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Reviewed: R-Type Final
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: March 21st, 2004
Page: 2

The gameplay setup of R-Type Final is something all R-Type players should be familiar with, but here it is in basic terms:

You get a ship. The ship can shoot machine-gun style forward, or charge up for a high-power single blast. When you destroy certain upgrade enemies, you can get a bit (a little thing that hovers by you and shoots/attacks along with you), a Force (an orb that blocks enemy shots and can enable one of three alt-fire modes to supplement the machine gun), or a missile/bomb. Using just those weapons, fly through the level, don't die, and kill the boss at the end.

Of course, it's not really that simple. R-Type games have a well-deserved reputation for being dastardly hard, full of exact flying precision and lots of enemies all over to dodge.

To offset this somewhat, the game provides tons of extras. There are 102 different ships, each of which has a different gun, Force type, bit selection, and missile selection to choose from. Certain ships are required to access certain missions and to unlock other ships, which means it's quite a while before one has mastered every ship. Likewise, entering certain alternate levels and beating them can be quite difficult, even WITH the most powerful ships.

Veterans of the series will also enjoy seeing cameos of old bosses and enemies from time to time, as well as the storyline bits of the R-Type universe.

So that's the upside. It's got the same old (but still fun) R-Type gameplay, tons of upgrades, massive replayability even if you never get out of the lower difficulty modes (though admittedly that precludes getting a couple of the ships).

It's got viewable and unlockable storyline and gallery areas, including background info for all the ships.

The downside? Mostly, it's the frustration factor inherent in the R-Type series; it's very hard to sit down and play for more than an hour at a stretch on a decently high difficulty setting, especially with the lower ships, because you WILL die. Repeatedly. In the same manner, trying to memorize enough of a boss's pattern to slip by and get to the next level.

The rest is that the levels are, like most of those games, completely memorizable. Once you've been through one 2-3 times, you know where every enemy is, even what direction it'll fire its weapons. This makes repeat play a bit boring, especially on early levels, unless you walk away for a while.

Is it worth owning? Heck yes. Are you going to be able to play it 6 hours a night? Probably not.

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Added:  Sunday, March 21, 2004
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/3

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