Find out if R-Type Final 2 revives this legendary franchise, or kills it off for good…
Watch our review of R-Type Final 2, the latest entry in the legendary side scrolling shoot ’em up series. Find out it if lives up to the hype of the original.
Hey how’s it going guys! This is Tom from UDS and welcome to our review of R-Type Final 2, where we’ll reveal everything you need to know before you play. If you’re a fan of all things video games, make sure to join our Discord and of course subscribe here for more reviews and features every single week. You’re not going to want to miss it.
During the golden age of arcades, few games captured people’s attention and coins quite like 1987’s R-Type. The side-scrolling sci-fi shoot ‘em up was famed for its stunning visuals and addictive, yet at times punishing gameplay. As an ace pilot of the R-9 “Arrowhead”, you’re tasked with defeating the evil Bydo, a powerful alien race bent on wiping out all of mankind.
The last arcade game to be distributed by Nintendo, it spawned a series that’s had its ups and down over the years, but has never really seemed to capture the same spark that made the original so iconic.
After a few sporadic releases, some only appearing in Japan, the series had laid dormant for over a decade. That is until the Kickstarter campaign for R-Type Final 2 appeared a couple of years ago, on April 1st, no less. But rather than a gag, it turned out to be very real. A sequel to 2004’s R-Type Final for the PS2, it’s an interesting choice for a sequel, to put it kindly. R-Type Final is often considered one of the weaker entries in the franchise, criticised for veering too much from its predecessors, with excessive camera cuts and overly muddled level design.
But that wasn’t enough to put off long time R-Type fans, and after a successful funding campaign, this latest entry is now out for everyone to check out. But does it revive the series’ iconic roots, or is it the final nail in its coffin? Watch on to find out…
The biggest relief is that the level design is infinitely better than the original R-Type Final. It feels much more like a revamped version of the original, even lifting characters and areas that series veterans will instantly remember. The enemy design is super impressive as well, combining elements of techno and biological influence to great effect. The original Bydo sprites were heavily inspired by the likes of Geiger’s Alien, and it’s good to see that pedigree is still there.
It gives everything a sense of authenticity and reverence that the previous games had sorely been lacking. And this isn’t too much of a shock, as the team behind it includes talent from Irem, the studio that first developed R-Type.
Not only are the levels well made, but they’re also a dream to traverse. The controls are tight and responsive, and while the challenge is still very much there, it never feels unfair which is the most important thing. And if things do get a bit much, you can adjust the difficulty down, including to the condescendingly titled kids mode. I don’t need to be reminded how bad I am at video games, I already know all too well!
And when it comes to what you’re traversing the levels in, we’ve come a long way from the humble R-9 “Arrowhead”. Not only do you have an embarrassment of choice when it comes to what ships you can pilot, but you also have a tonne of customisation and upgrade options for each as well. If I was being really harsh, I might argue that the vast majority of the base models look a bit generic, but that might just be personal choice. Ultimately, it’s a small gripe as you’ll be spending most of your time looking at the world around you instead, where the visuals really shine.
And this is all augmented by a stellar soundtrack. It’s sort of a mix between the score of Mass Effect crossed with cheesy ‘90s europop. It has that sci-fi edge with just a taste of retro campiness, which is probably a good way to describe the entire game.
Overall, R-Type Final 2 is a triumph. It combines a sense of familiarity and reverence for what’s come before, while innovating and updating where necessary. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel (or lack of, in this case), but it didn’t need to. Instead, if this is to be the last R-Type game, it’s one hell of a send off.
And that’s a wrap on our review of R-Type Final 2. Have you had a chance to play it yet? Are you looking forward to checking it out? Please let me know in the comments below, I would genuinely love to read your thoughts. And while you’re there don’t forget to subscribe for more videos and games new and old every single week. My name is Tom, we’ve been UDS and I’ll see you next time.