R-Type (Electric Dreams) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Electric Dreams
Amiga 500

Published in Commodore User #68


Isn't the software industry backward? You take the hottest home computer in the UK (PC Engine and 386 PC excluded), capable of beating the competitors hands down, and what happens? It takes months for software to appear on it. Take the case of R-Type. All these poor Amiga owners are sat about looking lost when the C64 owners are saying how bad R-Type is, and ST owners are sat about saying how bad R-Type is. Mr Commodore Amiga is sat there saying how he wishes R-Type would come out on the Amiga so he could say how bad it was...

Now, months later, it has appeared and Mr Amiga can run out into the streets saying how good Amiga R-Type is, but nobody wants to listen. R-Type is old news. Everybody is talking about the Pamella Bordes licence now, and consequently he loses all his friends and starts listening to heavy metal, because he is no longer fit to join society.

This might seem a little drastic, but it does happen. All I did was tell one Brinks-Mat joke two years after it happened and now look at me.

The more astute of you might have noticed the little slip in the first paragraph. For those of you who missed it, what I said was, Amiga R-Type is good. In fact, it's better than good. It's approaching arcade perfect.

Do I have to bore you stupid with the plot? Let me put it this way. You are a spaceship with a variable weaponry. You can fire bullets of all sizes. The longer you hold down the fire button, the bigger the bullet. You get lots of other things on screen when you play. These can be divided into four categories. Background: to be avoided. Collision with this results in a little explosion and you die horribly in a ball of flame. Not surprisingly, this results in a loss of a life. Bullets: see background. Other sprites: the proper gameplaying term for these is 'enemy'. These have to be shot. End of level alien: these are very big and require a lot of hits. Destroy this and you go onto the next level. Kill the one on the eighth level, and you have finished the game. (Game description (c) N. Taylor School of Computer Games Mastering)

Probably the best thing about R-Type is the feel. The smooth scrolling, combined with the pixel-perfect collision detection and with the speed of the game, make it fun to play. In fact, the feel is more or less identical to the arcade, as are both the graphics and the sound.

The backgrounds are a little flat, but only veterans of the coin-op will notice difference in gameplay.

The sprites are large, detailed and ported almost directly from the coin-op. A still shot of the game makes it look the same as the ST version but it's the fluid movement and the absence of flicker than gives it a real arcade look.

The intro tune is great (even better in stereo) and all the tunes and FX from the coin-op have been copied perfectly, though a strange rattling noise occurs whenever you hold down the beam weapon at maximum.

R-Type was worth the wait, says Dillon's little verdictometer. It's just a shame it didn't appear when C64 owners were mourning the loss of their ten quid. Still, better late than never.

Tony Dillon

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