Do you like shoot em ups? Me too. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at them but that was until I played this game. One word review? BRUTAL! Originally released in 1987 and 1989 respectively by Irem, Tozai has packaged both side-scrolling shoot ’em up games in one and added some new age twists. Right. Let’s talk.
The main menu shows both options of games in the form of arcade cabinets which is great because you can actually play that way. Your screen can show the view of an arcade machine while playing your game on the cabinet screen. Weird but cool. You can switch between 2D and 3D graphics during game-play which is wild and a reason I was drawn to this game. I was much better in 2D mode but if you get bored with the visuals you can switch to 3D for depth, popping colours and higher difficulty. As if this game wasn’t difficult enough. You can speed up as well as slow down time but I didn’t bother using either function. Your main gun can be shot continuously or you can charge it for a big shot with increased damage. One reason the game is so difficult is the slow movement of your ship. If you have no idea where enemies will be shooting out from, you will be destroyed quickly.
Classic mode offers 3 measly lives, after each death you’re reset at the previous checkpoint and your ship stripped of its weapon upgrades. This is insane. I’m sure there are some folks out there that can beat this game in classic mode but it will require memorisation and precision. Along with loads of patience.
I played both games in classic mode but opted for Infinite mode to make some headway and beat both games. This mode as you may have guessed, offers infinite lives because otherwise this would have taken me forever to complete. For those that wish to feel a quick accomplishment this mode is for you. I would suggest though, to return to classic mode once you’ve finished.
R-Type 1 and 2 are pretty similar but I think 2 has more interesting level design and boss fights. I won’t say either are easy, but it would be best to start the series in order. R-Type 2 may have better looking levels but it’s also more difficult. There were areas I had NO idea how to get through without infinite lives. It’s pretty frustrating when you’re unable to figure out the proper way to move forward. I really do tip my hat to anyone that can beat these games on Classic mode.
At first I felt like writing the review after beating Infinite mode was okay. Then I decided to keep playing Classic mode. Lord Shmup won’t be defeated so easily. Through trial and error, I doubled a previous high score. Remember what I said about memorisation and precision? It’s true. I had recalled enemy entry points and chose to the 2D option for precision. This game may push a lot of people away due to the difficulty but you have options of difficulty and visuals so that may keep some players happy.
It’s cool that both games were brought back with updates to gameplay but I didn’t have all that much fun playing it. The best parts were finally getting past a previously played area that completely dominated me the first few times. Those bits of satisfaction won’t keep me coming back for more unfortunately. This may not be for everyone and I can’t say I recommend it for others.
Beard Score: 5/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Nov 28, 2018
No. of Players: 2 players simultaneous
Category: Action, Arcade
Publisher: Tozai Games