One of the best arcade conversations for the Speccy
I have heard about R-Type
since the early Nineties, but since I haven't gotten around in playing it. I knew it was all the rage, but I didn't realize how good it was. It was certainly different to other shooters that were available around its time.
I was impressed at how well designed the title screen is, consisting of the usual R-Type
logo and that huge alien. I like the way that you read information about the R-9 spaceship while the Speccy version is loading itself up, and look at the accompanying illustrations next to it. This is great, as you have something useful to do rather than bore yourself to death.
There are eight levels in the game, and all of them contain graphics that are influenced by the works of H.R. Giger. Each sprite is huge and brightly colored, and there is smooth scrolling throughout. Most games released for the machine have a lot of color clash. But in this game, there is very little of it here. The background, consisting of stars that scroll toward you, is well done. The bosses that you have to fight are almost as big as its arcade counterpart.
Gameplay-wise, there are eight levels in R-Type
, and all these levels contain elements that are recognizable from the arcade version. The upgrades you can get are color-coded so that you can tell how powerful they are, and out of all of them, I like the red upgrades. The force may not be responsive in the Speccy version, but that is a minor problem. You can customize your keys, which is useful for me, as I am playing it through an emulator which I have difficulties using the emulated joystick with.
As the trivia page tells you, the initial Speccy version had an error which prevented level eight from loading from the tape. This seems to be fixed in the 128k version.
The Bottom Line
The Speccy conversion of R-Type
tries to replicate the original arcade, with impressive results. Both the graphics and the gameplay shines, and it is as fun to play as the original arcade. There is no background music during gameplay, but anyone who is too focused on the game would hardly notice this. Any person who owns Sir Clive's machine and who is a fan of shooters should add R-Type
to their collection.