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R-Type

Developer / Publisher: Irem
01 July 1987
R-Type - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.28 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
105 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#1,605 All-time
#6 for 1987
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In collection Want to buy Used to own  
1987 Irem Nintendo  
XNA
1987 Irem  
JP
1987 Irem  
Show all 29 releases
1988 Irem Electric Dreams  
Cassette
GB 0 47875 44630 4
1988 Irem Electric Dreams  
2xFloppy 3.5"
XEU 0 47875 60630 2
1988 Irem Compile  
Cartridge
XEU 4 974365 635220
1988 Irem Software  
Cassette
1988 Irem Software  
Cassette
GB
1988 Irem Rainbow Arts  
Floppy 5.25"
1988 Irem Hudson  
JP 4 988607 200084
1988 Irem Hudson  
JP 4 988607 200091
1988 Irem Compile  
Cartridge
JP 4 974365 143640
1988 Compile Irem  
Cartridge
XNA 0 10086 09002 4
1988 Irem Opera House  
Cartridge
JP 49628913040
1989 Irem Rainbow Arts  
Floppy 3.5"
1989 Irem  
Floppy 5.25"
JP
1989 Irem Hudson  
XNA 0 92218 00043 9
1991 Bits Irem  
Cartridge
JP 4 962891 700031 DMG-REA
1991 Irem B.I.T.S.  
Cartridge
XNA 7 15664 29102 1 DMG-RE-USA
1991 Irem  
JP 4 962891 500082
2006 Irem Hudson  
Download
2006 Irem Hudson  
Download
2007 Irem Hudson  
Download
JP
2009 Sega Irem  
Download
2010 Irem DotEmu  
Download
2011 Irem DotEmu  
Download
2014 Irem Konami  
Download
2014 Irem Hudson  
Download
2014 Irem DotEmu  
Download
Write review
Title
I think R-Type might be the most overrated shmup ever. I disliked it the first time I played it and now that I've learned to play it competently I still dislike it, and I am as confused as ever about what's supposed to be so fun about it. I admit I do like Vertical shmups more than Horizontal ones, but there's still plenty of Horis I love such as the Parodius and Darius games. The R-Type series seemingly got better later on as well (I haven't played them all, but Leo is pretty decent).

Mechanically R-Type offers several things of interest. There's 3 Different weapon pick ups you can switch between strategically when the game gives you the items (mainly the Blue lasers and red Beam, but I've seen that the Yellow flames can be used as an alternative in some places) as well as Bits (options above and below your ship, which are used both for offense and defense, as they can block enemy fire in addition to shooting). You can also use a charge attack which is rarely useful, but there are places where it is helpful, mainly due to its vertical size allowing it to hit things you can't hit normally. The most interesting thing though is the pod that you collect that you can put in front of or in the back of your ship. It increases your firepower and blocks enemy fire. Even better is that you can fire this pod forward and stick it in place, or command it back to your ship or collect it again. I really enjoy mechanics like these, so at least R-Type has something going for it.

Now, what sucks about R-Type is that the stage design is mostly just shit, and the bosses aren't exactly any better. Almost all the bosses are defeated by sitting in one spot and not moving your ship. If you must move your ship, you only need to do the bare minimum. Not dodge anything, not do anything strategic or interesting, just move around the boss until it's dead. The boss design is absolutely horrid. As for the stages, they are typically very boring. The first 5 stages give you barely anything to do, as not really moving your ship at all and just firing at whatever comes in your way will get you safely all the way to stage 6. All you need to do on the way is to remember if enemies ever come from behind you and fire backwards. So the first 10-15 minutes of the game are just a total bore. Then, suddenly there's a big difficulty spike in stage 6, which is a real memorizer. Although memorizing it doesn't take too long, I don't like stages like this one because it just feels too cramped and limiting to me. You have to play this stage exactly the way the game intends you to as most of the time you shouldn't move your ship at all. You have to hang out in tight vertical spaces where if you nudge up or down you'll collide with something. The whole stage is basically like this. Stage 8 (the final stage) sucks just as much as the first 5, as the solution is to not move your ship and just watch all the enemies die, and the boss is seriously awful. The only good stage in the game is stage 7, which is legitimately interestingly designed, with tons of little details and pitfalls, which becomes painstakingly apparent when you try to apply the checkpoint milk strategy on this stage. If you want a challenge from the game, then I would recommend learning the final checkpoint recovery (which is used to milk points from the boss before suiciding and redoing it). I wouldn't call it fun, but it is challenging, and I enjoy a good challenge. There are so many little details you have to perfect to make this checkpoint milk work, and it all comes across as having been intentionally designed that way, which I admire. It's like they designed this one part of the game to perfection. Your reward is reaching the 7th boss where you can score over 100,000 points by just sitting in one spot immobile and shooting for a minute, and killing some stuff the Boss puts out 9 times before killing yourself again. Anyway, after you beat the final stage, the game loops once. The 2nd loop isn't all that different from the first loop because the differences don't really change your core strategy.

Making matters worse is the brutality of recoveries. Recovering after a death is not something that was designed to be doable by casual players. It is unjustly difficult to recover in this game compared with just playing on one life (which is rarely difficult). I don't mind brutal checkpoint recoveries too much in games I enjoy, but since I don't enjoy R-Type due to how boring it is, dying is just annoying and makes me want to quit playing. Like I've mentioned, the challenge that comes from a recovery isn't really fun. You lose all your shipspeed and you have to, in all its turtle glory, play in a very very particular way to recover from some of the checkpoints. Recovering in R-Type is designed for patient experts. Just be aware of that if you ever want to get into this game.

As for other non-gameplay related stuff, I often hear people praise the visual direction of R-Type, but I honestly don't see what's so amazing about it. It looks pretty good, but it doesn't make a long lasting impression on me. Some of the stages have a cool style, but the enemy and boss designs are nothing special. I think X-Multiply is a more impressive looking Irem game. The music is pretty bad. I think a more creepy and atmospheric soundtrack would've been good for the game.

All in all, R-Type is a game with a few good points, but mostly I just dislike it. I find it difficult to focus on those good points because I just hate playing it. Some well done mechanics are just wasted on a game with such awful stage and boss designs, and the scoring system is as bad as anyone would expect.
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Catalog

MouseSeggi R-Type 2022-11-15T22:31:08Z
Master System • XNA
2022-11-15T22:31:08Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MouseSeggi R-Type 2022-11-15T22:30:46Z
ZX Spectrum • GB
2022-11-15T22:30:46Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bci9215 R-Type 2022-11-14T20:17:38Z
2022-11-14T20:17:38Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
secondskin R-Type 2022-10-10T10:02:38Z
2022-10-10T10:02:38Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
georgerose R-Type 2022-10-04T05:49:11Z
2022-10-04T05:49:11Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
prehistoricdoge R-Type 2022-09-06T19:26:34Z
2022-09-06T19:26:34Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MajorCom R-Type 2022-08-31T06:43:43Z
2022-08-31T06:43:43Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DaBlackGoku R-Type 2022-08-26T05:34:06Z
2022-08-26T05:34:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Gainsborough_1997 R-Type 2022-07-17T07:37:25Z
TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine • XNA
2022-07-17T07:37:25Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Meriscan R-Type 2022-07-10T15:48:20Z
2022-07-10T15:48:20Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
twinkiemachine R-Type 2022-07-01T13:40:10Z
2022-07-01T13:40:10Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
_Arcueid_ R-Type 2022-06-27T11:23:29Z
Arcade • JP
2022-06-27T11:23:29Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
1-2 players
Multiplayer options
Hotseat
Franchises
In collections
Also known as
  • R*Type
  • アール・タイプ
  • View all [2] Hide

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  • _Arcueid_ 2022-06-27 11:23:13.187126+00
    BLAST OFF AND STRIKE THE EVIL BYDO EMPIRE!
    reply
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