Side scrolling shoot ‘em ups are currently a novelty, replaced by endless runners, tower defense games, and platforming games that boast breathtaking visuals. Relegated as remnants of the past, younger generations can no longer appreciate the glory days of gaming as some of them can only be seen via YouTube videos or via subpar emulations. Besides, who owns a working NES or arcade machine nowadays?
That is the reason why ports or emulations loyal to older games are very much appreciated these days. R-Type 2 is the follow up to DotEmu’s 2013 summer release of one of Irem’s most popular games, and while the game pretty much stayed in line with the original, there are a few bells and whistles that have been added in order to provide more variety into the title.
R-Type and its subsequent games have revolutionized the genre, and this most recent port for the iOS aims to reintroduce the game to gamers who might not had the chance to experience one of the best games of the eighties. R-Type 2 for the iOS boasts the game’s original visuals and sound effects, with players being given the ability to change some visual settings to suit their preferences. This is especially important as virtual controls for shooting and using the Force powerup will require your fingers to obscure some section of the screen at all times, and being able to adjust the game to not use full screen will give you an empty area so that your vision of everything that’s going on in the game would not be blocked.
As for movement, R-Type 2 provides two options of control, namely by means of a virtual control pad or by touching where you would like your ship to go. A third option is also available, which is through a peripheral controller which would allow you to both move around and shoot just like if you are using an actual control pad in an old school console.
The game also features some new additions that will excite even those who have played the game decades ago. These include new weapon types and powerups that add variety into the game, as well as a whole new element of planning and strategizing on how to stay alive for longer. Survival is also absolutely key in this game, as should you die, you do not begin at the very start, but rather at the last checkpoint that you’ve come across, albeit without the powerups that you have collected thus far. This is an extremely challenging concept as players will be forced to bring their ships up to speed once again while surviving not just enemy attacks from all sides, but also while trying to get through the dangerous obstacles that are in your way.
R-Type 2 also provides three different game modes, namely Normal, Insane, and Unlimited. While the game offers all six levels found in the original game, this version allows players to instantly start at select stages, provided that they have already completed the said level. Saved stages are independent of each difficulty setting, so players cannot jump from the final stage of one to the final stage of the other without them initially going through all levels for that setting.
For the game modes themselves, Normal setting resembles the regular difficulty setting while Insane mode provides a much tougher challenge with more enemies and more projectiles to dodge. The Unlimited Mode, on the other hand, is simply Normal Mode but with the game providing you with unlimited lives. Still, beating the game at any of the three settings would still prove to be a very daunting task as the game is still as challenging as it was before. R-Type 2 for the iOS also has the true ending twist where in only by beating the game a second time would reveal the true ending.
R-Type 2 for the iOS is a very welcome addition to the ever growing list of classic games that are being revived for modern times. It’s also a very good thing as the game came in its more or less original incarnation so that new gamers can fully experience one of the real classics of the golden age of gaming. Of course, it’s pretty much unavoidable to have a few tweaks here and there, but these modifications have done nothing but enhance the gaming experience, and for that, there’s really nothing to complain about. All in all, it only proves that R-Type 2 is still a game that can make noise even after all these years, and that it is a title, not unlike many others released decades ago, that still holds potential charm in the current gaming market and is far from being on its last legs.
Tested on iPhone. Final Score: 8/10
R-Type 2 for the iOS was developed by DotEmu with the original license provided by Irem. The game requires iOS version 4 or higher and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices, R-Type 2 for the iOS was released on February 13, 2014. The game is also available for Android devices via Google Play.