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While there's no shortage of tactical strategy role-playing games on the PSP, they've all begun to look similar to each other, and variety and challenge seem to be scarce in these games as of late. Thankfully, Irem made Command to live up to the R-Type name as far as challenges go, and the inclusion of innovative space twists is a breath of fresh air for this genre on the portable. In the end, completion of a stage in R-Type Command is every bit as rewarding as it was in its shoot 'em up predecessors, but without the painful hand cramp. Give your trigger finger a rest and pick this title up.
FileFactory Games / Gameworld Network
R-Type Command makes for a great portable game for those who love turn-based strategy games. I am not sure if the same applies to those who liked the original side-scrolling shooter R-Type. Regardless, there is enough depth and variety thrown in to keep you coming back for more.
The Next Level
With as addictive as the strategy part is, though, a little clunkiness in the front end is forgivable. The rhythm of the battles just feels right, once the disruptive 3D cut scene battle animations are turned off in the always-accessible Options menu. It's far too easy to lose a couple of hours conquering the depths of Bydo-infested space, carefully drawing out the enemy a bit at a time so as not to get overwhelmed by their superior forces. R-Type Command is an excellent chunk of addictive gaming set in a military sci-fi space opera, and an easy recommendation for anyone with the small amount of patience a good strategy game requires.
Even if you only play the massive single player campaign, R-Type Command is a breath of fresh air in an industry filled with “me too” knock-offs and umpteenth sequels. Unless you’re a hardcore adrenaline junkie, you really shouldn’t pass this one up.
I think that fans of the game are going to get more out of this game than most others, though again I think fans of R-Type are more interested in playing a shmup than an SRPG. That fact aside, R-Type Command is a solid reinvention of the series. It certainly has a number of faults, most of which have to do with pacing and load times, but the bulks of the game is quality and that's the important part. It's not as if the just threw this title together in the hopes that it would sell - Irem took a lot of time and effort to make sure that the R-Type brand would move on to bigger and better things and it certainly shows.
R-Type Command is an excellent strategy game that’s nearly killed by its slower-than-bearable pace. Strategy gamers, though likely frustrated and contemplating an exit strategy, will want to endure the monotony to reap the benefits: engrossing combat, great levels, and larger-than-life boss battles.
You're not going to find a perfect game in R-Type Command, but what you will find is an engrossing tactical role-playing game that turns the genre on its side. While some long-time fans of the franchise may be disappointed by the slow-pace, R-Type Command is the type of crazy mash-up I want to see more of in the future!
Problems aside, I still enjoyed my time with R-Type Command, especially in experiencing the style and diversity of the unit types. If you can look past some technical shortcomings and a few gameplay annoyances, R-Type Command is a good strategy game that, when treated almost like a board game, will definitely entertain. R-Type fans may have wanted another shooter, but I say this is a solid (albeit alternative) addition to the franchise.
Game Informer Magazine
Developer Irem has left behind R-Type‘s fast-paced shooter action for the slowest genre available – strategy. Using a left-versus-right 2D hexagon battle system, players command a fleet of recognizable classic ships against the Bydo armada. While the brief 3D attack animations look nice, the fact that you have to wait through a load every time will have you turning them off after the first battle. Combat is suitably deep, but eventually grows stale later in the campaign. If you dig R-Type and strategy (or just the latter), Command definitely does the trick, but shooter fans are better off waiting for the next one.
But let's not ask for too much here. R-Type Tactics lies among that enjoyable second tier of turn-based games currently occupied by the likes of Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command. If you can forgive the fact the campaign isn't entirely tight, it's a decent stab at something new. Or - if it turns out we've forgotten something obvious - as good a turn-based shoot-'em-up as we've played.
R-Type Command is a great game, but you have to approach it with the proper frame of mind. Fans of the twitch-based play style popularized by the past installments won't necessarily welcome the new direction, yet they're the only ones likely to care much for the ridiculously poor plot (segments repeatedly amount to nothing more than a captain musing about the aliens' agenda and then acting startled when he is called to battle). If you aren't obsessed with plot and if you're willing to put up with a little down time before and during each battle, though, this is definitely a rewarding piece of software that should keep you satisfied until at least the next Bydo invasion.
R-Type Command will become that game we wanted to love, but for which we settled on deference to the brand and the attempt. As my basketball coach used to say after I botched a layup (I wasn't very good at basketball): "Good effort!"
Though it doesn't look space-aged, R-Type Command offers you a mildly entertaining future in which you'll spend hours and hours blasting aliens with rockets. It isn't chess, or even Advance Wars, but it's still fun to wield a huge fleet against the forces of evil while developing exotic new ships. It won't blow you away, but it can sure kill some time.
Despite being highly regarded, R-Type has always been a game that appealed to a limited audience. Shmups are niche games due to their high difficulty, and taking the series in this new direction will probably appeal to an even smaller group of players. Given some unnecessarily slow load screens, as well as weird bouts of loading in the midst of battle, R-Type Command has its flaws, but it's also a unique experience for the PSP. If you are a fan of R-Type or turn-based strategy games, you'll have an enjoyable time.
There are a few other niggling things that need polish (ships have fuel concerns, the 3D graphics taking too long to load, the complete lack of a tutorial) but the fact remains that R-Type Command is an incredibly interesting and unique entry into a genre that's been creatively comatose for some time. Despite the rough edges, I admire the game's willingness to break some rules, create a new formula, and try something that was expected by absolutely no one. It may not have been a direct hit, but R-Type Command's mission was certainly accomplished.
The other problem with the game is that it seems expensive for what is essentially a board game. Yes, the argument can be made that Advance Warsalso expensive, but this game at $40 seems pretty extravagant especially when matched up with the other $40 RPG/Strategy games Atlus has been putting out at a good pace lately on the PS2. This game will take you a bit of time to beat, but asking $40 might be a bit on the high side.
Cheat Code Central
It's hard to call R-Type Command a successful makeover. To fans the game may just make them more nostalgic for past R-Type games and a proper, if by-the-numbers, sequel. For hardcore turn-based strategy fans nearly every minus (the slow pacing, lengthy campaign, etc.) may actually be a plus. Irem took a risk by moving to a completely new genre, but its seems that lifting R-Type out of its original mold took away what made it distinct in the first place.
It's a shame that R-Type Tactics flaws outweigh its good points as there is potential for a interesting and fantastic departure from the usual shump action that R-Type is known for. But if only Irem tried harder then we wouldn't have something that quickly becomes boring and dry.
The Video Game Critic
R-Type Command is not a bad game once you get a feel for it, but R-Type fans really should know what they're getting themselves into.
It's great to see R-Type the series alive and reinventing itself in other genres, but while the experiment is bold, the results are decidedly lukewarm. And all the game's unlockable videos and artwork serve to do is fire up my desire for another proper R-Type shooter. It's not a stretch to suggest that most diehard R-Type fans would probably rather have gotten either a new R-Type shooter for PSP, a port of R-Type Delta for PSP, or a port of R-Type Final for PSP. But even if the Irem fan base were ready for a game such as this, R-Type Command's plodding execution guarantees that neither those R-Type fans nor gamers looking for a meaty, turn-based strategy game will find much satisfaction here.
And that says it all about R-Type Tactics, really. When you play a game and find the most immersive sections are cut-scenes and the game isn’t called Metal Gear Solid, then you know something isn’t quite right. Despite providing an interesting departure for a classic series, Tactics just can’t quite cut it in even the least competitive platform’s market. In no means is it a terrible game or even broken, it just doesn’t serve any purpose and feels like a complete chore. That is not what we pay our hard earned cash for...
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