Almost two decades have passed since the last entry into the mainline R-Type series. Makes the arrival of R-Type Final 2 a truly exciting prospect – specifically for shooting game devotees. Firing the latest Granzella for the first time really feels like a significant moment for form. An icon is back, showing that as the resurgence of the indie shmup continues, there is still room in the market for one of the grand progenitors of the form.
Yes, the title feels a little silly. The R-Type Final is meant to be the last R-Type, and as the years have passed over the decades, that feels like the absolute case. Now we have a sequel to that closure, crowdfunded by fans, and put together by a team that includes a number of the original R-Type staff. However, in reality, for all the solemnity and sadness that characterizes R -type games – and specifically the first Last -Language – it’s a series that always has a twinkle in its eye and space for a playful moment. The title is perfect.
The game itself? Less.
Ultimately, all the right elements are in place. Most importantly, it feels like a purebred R-Type in spirit and realism. While bullet hell has become a sub-genre of shooting game that receives more attention, R-Type games are never bothered with asking players to thread a small hitbox through of intersecting spirals of tightly packed, smooth neon bullets.
The R-Type release was chosen instead to focus on claustrophobic, sometimes maze-like environments, where a slower pace lends a brutal grind against enemies, overtaking something like environmental puzzles as organic threats that Bydo do everything they can to be overwhelmed. Your ship feels lonely and isolated, fighting the technique to be punched deeper into a very alien world where you don’t feel welcome, while the dance you perform at your choice Force-sending it to break the enemies before it enters – rarely feel tired. It’s a thrilling set-up, and one that suggests there’s a lot of room for diversity a kind often expected to be constrained by its own conventions.
The good news is that Final 2 delivers all the most R-Type-esque elements. It feels like a proper R-Type, and if you’re a devotee of the series, that just might be enough for you. The game is played slowly and strategically, and while there are plenty of straight-up popcorn enemies to explode, your battle in progress will be one of sights and environments as well. To play R-Type Final 2 will revisit over and over, refining your route through and gradually beginning to anticipate any surprises thrown at you.
Final 2 also uses a relatively aggressive checkpointing system. That means that if you lose a ship, you don’t magically appear in the same place, like most hell titles. Instead, you go back to the last checkpoint, powered and weak. Checkpointing is not for everyone, but it has been implemented well. There’s usually a decent chance to re-establish your firepower before you get to anything too overwhelming, and thanks to elements of passion in gameplay strategy, doggedly repeating sections until you unlock the solution winning them compliments in a checkpointed structure. In fact, while credit feeding rarely provides the best way to play an intense arcade shooter, here it actually works well – something that will probably serve players with less feverish devotion. to shooters.
At the same time, the difficulty levels are where the cracks of the R-Type Final 2 start to show. Played on the default ‘Normal’ difficulty, things can feel a little soulless and empty. There is not enough going on in terms of enemy aggression, ammunition numbers and machine power. And yet things are still difficult. Pop up the difficulty up to the harder difficulty ‘Bydo’, or the more fierce ‘R-Typer’ setting, and you’ll get a game with a little more going on, but with more challenge. Down to the easy end – there’s a difficulty labeled ‘Kids’ in Final 2 – and you’ll definitely find a version that’s awful fun in short bursts, as there’s the ability for slightly faster, more lively play, and many more environmental puzzles still throw a lot of challenge at you.
Beyond its slightly difficult correlation with its own balancing difficulty, the R-Type Final 2 also features an unusual display option. The camera builds up and down slightly as you move the ship, meaning a moderate shift in the 3D assets that envelop the game’s 2D plane. At times that can make accurate movement and visualization of the hitbox rather than try, especially in some of the more rigorous boss battles. Often the pitch has no apparent effect, but when it is present, it can be especially unpleasant if you try to perform to your best.
Also a little underwhelming is the technical presentation. Not locked out, things seem adequate, and certainly have some natural design in given moments. But too often the visuals feel flat and dated. It feels like you are peeking at glorious detailed graphics through a filter that muddies their clarity and finesse. That’s less noticeable when playing undocked, but on the big screen the visual perfection is stronger. Moreover, in Switch there are some long loading times between losing a ship and reappearing at a checkpoint, which can interfere with your flow – especially in the more intense moments of the game.
For all the picking away at the weaknesses of R-Type Final 2, however, it remains a real contribution to a series that has made a mark in the evolution of the genre. There’s enough fun to have, and the meta game that lets you collect, browse and customize a massive array of ships offers a grace of different ways to play.
The R-Type Final 2 just feels like an area of optimization and a fix of the balancing difficulty from greatness; easier pen than done, of course. There’s something special lurking inside Final 2, but it’s nowhere near the high supremacy seen in R-Type Delta, the quality of those who entered the series early, or even the strength of rotation as well, if dividing, R-Type Leo.
The R-Type Final 2 makes a real if faulty contribution to an iconic shooting series. Many of the problems seem technical, so hopefully an update can do a lot-especially if it lets you lock the camera pitch. If so, what we can expect, is that we are still at the beginning of the final stage of the R-Type, and what was right in Final 2 was allowed to rise to the top.