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Review #051: R-Type Dimensions EX (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewed By: Frank W.

Developed By: Southend Interactive

Published By: Tozai Games

Category: Action, Arcade, Shoot-Em Up

Release Date: 11.28.2018

Download R-Type Dimensions EX from the Nintendo eShop here.

To the Start of the Level With Ye!

R-Type, one of the greatest Shoot ‘em up series in the history of games, returns to show the young’uns what hard means. R-Type was king of the arcades for a long time with its awesome beats, its sharp graphics, and its unforgiving gameplay. Touch the terrain? Dead. Get hit by an enemy? Dead. And what happens then? To the start of the level with ye! This level of difficulty drives you to learn the perfect way through each level, to figure out what powers to get, and to figure out whether or not the top way or the bottom way is the safer way. Beating R-Type requires nearly mastering R-Type if we are talking about it in its most classic of modes, as there is no quick way to do it. This is a trend this series has never let go of over the years—its crushing gameplay! Dark Souls hard? Please! Give me some R-Type hard and call me in the morning!

Not Just Lipstick

R-Type Dimensions EX is a remake of R-Type 1 and R-Type 2, which also adds a ton of awesome things that I will detail as we get into this review. At its core, this is a love letter to old fans, and a way to get newer gamers to appreciate what went into this classic game that had it ruling the arcades for so long. R-Type Dimensions EX includes fully redone 3-D graphics and a re-recorded score, as well as the ability to switch back and forth between the new and old graphics and music with the press of a button. It also includes lots of other graphical options, so you can see two of the best entries in the series in a bunch of different ways now! Personally, I love the retro 2.0 filter. It looks so cool! There's an alternate camera for the 3-D mode that gives you a new perspective, but it is a little disorienting if you ask me—though it is still cool to mess around in for a little bit.

Now, Also For the Casual Gamer!

R-Type Dimensions EX also includes an infinite mode that will allow even the least seasoned fan to play these classics all the way through, but it really ends up hammering home the fact that these games are meant to be beaten with one life. It is ROUGH to get a good run going after you die once. Besides, when you get to the next level, the enemy placement and environmental hazards are finely tuned to either need the already-upgraded weapons or speed to be able to get past. Thankfully, they also include the ability to fully power your ship in one button in this mode, as well as the ability to slow down or speed up time, so you can really fine-tune your movements. These are really nice things to include, and it’s fun to take R-Type casually for once, rather than having it be a high-tension test of skill.

The music, sounds, and graphics of R-Type—both the classic and redone versions—are just fantastic, so it's nice to kind of focus on that for a little bit, rather than gritting my teeth figuring out perfect patterns and what the best power up is for the situation. These additions to the gameplay are awesome, and just another bonus to this collection—and for $14.99, you can’t beat that!

Gameplay & Fun Factor

R-Type, if you didn’t already know, belongs to the shoot ‘em up genre. It's a horizontal one, and you die in one hit, as mentioned. The gameplay, broken down, is that you pilot a ship and dodge enemy ships, as well as their bullets, lasers, and everything else the biomechanical Bydo Empire can throw at you. You gain speed-ups to move quicker, missiles that home in on enemies, bombs that will arc down, and bits that will protect your top and bottom! Then there are the beam power-ups—and that's when things start to get interesting!

The first one you get will cause a FORCE to appear. The FORCE unit is a big ball that will attach to the front or back of your ship and augment your shot. If it's on the front, it will shoot the beam from the front, on the back? You guessed it—back shots. Now, where it gets interesting is that you can launch the FORCE unit and have it operate on its own, or use that to reposition where you have it. This lends itself to an awesome dynamic of manipulating two separate attacking units on the screen at once; but one is invincible, so you have to manage when to use your force for attack, and when to use it for defense.

There is also a very strong charge shot to utilize, and in R-Type 2, it has a perfect-timing super shot that really annihilates the opposition. When you are fully powered up in R-Type it FEELS great—you really just cut swathes through the enemy—but you can quickly be taken down at any moment! This lends itself to exciting and fulfilling gameplay that does not get old. There is a reason these things took so many quarters from everyone back in the day!

Should You Buy It?

All in all, R-Type Dimensions EX is a fantastic tribute to the early days of the series, and it would make an absolutely great addition to an old fan’s collection, or to someone trying to get into the genre! Actually, this would be perfect for someone to actually practice the precision and planning the genre demands, with stage select being built into this edition, as well as the slow down function! This is a fantastic little addition to any Switch owner’s collection, that I would highly recommend!

Final Score: 9/10

Download R-Type Dimensions EX from the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by MMPR

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