The game that created a 2-D side-scrolling culture has returned in the form of R-TYPE II for iOS and Android. As authentic as I remember, the classic shooter has now been packaged as an on the go affair that feels surprisingly contemporary, boasting an obsessive appeal that is not so easy to put down.
Tasked with commandeering the classic and more than capable R-9C combat jet, R-TYPE II has every intention of making you submit to defeat as you traverse the hostile and varied environments. Enemy forces are plentiful and for iOS and Android they are quite unforgiving, lending to the frustration and addictive fortitude of the ride.
Adding tactical charm to the experience the effective charge shot returns in addition to the unique weaponry acquired along the way. These items appear in various functionalities once users destroy object known as POW Armor. Collecting them enables your R-C9 to become more formidable as the tension heats up when facing off against the games mini-boss and end level big boss battles.
Bit items are your allied drones I like to call them, fully indestructible they attach themselves to your ship while firing lasers beams at the enemy. Attaching two which was the limit according to my play through gave an almost impregnable presence to my R-C9 as the main ships firing power aligned with the two attached bit drones cause satisfying havoc to the enemy. However, due to the amount of projectiles thrown your way, playing cautiously is a must.
Laser crystals equip force armor onto your ship and become increasingly powerful with new special weaponry after the second crystal is collected and of course stronger with a third crystal. Yellow crystals equip anti-ground unit beams that spread along the floor and ceiling areas quickly eliminating enemies becoming quite useful when tight areas become filled with enemy firepower. The blue crystals equip reflecting beams that are fired in 3 directions and reflect off of terrain. Red crystals equip spiraling beams in the forward direction that penetrate through groups of enemies. Green crystals equip the new Search Laser beam, which fire two beams which bend at angles up to 45° to follow moving enemies, very stylish and most useful whenever they are acquired.
Speed boosts and missiles are also added to your repertoire and gratefully appreciated. ‘S’ items increase your speed more than four times the normal maneuvering, assisting well in quickly getting you out of those impossible odds however, you need to be careful not to widen your moves too much as any environmental object that touches your ship will destroy it.
This new iOS and Anrdoid experience is no walk in the park. In fact I would venture to say that R-TYPE II succeeds its predecessor in the difficulty department with room to spare. Enemies are durable and the number of bullets fired seem to have increased significantly.
Complimenting the gameplay, the iOS and Android controls lend well in seeming almost unchanged to the classic R-TYPE feel. Where the 8-way joystick controls offered that classic experience, the native touch screen maneuvering feels great, but not without a slight disadvantage for those with larger fingers. Oftentimes I found myself being destroyed by bullets I was unable to see coming from behind due to my finger being in the way. Thankfully a virtual control option which places a joystick in the bottom right corner can also be used to better see the playing field.
The on-screen icons which enable user to charge shots and place accurate drone shots can also be conveniently positioned across the screen for a better feel of mobility for varying play forms for different users.
Like the original R-TYPE II, the game for comes with six varied and entertaining levels. Levels become increasingly more difficulty as you progress. Highlighting the end of each level, epic old school boss battles introduce themselves which are sometimes placed right after defeating a mini-boss.
I can’t emphasis enough how brutal checkpoints are. However, keeping the game unchanged from the classic experience, overcoming these great odds is where the game shines. Thankfully for mobile player who can’t seem to fully overwhelm the opposition, they can choose the unlimited option, giving them a healthy dose of unlimited lives.
Throughout your time with R-TYPE II you will battle shifting levels and terrain with waterfalls impeding your progress, massive alien forms and crafty battleship before calling yourself a master R-C9 pilot.
This is old-school retro gaming at its finest!