It’s tough not to use the label “old-school”
when discussing a game such as “R-Type Final.” The
side-scrolling space shooter that has spanned four generations of
consoles conjures up so many memories that avoiding the
cliché term is nearly impossible.

TV/New Media Reviews
May be hot upon re-entry. (Courtesy of Eidos)

But sometimes memories are better left that way.

In a time where total immersion is the ultimate goal,
“R-Type Final” doesn’t measure up to its
three-dimensional peers. To be fair, “R-Type” is
certainly a decent game, but aside from the intense visuals and
gorgeous environments, playing the latest installment isn’t
much better than dusting off the classic Nintendo system and
playing the original.

The graphics have the same “three-dimensional graphics in
a two-dimensional world” feel seen in games such as
“Ikaruga” and “Contra: Shattered Soldier.”
Some flashier gunfire from the main cannon would have been nice,
but the lack thereof may be a subtle hint that the charge beam is
the best way to fight.

Players are given three ships to start and can unlock a fleet of
up to 99. Each ship comes equipped with a charge beam, which is
unique to each vessel. Using this weapon is the only feasible way
to get through the game, making the decision on what type of ship
to select extremely important.

Unfortunately, this is the only incentive to keep players coming
back throughout the numerous “try-and-die” situations.
Since gameplay is totally linear, one is forced to replay the same
missions numerous times just to get back to that one problem spot.
It’s not always a satisfying challenge either — deaths
often come in the form of accidental collisions or stray
bullets.

Adding a non-linear element to the game — such as a
mission select — would have made these frustrations much
easier to deal with. Instead, players are forced into repetition.
If there is any lesson to be learned from games of the Nintendo
generation, it’s that repetition is boring. Staunch videogame
conservatives will probably refute this viewpoint as well as this
review, but those who crave new and exciting adventures will
instead see “R-Type’s” strict adherence to the
old style as a failure.

 

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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