Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, shoot ‘em ups were a dime a dozen in the arcades. But R-Type stood out from the rest with its graphical prowess, huge bosses, relentless challenge, and unique power-ups. Now you can enjoy R-Type and R-Type II in one package on Xbox LIVE with graphical upgrades or original visuals.
R-Type is just like any other classic shooter. Just blast anything that moves with your one-spaceship armada. The way power-ups work in R-Type games is a bit unique, though. You have a little pod that can attach to the front or rear of your spacecraft, or you can let it float around and shoot on its own. But by attaching the pod to your ship while powered up, you can fire bigger and better shots or zap enemies from behind, so R-Type has a bit of strategy in places, too.
The coolest thing about R-Type: Dimensions is that you can switch from the new 3-D graphics back to the old 2-D visuals seamlessly with just a push of the right shoulder button, on the fly even during while you are playing. It’s kind of fun to compare the new and old graphics this way.
The R-Type games are definitely challenging, though–almost overly so. In Arcade mode, if you get hit once, you have to start over at a checkpoint. Luckily there’s also an Endless Mode where you get infinite lives and can continue right where you left off. But unless you’re a shooter pro, you’ll still be cursing every wall, enemy, and stray bullet.
The only other problem with R-Type: Dimensions, aside from the insane challenge, is that it’s 1200 Microsoft points. And that seems a bit steep for such a simple game. But you’re still getting two games in one, both staying true to the classic, so if you’re a big fan of R-Type you may want to check this one out anyway. At least try the demo.
R-Type Dimensions is rated E for Everyone. Violence is only minimal, and just consists of exploding 16-bit 2-D spaceships and alien goo. Reading skill isn’t necessary to play, but younger gamers (and even older ones), may get a bit frustrated at the high challenge level. They can still have fun in Endless Mode, however, and two people can play together in multiplayer modes, so that’s a plus. And it’s a simple arcade game that anyone can understand.