||Fresh Games (Eidos)
|# Of Players:
One of gamingís most revered franchises passed away last month,
and you probably didnít even notice or (unfortunately) care
about it. The ďFinalĒ in R-Type Final really does mean
that this is the last game in the revered R-Type series,
unless Irem changes its mind of course. Although this is my
first experience with the series, Iíve played
several other shooters before and can certainly understand
how sad fans of the series must feel. Fortunately for them
R-Type Final proves to be a worthy send-off for the
If youíve played any of the previous R-Type games or most of
the shooters inspired by it, you know what to expect here. The
action takes place on a horizontal plane, with enemies coming in
swarms from all sides of the screen. These enemies range from
swarms of bug-like ships to huge monsters that fill up the majority
of the screen. Progressing through the game takes a mixture of
quick reflexes and a good memory, since battles against bosses and
mini-bosses can only be won by taking advantage of attack patterns
and counter-attacking when possible. The player is pushed through
each level automatically, with the world rotating around the player
as he progresses. Get hit by virtually anything (building, enemy,
bullet, etc.) and he must restart from the last checkpoint.
Checkpoints are plentiful, but the player never knows where the last
one was until itís needed (thus keeping the tension higher).
Although the game only features six levels in all, each level is
fairly lengthy and most have several different routes that can be
taken. R-Type Final also features over 100 different ships,
each of which can be customized with different color schemes,
secondary weapons, and bits. The downside is that only three of
these ships are initially available, and many can only be unlocked
after accomplishing some Herculean feats. Iím not against making
the player earn bonuses, but with so many ships it wouldnít have
hurt to be a little more generous with them at the beginning of the
Graphically, Irem pulled out all of the stops and it shows. Enemies
and ships alike are detailed (especially for this kind of game), and
there are a ton of lighting and other explosive effects throughout
the game. Bosses are huge and imaginative, usually filling up most
of the screen and forcing the player to navigate tiny spaces. Each
game world is very detailed; with some stunning backgrounds full of
new details to discover each time you play. There is a bit of
slowdown, but it never really hurts gameplay and itís definitely
The music is a mixture of slow, groovy tunes which oddly enough
reminded me of those in todayís racing games (particularly
Gran Turismo 3) and electronic beats reminiscent of the 80ís.
On the whole itís really only average: good enough to fit the mood
but not so good that it actually increases enjoyment of the game
that much. The sound effects are better, with a wide range of
enemy, weapons, and other sounds to compliment the blazing action
onscreen. However, I recognized several sound effects from other
games (I couldíve sworn that was Lavosí [from Chrono Trigger]
yell I heardÖ), which means I either play too many games or theyíre
using a sound library a lot of other developers use.
Outstanding graphics, perhaps the best yet in the genre.
A ton of different ships to unlock and alternate paths mean plenty
of replay value.
The enemies are definitely imaginative, particularly boss characters
Stays true to the seriesí roots instead of bowing to the gimmicks
used in a lot of todayís games.
If you arenít an old school gamer and/or fan of the genre, the
gameplay will probably come across as basic and archaic.
Fitting, but decidedly average musical score.
A bit short for veteran players, even on the harder settings.
The R-Type series goes out in style with a finale thatíll
please old-school gamers and shooter fans alike. Buy this game;
enjoy blasting stuff and pay tribute to one of gamingís most
influential franchises at the same time.