R-Type Final 2, the review of the last chapter of a historical saga

Who I am
Aina Martin
@ainamartin
Author and references

The problem with games like R-Type Final 2 is that they always offer a double interpretation, said among us very trivial, so anyone can afford to take a stand without much effort. On the one hand there is the realization that these are classic titles, which have their roots in forgotten epochs of videogames, and which therefore can make many modern players turn up their noses; on the other hand there is an unbridled love for everything that allows you to reject the present and celebrate a past that will never come back, but which for many is a ghost that cannot be eliminated.



The opinion expressed by R-Type Final 2 review it therefore becomes a kind of search for the perfect balance between the parts, which constantly tries to justify itself. On our own we tried to think of Granzella's title in relation to the audience it is aimed at, not to a generalist one who, in all probability, has no interest in R-Type and in everything that goes around it.

Game room smell

R-Type Final 2: artwork

R-Type it is a name that smells of the 80s. It is the gambling den where you went to spend your snack money before entering school; it's hours spent playing and watching others play to see if anyone could tame that damn giant third level spaceship, while all around the smoke choked the little air of the small room where the box was located. R-Type on paper was a simple horizontal scrolling shooter like Gradius or Darius were, but it had a completely different way from its competitors to manage the upgrades and, above all, such a marked visual style, which did not leave indifferent. When Dobkeratops appeared at the end of the first level, you couldn't help but be amazed because you had simply never seen anything like it. In Irem, the original development studio, they performed miracles. The other bosses of the eight levels of which the game was composed will not have the same impact and will never become as iconic (also because they were very difficult to reach and few saw them), but it doesn't matter. R-Type greatly influenced the genre, inspiring a multitude of clones, often even shameless (Katakis and Pulstar, just to name a couple) and giving life to a series that fortunately we can still talk about today, despite the years between the publication of R-Type Final and R-Type Final 2.



Game mechanics

One of the bosses at the end of the level

At this point it is worth remembering that R-Type Final 2 was born thanks to a Kickstarter campaign of success (actually more than one, but let's not say anything), in which the developers actually promised what they then achieved: a real party for the fans of the previous chapters. In this sense, their game could not have been different from what it is, precisely because it was born with the intention of reviving a certain way of playing, rather than evolving it, revolutionizing it or making it attractive to an audience that would not consider it a lot. regardless. R-Type Final 2 is, in this sense, exactly how it was meant to be.

The first level is a destroyed space factory where there are still signs of activity of the Bydo (the alien creatures that since the first episode make our life hell). Before leaving on a mission there is a short intermission sequence, easily jumpable, then you immediately start shooting at the enemy waves, collecting the upgrades that, as tradition has it, become pods that attach to the front or back of the selected spaceship and which can be managed during the game by changing its position. Depending on the color of the upgrade, you get different weapons, which in turn vary by ship. Among bouncing beams, circular energy beams, side flares, laser bullets and so on, fans of the series will find themselves at home. Of course, the Beam, which is the attack charged with two degrees of power, which usually allows you to quickly destroy even the toughest enemies. The ability to change spaceship between levels (or after dying) adds a touch of strategy to the whole, also encouraging the player to study the different means at his disposal (initially only three, but others are quickly unlocked) to understand which ones are best in certain situations.



Difficulty

Consider that R-Type Final 2 is anything but easy. Indeed, to be honest it is really hard. At the beginning of each game you can choose the difficulty level to play one of the two available paths (the levels of R-Type Final 2 or a DLC that is nothing more than a celebratory path of R-Type with a couple of really tough levels). There are five of them and one would think that things start to get difficult from the third onwards. In reality, the second level of difficulty, defined as "for children", is already capable of literally spitting blood. Imagine the others. We specify that ours is not meant to be a complaint: R-Type was very difficult and the following were not far behind, so we are perfectly in keeping with tradition. By playing you learn, one might say, but you also unlock new content, such as the ability to replay individual levels to improve your score or like new spaceships. You also get some money to spend on cosmetic items (there are no microtransactions, don't worry), to decorate the spaceships and the pilot.


Nintendo Switch version

Attention, because the Nintendo Switch version has some more problems than the others in terms of bugs and stability. It is not completely unplayable, but at the time of writing this review it has not yet received a definitive patch. Surely it will be updated soon, but you make your own assessments.


Artistic direction

Some levels are beautiful to look at, others just aren't

The weaker side of Granzella's classic shooter is certainly that artistic, starting from the music, which is without infamy and without praise, reaching the real levels, often less characterized than what could be expected from a game that bears the name of R-Type and moreover full of ugly 3D objects, including some enemies, which make some passages really insignificant. It must be said that things improve in the advanced levels, those that paradoxically the players will see less, but something more could be done, especially with the bosses. The first four bosses of the R-Type Final 2 levels are really bad: a frozen version of Dobkeratops (playing the normal version will also unlock), a kind of room full of small tentacles generated by two strange flying devices, the heart of an giant spaceship (which we will never have the pleasure of seeing in its entirety) and a kind of chandelier. In later levels, things improve. In particular i final bosses (the game has three different endings) they really succeeded. Of course, the problem is getting there unscathed. Be careful because we are not saying that the R-Type Final 2 is bad to look at in general, but only that some elements suggest its production limits. For the rest, the gameplay is what fans of the genre cannot do without and that they will surely love, made with great ability by the development team, who knows it better than anyone else. It will probably be the last R-Type ... hopefully not, but if that were the case at least the series would have ended with a bang.

Comment

Digital Delivery Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop Price 39,99 € Resources4Gaming.com

8.5

Readers (13)

8.6

Your vote

R-Type Final 2 is the new chapter in the R-Type series that everyone who gave Granzella money on Kickstarter wanted. If you are a fan of the scrolling shooter genre, you will hardly find better among the new proposals. Too bad only for a few levels not really inspired, some ugly bosses and for the not exactly memorable soundtrack. That said, beyond any potential nostalgic thought process, here's that gameplay that everyone we've loved R-Type can't ignore. Everyone else ... well, it's just not a game for you.

PRO

  • The gameplay is that of the series, with many highs and few lows
  • Lots of unlockable content
  • Difficult, sometimes bastard, but never incorrect
AGAINST
  • Artistically, something more could be done, especially for the first levels
  • Some bosses are ugly
  • Forgettable soundtrack
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