After a long silence and a successful crowdfunding campaign, Granzella’s storied R-Type series is back with R-Type Final 2.
It’s an exciting successor full of everything that makes the earlier games such a blast, and while it might not be for everyone, the sheer thrill of blasting through Bydo forces with your perfect R-Type makes it an easy one to recommend.
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In the Quiet of Space
R-Type Final 2 has a story. Something something, the Bydo threat returns, something something. It’s essentially just an excuse for throwing hordes of enemy spacecraft, mechs, and bioweapons at you, and that’s all it really needs to be. You can make choices or reactions at key points, but they don’t affect much of how the game unfolds.
That’s not to say R-Type Final 2 is a dull game. It’s anything but.
From the start, it bombards you with countless hazards in waves. It’s intentionally overwhelming, but R-Type gives you the tools to power through it, even if your ship explodes a dozen times or more in the process. You’ll have three R-Types and a piddling handful of weapons to switch between at the beginning. More R-Types and weapons become available as you progress further, and these are the game’s biggest strengths.
It Goes Boom
R-Types aren’t there just to look cool, though they certainly accomplish that effortlessly. The weapon spread and unlockables have a massive effect on how you approach each mission, from giving your ship bombs and homing missiles to modifying lasers.
Each R-Type can carry a Bit as well, an attachment that adds an extra weapon type, and can upgrade lasers into deadlier weapons such as electro-waves or reflector beams during missions. Some are more worthwhile than others, though experimenting with different builds is consistently rewarding and just plain fun.
Which is good, since R-Type Final 2 also tries to murder your sense of fun. When Granzella promises a return to the arcade space shooter classics of old, they mean it. One hit is enough to send you back to a checkpoint, regardless of the difficulty you choose. After a few deaths, you either spend credits to start again or you’re back to the hanger.
It’s frustrating, though there’s also plenty of satisfaction in learning each stage’s layout and finally making it through. Every stage is a multi-layered spectacle, which means playing through them is hardly a chore — even if most of the spectacle is in the enemies and not the actual stage design. However, that spectacle carries another problem.
One issue I ran into frequently is visual overload. There’s almost too much going on at times, and I found it easy to lose sight of enemy projectiles in the visual effects.The modern visuals look nice, but more contrast and perhaps a bit less going on would be helpful.
Whatever its faults, there’s really nothing much like R-Type Final 2 on the market right now. It’s unabashedly old school in its approach and delights in letting you go hog wild with its dozens of weapons. Frustration and visual crowding aside, there’s plenty to love here for space fans.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Review code provided by the publisher