By: Uma Smith
Back in my early youth, I was deeply impressed with the gameplay behind Gradius,thinking that nothing would trump this particular title. Then came R-Type,which changed my perception. It was still the same “type” of space shooter, but the power-up system was different. So by seeing this revival with R-Type Dimensions for the PlayStation 3, I was excited. Let’s see how this space shooter turns out!
Controls are standard with movement using the d-pad, which plays out quite smoothly. There’s also a few face buttons that serve to shoot as well as to launch your companion to help out. However, there is an additional goody or two thrown in. With a simple push of a button, you can swap between the old-school and 3D presentation, both in terms of graphics and audio. Finally you have the ability to slow the action down, thereby making the game play out a bit easier for you.
As mentioned earlier, R-Type Dimensions allow you to switch between the old and new types of presentation. During the latter, the visuals are pretty sharp with vibrant colors. You also have the animations and backgrounds giving a striking impression. But even if you switch over to the old-school pixelated look, the appearance is still pleasing and enjoyable.
And in both cases, the music and audio effects remain as exciting as always. One thing I would recommend is to notice the contrast, audio-wise, between the old and the new so as to appreciate the amount of work being placed for the update.
In case you never had the chance to play the original game, I will fill you in. R-Type Dimensions essentially will have you flying in a side-scrolling fashion across space as you shoot down enemies and avoid their fire. But just like Gradius, if you get your spaceship in contact with the environment, you’ll explode. So you really need to be careful not to fly carelessly across the screen. It’s challenging and frustrating, but it’s also satisfying as hell.
R-Type Dimensions gives you the ability charge up your weapon in order to release a powerful attack. But what also distinguishes this game from most other games within the spaceship genre is the fact that you can have a companion that also shoots with you. In this case, you can release it and change from what end up of the ship you want it to attach to. For instance, if it happens to be attached to the rear, it’ll shoot backwards, thus allowing you to protect yourself from both directions. Of course, there are also other power-ups like bombs and speed boosts.
Level after level, R-Type Dimensions never fails to deliver. There’s always something to keep your senses active. But the real test comes about when you face the boss battles. It’ll take some time to reign victorious. Hence, you’ll be constantly filled with adrenaline with this arcade-style action. You won’t get the highest degree of bullet-hell madness, but the difficulty is still as intense as ever.
Therefore, if you play with the standard three lives, you’ll find R-Type Dimensions pretty hard. Thankfully, the game gives you the option to play with infinite lives. And believe me, you’ll need it. Keeping the replay value up is the multiplayer mode where you can include an additional player locally to join in on the fun. So while it’s not exactly the most sophisticated game by today’s standards, you’ll be able to maintain your attention span to the amount of content and challenges offered.
Paying $9.99 in the PlayStation Store for this game is a real bargain considering the phenomenal gameplay, straightforward controls and wonderful presentation. So it should come of no surprise that R-Type Dimensions gives an extra “dimension” of both satisfaction and nostalgia for players.