R-Type 2 Review
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R-Type 2 Review

Our Review by Carter Dotson on February 13th, 2014
Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: 2 HARD
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This shoot 'em up is devilishly hard.

Developer: DotEmu
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Controls Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

R-Type 2 is brutal and unforgiving. DotEmu's port of the second game in this classic shoot-em-up series will take players back to a time when people sunk quarters into arcade machines, only to let out loud expletives when they died mere seconds later, again and again, thanks to extremely challenging enemy waves and boss fights. Now, one only has to pay $1.99 to get the whole game, but it's still going to cause profanity to spew forth like a geyser.

This horizontally-scrolling shmup is based heavily around enemy formations that come in, which the player must learn to survive, and getting to boss fights and taking them out - hopefully with the superior firepower acquired throughout the game's 6 levels. Players can play on Normal difficulty with 3 lives; Unlimited mode, which is Normal but with unlimited lives so that one can keep going unceasingly; and Insane mode. I assume this is unlocked by beating the game. I will never play it because why would I want something harder than the extreme challenge offered by Normal mode?!

The game's mechanic with its helper ship is great to use and so unlike any other game but the R-Type series. The ship can be used to absorb bullets from the front or back, or released to serve as extra firepower. It can be launched to attack enemies, but collecting it – and doing so on the right side and while avoiding all the other chaos – is part of that challenge. It's a wonderful mechanic, and the one that has made this series stand out for so long.

The port is also a solid job: the scaling looks good on even the Retina iPad, with options for configuring filtering and scanlines. The controls are workable too, with 1:1 touchscreen movement set by default with offset controls, so that players can move their finger away from the ship and still control it precisely. And standard for a DotEmu game, there's gamepad support with both iCade controllers and MFi controllers. Definitely play this with a gamepad if possible. The game demands precision.

To help mitigate some of the extreme challenge there's that unlimited lives mode, but the problem with it is that everything starts to get a bit grating after an extremely short matter of time. The music, which sounds cool for the first minute? It is now the soundtrack of death. Simple enemy formations now become challenging because they require more attention from the player than just rote repetition, but when trying again and again that's just what happens, and then those sections become difficult and the cycle of frustration continues unabated.

Really, this game is only for the patient and the brave shoot-em-up fans who can take this kind of heat. R-Type 2 is unrelenting, and only shmup experts will see much of this game without rage quitting. The port is solid, but the game is only for a limited audience.

iPhone Screenshots

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R-TYPE II screenshot 1 R-TYPE II screenshot 2 R-TYPE II screenshot 3 R-TYPE II screenshot 4 R-TYPE II screenshot 5

iPad Screenshots

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R-TYPE II screenshot 6 R-TYPE II screenshot 7 R-TYPE II screenshot 8 R-TYPE II screenshot 9 R-TYPE II screenshot 10
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