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R-TYPE II Review

By , on February 17, 2014
Last modified 6 months ago


R-TYPE II
  • Publisher: DotEmu
  • Genre: Action
  • Released: 13 Feb, 2014
  • Size: 41.2 MB
  • Price: $1.99
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Plenty of visual options for purists
  • Looks and sounds perfect
  • Still a great shooter at heart

CONS

  • Poor touch controls make the game frustratingly tough
  • Difficult to recommend to anyone without an iOS 7 controller

VERDICT

A wonderfully crafted love letter to R-Type II which is let down by its touchscreen control schemes.


  • Full Review
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These days, the notion of guiding a spaceship from left to right in the hope of stopping an alien invasion is rather quaint. In the days of R-Type, however, this flavour of sci-fi blaster was still considered cutting-edge.

Irem's side-scrolling shooter series introduced massive power-ups and screen-filling bosses to a generation of gamers. As a result, seeing these games faithfully reproduced in the palm of our hands creates a strange nostalgia.

As far as content and visuals are concerned, DotEmu's recreation of R-Type II is flawless. Though the visuals have been updated for retina displays, you have the option to revert to the game's original graphics and resolution. Purists can even add CRT scan lines for that authentic arcade experience.

The problem in bringing R-Type II - or any arcade classic - to a touch device is that it's generally the controls which define the experience.

To dodge past kamikaze-enemies and weave through the hailstorm of bullets thrown at you requires lightning fast reactions, and a precise, reliable control system to match. Unfortunately, this is the area where R-Type II is found lacking.

To be fair, the developer does seem to appreciate the perils of porting to touchscreen. To compensate, the game provides no less than three different control options. The problem is, two of these fall short, with the virtual pads proving unresponsive, and the touch controls often forcing you to obscure the onscreen action. 

The final control method – syncing the game with an iOS 7 compatible Bluetooth controller - does live up to the original, but proves an expensive fix to enjoy your £1.49 / $1.99 game. If you don't have a physical controller, beating the game's six challenging stages without utilising the unlimited life option is a nightmare.

If you own an iOS controller and want to explore a page of gaming history, then R-Type II is as good a port as you could hope for. If you're going to be relying on the touchscreen controls, however, then this arcade classic is going to be even more punishing than you remember. 

Screenshots

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