss who is climbing up a wall diagonally only for the camera to slowly pan around so that the boss is behind you. Seeing as your weapons, depending on which coloured pickups you chose, only fire forward, this leaves you in a defenseless position and forces you to be careful as you wait for the camera to swing back into a favourable position.
The other effect of the camera is one that still gets me even now which is that as it swings around the environment, moving the stage from being eg; left of your ship to being above your ship, it can get a bit confusing what walls are just part of the backdrop and which are part of the actual stage now, leading to death should you touch them so it makes for what I still find to be some tense moments.
As for the designs, I really liked them too. My main draw to these sorts of games is generally the unique and interesting boss designs and I wasn ’t disappointed in that department either. All sorts of strange and interesting designs such as the crab-like robotic creature I mentioned before or the Stage 1 boss which is consists of a metallic liquid of sorts, not unlike the T-1000 from Terminator 2, that will try to morph sharp spikes to pierce through the hull of your ship.
It’s neat to imagine a backstory for such a creature who is grafted to the ceiling of what appears to be an old abandoned factory so if you’re the story of player who is quite imaginative, you might get some appeal out of R-Type Final even just playing on Easy mode to check out all the neat designs!
Oh! I also can’t leave without pointing out the time and effort spent on the ships in the game. There is a huge roster of 101 ships to unlock with all of them being viewable in full 3D in the game ’s ship museum with the few that I did unlock all having backstories that you can read which just seems like a crazy amount of detail!
o, yeah, R-Type isn’t a game that pushes the boundaries or anything but if you ask me, it’s definitely a neat side scrolling shooter with detailed environments and interesting designs to be found even if you’re not hugely into the genre like I am.