R-Type Final

Moby ID: 15759
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In R-Type Final, your enemy is the Bydo, an evil (and living) weapon capable of reproducing itself. Humanity has fought the Bydo four times so far, and each time was victorious. However, each time the Bydo appears it is stronger than before, and now it's back and you need to destroy it again! Like other games in the R-Type Series, the game is a scrolling shooter where you need to guide a spaceship through various stages and destroy the many enemies (including very large end of level bosses). The game features a large variety of spaceships (over 100!) to choose from, each with varying capabilities. Regardless of which ship you choose, you begin the game with limited firepower; you can fire a basic weapon, or hold down a button to charge up and fire a more powerful burst. Occasionally power ups will appear on the screen; collect these to equip your ship with additional weapons, including a variety of lasers, missiles, and other useful items. In addition to the normal game, an AI VS mode is also included. In this mode, you can set up one of your available fighters to be controlled by the computer and then fight it to see who wins in various battles.

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

130 People (96 developers, 34 thanks) · View all

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Director of Product Operations
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PTC
Quality Assurance
VP, Marketing
Marketing Director
Product Manager
Marketing Coordinator
PR Manager
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[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 25 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 12 ratings with 1 reviews)

Every franchise should have a conclusion this solid

The Good
The death of the arcade gaming industry seemed like it would take shooting games along with them. The high difficulty/low play time approach wasn't a good match for home consoles, and they were slowly phased out. Recently there has been a revival of sorts, although they are mostly based on Robotron-style arena shooters or bullet hell shooters filled with underaged girls. Proper space ships versus space aliens shooters appear to have fallen into the same memory hole as Day Glo and New Wave.

This is where R-Type Final comes in, serving as a send off not only to the R-Type series but also the genre that birthed it and supported it. Instead of challenging the player to protect their five pixel hit box from constant streams of multicolored bullets, Final instead takes a more relaxed approach. Screen estate is spent on large, detailed models that easily look as good as any graphics, 2D or 3D, from R-Type's past. Here is a "2.5D" game that loses nothing from using polygons, and still keeps the foreground and background distinct. The levels are all well paced, never outstaying their welcome and supplying enough powerups so that starting back at a checkpoint hurts, but isn't a game-ender.

The low number of onscreen enemies/bullets and slower pace don't make for a necessarily easier game, however, and the high firepower of the R-Type ship is absolutely necessary for survival. In addition to the standard rapid fire and charge shots, each R-Type's Force acts as shield, power up, and mobile weapons platform. Detaching and moving the Force in response to changing circumstances has always been the signature of the R-Type series, and it works just as well, and is just as necessary, in Final.

Final's biggest claim to fame is a garage filled with 100 different ships, and they're not just for show either. In addition to the series mainstay R-9 there are prototypes, experimental weapon test types, and even a few cameo appearances from other Irem shooters. Each ship has multiple bit/missile loadouts and paintjobs as well as a short bio that fleshes out Humanity's hundred year war with the Bydo. The Force/Wave Cannons equipped on each of the ships also serve to make them play differently, leading to different strategies for completing levels.

The Bad
I really hate to say this considering how much quality content is in the game, but the game seems to fall just slightly short of something named "Final". The huge number of ships and five difficulty settings do offer a lot of variation, as do three completely different final levels, but I can't help but feel as if there should have been just slightly more. The second stage in the game has five different variations, and stage 1 and 4 could have also used variants like that. A 2-player mode would have been nice as well, even if not in the spirit of previous R-Type games. It's pretty obvious they tried to make one, and couldn't get it to work, so they just turned it into the pointless Vs. AI Mode.

Also, as nice as the 100 different ships are, the actual method of unlocking them is just a pain. I appreciate that they wanted people to play with all the different ships they made, but several ships require an hour of playtime in order to open up the next one in sequence. Something more along the lines of the store in Mars Matrix would have worked much better.

The Bottom Line
In the years since Final's release R-Type, and Irem, have both marched onward. It may not have ended up being the final R-Type, but it still serves as a fitting conclusion to a genre of shooter that has gone out of style. It will also always be an example of the kind of polish and effort that Irem seems to only put into its April Fools jokes these days.

PlayStation 2 · by Lain Crowley (6629) · 2010

Trivia

1001 Video Games

R-Type Final appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Additional contributors: DreinIX, FatherJack.

Game added December 5, 2004. Last modified April 25, 2023.