Another video game review for you all – this time a collection of a couple classing side scrolling shoot-em up games, R-Type 1 & 2, as re-released on Playstation Network (as an emulated version of a PS1 game – which is almost $20 cheaper than buying it off E-Bay).

Company Credits

Title: R-Types
Developers: IREM
System: PS1 (Currently released in an emulated format on the Playstation Network – contains R-Type 1 & 2, originally released in arcades)
Release Date: February 28, 1999 (R-Type was originally released in arcades in July 1987, R-Type 2 was originally released in 1989)
Game Type: Shump (Side-scrolling Spaceship Shooter)

Premise

R-Type: (Going from the official story information from Irem) In the 26th century, humanity developed a biological weapon called the Bydo to use against it’s extra-terrestrial enemies. They were intended to be sent through a wormhole to an alien galaxy where they would go active and destroy them. However, they became active in our system and a desperate battle was fought against the Bydo until they were sent into another dimension by an “special weapon”. The Bydo emerged in the 22nd century, again seeking to destroy humanity. You are the pilot of the R-9a “Arrowhead” sent out to do battle against the Bydo and destroy them for the safety of humanity.

R-Type II: Several years later, the Bydo, thought destroyed in the last game, has returned. As the pilot of the new R-9c, you must set out to destroy the Bydo once again.

High Point

The game is an excellent arcade port of both games, replicating the look and sounds of the original games. Unless you’re using MAME, you’re probably not going to find a better port. Now, the game is extremely difficult, which is good for those who like that sort of thing, but if you love to play shumps but can’t bet them (like, well, me), there are cheat codes to give you, say, invulnerabilty.

Low Point

You need to have an analog stick for this game. The D-Pad just doesn’t cut it here – I bring this up because PS1 games, played emulated on the PS3, either purchased through the PSN store or through the physical disk only work with the D-Pad, not with the analog stick. So, either try your luck with an arcade stick to see if you can bluff it (as people will buying more of these, I suspect, with the forthcoming release of Street Fighter 4) or play this game on a PS2 or PS1 so you can use a stick, because you’re not going to make it without it. Note – I did have to use cheats to complete the game because I don’t have an arcade stick, and I’m playing the PSN release of the game. However, I did try to complete the game before using cheats. I failed.

Oh, and the Shotgun Laser from R-Type 2 is completely useless.

The Scores

Originality: It’s a re-release of two arcade ports of side-scrolling shoot-em-up games (ala Gradius). 3 out of 6

Story: To get the story, I had to go to Wikipedia and Irem’s own web page. Other than that, the story as depicted in the schedule is pretty sketchy – but most people aren’t playing these games for the story. 2 out of 6.

Graphics: The graphics in the game are 2D sprites – but they’re nice looking 2D sprites. In general, R-Type has graphics like a stellar looking NES game/first generation SNES game. R-Type 2 has graphics like some of the best SNES games. 4 out of 6

Sound: Again, considering the era these games came out, the sound isn’t as good as modern games, but it still sounds alright – the sound that is there is vibrant and clear. 3 out of 6.

Playability: That depends on the player. If you have someone to play it with, either to try an get the highest score or to see who can go the longest on one credit, then you should get plenty of fun out of it. If it’s you, just you, and nobody else but you, the replay factor will be limited. However, you if you like shumps this is one to have in your library. 3 out of 6.

Immersion: These are great arcade games, and draw you in as such. 5 out of 6.

Overall: In general, these are decent ports of two of the best arcade shoot-em-ups of all time. The graphics and sound are up to par with the original arcade release. The fact that the controls aren’t up to the same standards costs this game a lot though. 3 out of 6.

In total, R-Types for the PS1 (as released on PSN) gets 23 out of 42.