Wednesday, July 24, 2013

R.Type [DotEmu] - $1.99

DotEmu. Over the years they’ve built up a very solid and strong fan-base in the iOS and Android gaming worlds. And now, just the mention of their name will have a lot of gamers screaming ‘instabuy’ and ‘take my money’. Their ports are some of the best in the AppStore and the added little perks and different settings options have secured their place in the porting world as ‘one of the best’. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out their work, you won’t regret it. Raiden Legacy, The Last Express, King Of Fighters, Metal Slug and others are just waiting to be snatched up by eager old-school gamers like yourself. Now, if the mention of those titles do bring back unforgettable gaming memories, their latest release will need no introduction. R-Type is a classic in the retro gaming world. Released on just about every single old-school gaming platform there was back in the late 80’s and early 90’s and has also been ported to the PC, XBLA and has spawned numerous sequels. 

Set in the 22nd century, your mission is to take out the evil Bydo Empire. There’s not much more to it than that. After each stage is beat, the game will count up your score and you’ll go on to the next. What R-Type is probably most famous for is it’s difficulty. It earned a 7th position spot on IGN’s top 10 most difficult games, and while it can be quite easy for someone who’s learned the ins and outs of the game, actually getting to that level will take more than just a couple of deaths to accomplish. While this is now a staple of the SHMUP world, endless replayability because of heightened difficulties and score chasing, don’t let that turn you off if you’re not really a big shoot-em-up gamer. DotEmu has added an Unlimited Mode in this version, allowing for infinite lives so that you can learn the game and make it through no matter your skill level. 

There are 8 stages, each with a crazy looking boss at the end. One of my favorite memories of the first time I played R-Type when I was younger was how shocked I was at the boss’s designs and models. This, along with the mesh of organic and synthetic material in the level designs and enemies also give R-Type a distinctive feeling and atmosphere that’s hard to forget. To this day the whole graphic design of the game stands as one of the most original, interesting, innovative and visually appealing in the shmup gaming world. 

There are 4 different shot types that you’ll be able to pick up as you progress throughout the game; your original one projectile shot type, a 3 way laser, a beam shot that takes a circular pattern and a ‘wall shot’ which fires out of the top and bottom of your ship and crawls along the walls. While in-game, little robot orbs with feet will be mixed in with the enemies and destroying these will let loose a power-up. If you don’t have a power-up equipped yet, you’ll receive your ‘Force Orb’. This is one aspect of R-Type that really makes it stand out above other shmups of the time period. You can either equip your Force Orb on the front or back of your ship as well as have it maneuver throughout the levels on its own. Mastering the Force Orb is something that you’ll need to do in order to complete the game and adds another layer to form the very cohesive whole that is R-Type. 

There are two control options; Relative Touch and a Virtual Joystick. Both work exceedingly well, and while both have two additional icons, one for controlling an add-on power-up core and another for charging up your charged shot, everything can be moved around anywhere on the screen to fit your play-style and device. You can also turn auto-fire on or off while off will have you mashing on the charge shot icon to fire. There are two options for screen-size, full screen, or boxed and like most other DotEmu ports, you can turn the video filter on or off, making the edges jagged (original look) or smoothed out (more modern look) and add scan-lines to the game as well. Other awesome additions/features are 10 languages, Retina display (as well as on the iPad, since this new R-Type build is Universal), iCade support and an extra Insane difficulty mode that unlocks once you beat the game on Normal difficulty.

To top it all off, DotEmu has dumped the OpenFeint support that came with the older version and added GameCenter with 11 achievements and 2 leaderboards (one for Normal and one for Insane). All of this packed into a nice little package and with a price point of only $1.99, it’s insane to not recommend this to any and all shooter and retro gaming fans out there. Even if you own the old EA published version, this new version has enough perks to throw down the two bucks. If you’ve never played R-Type before, you’re in for one hell of a treat, as it has been, and always will be, one of my favorite shooters of all time. It’s not one to be missed.


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