Review: R-Type Dimensions

Review: R-Type Dimensions

R-Type Dimensions is old-school shoot-em-up goodness, which of course means it's also punishingly difficult and likely to make you cry like a little girl.

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It should also be mentioned that R-Type is HEAVY on the memorization and trial and error design (*shudder* Baldo Gardens, if you don't know where the things will move they'll just crush you), much more so than other shmups (where you just need to learn attack patterns, in R-Type it seems like you have to learn the exact one path you can take through the level) though I guess since endless mode never sets you back you don't have to memorize that to get past there, just sacrifice a bunch of lives and maybe bother with it if you're going for a highscore...

The bosses always left if you didn't kill them fast enough (it's not added in the remake), you just don't get the points for killing them so you'll have a hard time getting a highscore if you just crawl into a dead angle and wait it out.

I agree that 1200 points is steep but then again they probably could have sold R-Type 1 and 2 separately for 800 each... I wish the demo was longer, with 8+6 levels in total they could have afforded to include the second level of the first game too because the first one is pretty damn easy, having the second would give a better impression of the game.

I was kinda wondering why the review made no real mention of the force and the charge beam. The attachable and detachable force pod is pretty much the trademark feature of R-Type and in the video you seemed to use rapid fire all the time instead of using charged shots. I'm not sure about the relative damage output of the charged and basic shots (seemed to down the trap segments way faster) but charged shots are perfect for the hit and run attacks you need to perform on the gladiator (first boss) so I was kinda surprised to see you go in there with rapid fire. Then again it does seem to go down in like two hits with the charged beam (it took like half a dozen in the Gameboy version I played back in the day) in this version and I guess you wanted to show it to the viewer.

"The trick to Dimensions, and indeed virtually every shmup ever made, is trial, error, and memorization."

In Geometery Wars you didn't have to memorize anything really to beat the game. Just the control layout. In few vector based shmups I have have played like Kenta Cho's Torus Trooper or Eihander or even those black/white ikaguri type games really doesn't require trial, error memorization. They mostly require you to learn the control layout. I'm not disagreeing with you, since there is a lot of shmups out there that require that way of play, like the entire R-Type series.

Ooo, I'd hesitate to put Geometry Wars in the shmup category, but you're absolutely right that some shmups lean more heavily on memorization than others.

As for why I didn't mention the charge beam, the review isn't there to list every single feature of the game, simply to give you an idea of the kind of experience you'll have playing it. If you're easily frustrated, you're not going to like the game, presence of beam or not. I did actually use the beam in several places while we were capturing footage of the game, but I guess those shots just didn't make it into the final version of the video.

Fair enough, I guess people who want to see those mechanics can just grab the demo. Unfortunately they won't get a taste of the difficulty there and might think reviewers are just exaggerating...

GW is more of a shoot'em-in-any-direction :P

KDR_11k:
Fair enough, I guess people who want to see those mechanics can just grab the demo. Unfortunately they won't get a taste of the difficulty there and might think reviewers are just exaggerating...

GW is more of a shoot'em-in-any-direction :P

GW puts me more in mind of Robotron, which I wouldn't call a shmup...not entirely sure what I would call it, mind you.

Robotron I'd probably call a Decimation game, like Loaded, Smash TV or Mercs.

The one resounding memory of R-Type though is the R-Type syndrome, where you get weapons bolted onto you like The Centurions until you're uber-powerful and then the one blip that takes you back down to the pif-gun.

But still leaves the smorgasboard of enemies descending on you. Pif pif pif.

Oh yes... the games give you a twitchy eye by the time you beat them...

I'd go so far as to say many of the harder games back in the nintendo area (Contra for example) were more trial and error, rather than pure reaction time. In my memory most games of the era it was just about figuring out the level, and then bosses, pattern.

But anyways I always prefered lifeforce, but thats just my opinion.

Argh. 1200 points for this is extremely steep for this, especially since R-Type isn't even my favourite series in the genre.

If I didn't already own the originals, I'd consider but I think I'll pass.

An update to RType graphics would be an amazing thing. I remember burning hours on that game with my best friend. We shared your compulsion to announce who was at fault when dying.

If you have PSN instead of XBL, you can indulge your RType shmup itch with the original RTypes PS Classic title. It's the original game, with the original blocky, er, retro graphics, and it can play on either the PS3 or PSP. IIRC it's $5.99.

For the tactical minded, or for the older folks whose reflexes have started to dull, such as myself, there is also RType Tactics/Command for PSP. Same tunnely feeling, same Bydo adversaries, more time to plan your attack.

Here's hoping Dimensions makes it to PSN sometime in the future. Until then, enjoy the updated graphics, XBL friends.

saw that comming...

Of all the rtypes.. iliked R-type Final the best... still haven't beat the darn thing though.

Just wondering what people would like the next R-Type game to be like.
For me I would to see swap viewpoint in game from inside the cockpit to side scrolling... Yes, I know it's impossible becuase gameplay is different...But I can dream.

I can't believe this was just released from X-Box Live. No more than a week ago I dusted off the old Sega MC and plugged this old beaut' in. It's still as fun and frustrating as it ever was. Stupid 4th level wall makers. Damn you to HELL!

I love R-Type. It was the first game I got on my old Gameboy, gave me days of enjoyment. I'm somewhat glad I was born after the arcade crash otherwise I would have put a king's ransom into those machines.

Not usually a fan of these things, but I did enjoy one I had on one of those compilation CDs you can get cheap. Came with Ken's Labyrinth, an old Duke Nukem, some other stuff. And this side scroller - or, more, bottom to top scroller. Tiger something. Or something Tiger. Tigers?

Either way, it was awesome. Made me think I was good at these games. Turns out this was a once-off.

[/ramble]

To me, the R-Type series was 50-50 memorization and reflexes. Although you could memorize patterns of enemies and dangerous areas of the screen, you still had to make minute course corrections to dodge individual projectiles.

SaintWaldo:

If you have PSN instead of XBL, you can indulge your RType shmup itch with the original RTypes PS Classic title. It's the original game, with the original blocky, er, retro graphics, and it can play on either the PS3 or PSP. IIRC it's $5.99.

Unfortunately, not for us in Europe.

dekkarax:

SaintWaldo:

If you have PSN instead of XBL, you can indulge your RType shmup itch with the original RTypes PS Classic title. It's the original game, with the original blocky, er, retro graphics, and it can play on either the PS3 or PSP. IIRC it's $5.99.

Unfortunately, not for us in Europe.

You mean, it's not on the EU PS store, or it isn't $5.99? ;)

If you are really gung-ho for some retro shmup action, I'm positive you can create a US PS Store account and buy it that way. PS3 games, including PSN games, are not region locked. The only pain in the butt is having to swap logins (pretty much instant) to your US stash. And Japanese games don't get magically translated this way. ;(

SaintWaldo:

dekkarax:

SaintWaldo:

If you have PSN instead of XBL, you can indulge your RType shmup itch with the original RTypes PS Classic title. It's the original game, with the original blocky, er, retro graphics, and it can play on either the PS3 or PSP. IIRC it's $5.99.

Unfortunately, not for us in Europe.

You mean, it's not on the EU PS store, or it isn't $5.99? ;)

If you are really gung-ho for some retro shmup action, I'm positive you can create a US PS Store account and buy it that way. PS3 games, including PSN games, are not region locked. The only pain in the butt is having to swap logins (pretty much instant) to your US stash. And Japanese games don't get magically translated this way. ;(

It's not in the EU store at all, you need a US credit card or PSN card if you have a US account. A shame really, as I've never played R-type II. I did have R-type on my master system though, oh what a joy to play that was.

Heh.. I used to own R-Type I, on an Amstrad CPC i think it was.. Yep.. original version. The computer died a few years ago, but I'd like to state that, for the record, I completed it :D Hell yeah.

It's quite difficult, but its actually much more insanely difficult once you die, because you lose your little gun-upgradey thing..

I didn't even know R-Type II existed though :-(

And if that bit where it was mentioned is meant to be the pixellated mode... I had it in like 6 colours :D

Nice review, and from what I see I'd agree that it probably is fairly true to form, because I remember exactly what to do at each stage that you showed. I still rememeber the combinations. :S

dekkarax:
...you need a US credit card or PSN card...

I understand this. I also understand that a PSN card sold in the US is only for the US and same for cards in EU. However, you should Google the term "anonymous remailers". They provide a US address for shipping and then forward you the package anywhere in the world. Yes, it's legal; many US service people HAVE to use anonymous remailers to get shipments into foreign PX addresses. Anecdotally, a friend serving in Japan had to use one to get a hard copy of the first Shadowbane expansion, because they would not ship to Japan.

So, if you are _really_ serious about getting access to the US PSN store from the EU, it can be done. I'm currently trying to figure out how to get into the EU SingStore, as you have a bunch of Queen and Depeche Mode songs that we like to sing in the US, so I feel your pain, sir. ;)

R-Type 1 is also available on the Wii for 800 points (Super R-Type, a botched port of RT2 and R-Type 3 are 800 each too), probably easier to deal with than remailers and whatnot.

i used to love this game when i was a kid

then i went and shelled out wii points for it and it seemed that time had not been kind to me, i couldnt even complete the first stage! people might be thinking "ha you suck!" well you know what, you're right! i gave up after the bazillionth time i got marmalised within about two minutes of turning it on.....

its still an awesome game though :-)

R-Type was my all time favourite. Do you have the link to download this game? Is it just for 360 and it there a PC version?

 

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