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R-Type Final


AnthonyVolpe
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Originally posted by FutureVoid@Feb 6 2004, 09:56 AM

I'll be posting impressions of this t a little later today

Definitely looking forward to hearing them - I had the game in hand last night but ended up not purchasing it until I'd read up on it. I've never played any R-Type game, but I enjoy Panzer Dragoon Orta and Rez so as a 'shooter' I think I may like R-Type Final. (I just don't know how, if at all, similar these games are.)

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I'm also really looking forward to them. How are you for recent shooters, Romier? I'd be particularly interested in how you feel this measures up against the new breed of Psyvariar, Ikaruga etc.

 

I'm concerned as to how it might on the one hand struggle to maintain its roots in the R-Type series or on the other fail to keep up with the more tactical, less straight pattern-learning shooters that reward combos and offer multiple 'safe' strategies.

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How many difficulty settings are there?

 

There are 5 ranging from "Baby" to "R-typer".

 

 

I'm concerned as to how it might on the one hand struggle to maintain its roots in the R-Type series or on the other fail to keep up with the more tactical, less straight pattern-learning shooters that reward combos and offer multiple 'safe' strategies.

 

Its not an issue Iain. The game is so very R-type yet still manages to balance old school pattern recognition with the more strategic system of something like Ikaruga (though don't think the game is as good as Treasures shooter it certainly can hold its own). Mainly because each ship is so customizable. You can choose what cannons, lasers, bit pieces etc you want to throw on there and the sheer variety of ships, over a hundred, give you a great reason to play through again.

 

How are you for recent shooters, Romier?

 

I'm really very satisfied with the minor resurgence of the shooter genre this gen. Of course Im a complete and total Panzer Dragoon nut so that fact that we got a new game in that series is a big reason for that. Though that may be overstating as the Playstation/Saturn/N64 generation also saw some great releases like Raystorm, Thunderforce V , the aformentioned Einhander, the venerable R-type Delta (still the best in the series IMHO), Sin and Punishment on the N64, and the godly Radiant Silvergun (which I swear Im gonna spring the 150 bucks for eventually!) and I know I'm missing a ton more.

 

The Dreamcast was also just a bastion for shooter fans. Hell at RSG last year Brian, Scott, myself and a few others locked ourselves away doing nothing but sampling the myriad of shooters available on the DC. (some of which I still need to buy!).

 

Now with R-type Final, the previously released Contra SS (which I personally classify under the same mantra as games like Ikaruga and such), Psyvariar 2 and Konami bringing Gradius V, developed by Treasure no less, I think its a damn good time to be an old school shooter fan.

 

I can still remember the first time I played the original R-type in an arcade and just about flipped cause I wanted to take the cabinet home with me. Even going back to games like Missile Command, Defender, the original bad boy Asteroids and even Centipede (still one of my absolute favorite arcade games of all times) I was all about shooters. I must say though my first real memory of completely falling in love with the genre, the point where I knew if there was a ever a genre to call my favorite it would the "space shooter" was the first time I played Life Force on the NES. I freaking loved that game and I still do to this day.

 

On the subject of the NES, anyone else remember an old Capcom shooter called Section Z? For some oddball reason that just sprung to mind as another shooter that I played a helluva alot on my NES.

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I don't know if I'd call this the Einhander killer. So many shooters have killed Einhander that I can't help but wonder if Einhander is already dead. :shock:

 

It is certainly among the best, if not THE best 2-d shooter on the current systems. If this really is the final R-type, the series has a worthy end. Treasure certainly has a tough act to follow with Gradius. I dropped the difficulty down to "baby" to see all the levels, then ended up restarting when I died on level 4 instead of continuing so I could experiment with the ships I unlocked. I had, of course, used the old school R-9 the first time through. At first I was going to lament that Irem didn't put enough stages in the game, but a couple of them were completely different the second time I played through.

 

The graphics are gorgeous. R-type may not be amazing in technical terms, but the wonderful art design combined with the blissful pyrotechnics make it one of the best looking PS2 games. The levels look vastly different from one another, which is a huge plus in my book. Level 3 is just fantastic, and the boss from level 4 was a nice taste of nostalgia.

 

The music is also hot. A few tracks stick out a lot more than the others, but all that I've heard so far are well done. The style is unique and not your standard generic rock.

 

The gameplay and controls are spot on as is to be expected. It plays exactly like previous R-types, although there aren't quite as many cramped tunnels. I think I remember Delta having 5 or 6 speed control levels, whereas Final has 4. It would have been nice to speed the ships up one more increment. Much has been made of the 99 ships. So far I have 12 unlocked, and I've played with 9 of them. Some of the ships are completely different from others in terms of weapons loadout, whereas others may differ in only a slight way, such as the main charge cannon. Some of the ships return from past games, and there have also already been some completely original designs. You can also select which bits and missiles you want, and there are about 10 types of each. However, each ship has a certain selection of bits and missiles it is capable of holding. In a nice touch, you can change cockpit and body color. As always in R-type, the type of your Force and the way you deploy it adds a lot of strategy.

 

So, how does it stack up to the rest? It walks all over Giga Wing and Einhander. Mars Matrix is a favorite of mine due to the experience system and all the extras, but Final edges it on account of technology and ship selection. I would say R-type Delta has slightly better level design, but the technology, extras, and branching paths in Final make it the definitive R-type game. Ikaruga is a bit edgier of a subject, but to be honest, the game bores me. It simply defies shooter conventions to eschew power-ups and the standard, straight firing gun combined with occasional homing lasers just isn't enough. Ikaruga does have added depth from the chain system, but it has no benifit to the player other than a higher score. Radiant Silvergun had it right by providing ship upgrades for racking up the chains. I'm not a fan of chain systems anyway. The point of a shooter is to decimate everything that moves, not stop and say "oh, you're white, I can't shoot you until I've killed 2 more black enemies." So, I would say R-type > Ikaruga and is the best shooter of the current systems. I've got a soft spot for Thunder Force V and several Saturn shooters, so I don't think I'll get into drawing comparisons there.

 

As for where to get it, I don't think Best Buy is stocking it and I haven't seen it at Target, Wal-Mart, etc. either. I got mine at Toys R Us, which only had 2 left. I would imagine EB and Gamestop will have it too. This definately isn't a purchase to delay if you want it, unless you like overpaying on Ebay.

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So, how does it stack up to the rest? It walks all over Giga Wing and Einhander. Mars Matrix is a favorite of mine due to the experience system and all the extras, but Final edges it on account of technology and ship selection. I would say R-type Delta has slightly better level design, but the technology, extras, and branching paths in Final make it the definitive R-type game.

 

**SOME SPOILERS**

 

I have to say I disagree with you on several points, specifically in terms of Delta and Final. I feel the level design for Delta was indeed far superior to Final, though the ship choices were quite a bit more limited in the previous PS1 title. Specifically the first two stages of Final lacked any strong level of strategy to me, they seemed very straightforward (especially the first couple boss battles). The game does pick up later on with some really interesting boss battles and much better layout but even then I still preferred Delta (I threw in Delta in fact just to make sure the nostalgia wasn't getting to me and it wasn't 8) ). IMHO level design is key to any shooter (and especially R-type which I hold in higher regard). I can certainly respect your opinion on Final Bling but Delta still remains, what is to me, the definitive R-type experience. YMMV (and already does :D ).

 

However thats not to say that Final is a slouch. What the game does do extremely well is variety. Each level has a distinct flavor ranging from underwater factory settings, to destroyed cities to hyperspace jumps (which just about gave me a headache! ;) ). The weapons are as good as ever and the bosses later in the game are killer (literally). Not too mention on higher difficulty settings you'll need to leave your sanity at the door. That is a compliment by the way! Also the ship selection is the games biggest selling point. I currently have 26 ships available in my hangar and as Bling mentioned they each have thier very own play styles which adds to the games replayability and depth. (though once you get an "upgraded" version of a ship model the lesser model becomes almost obsolete). Also the fact that you can select the color for you ship really adds a touch of personality. Now if only I could get the words "LCVG" on my grey and orange R9A3. :lmfao:

 

Furthermore graphically the game is a decisive upgrade over Delta. The water effects in the opening level are really impressive and the boss battles later on (including a rather disgusting boss with a big flesh sack which comes down in the center along with a centipede circling) show off some dazzling effects. The problem is the game still suffers from some abhorrent slowdown in later levels (you really won't notice it until you reach the end of the Bydo battleship in the third level and it rears its ugly head from time to time after). Thankfully much like Delta it never hampers gameplay to a great extent. With the amount of particle effects being thrown around its somewhat understandable but it could have used a little more polish in that department.

 

I think I remember Delta having 5 or 6 speed control levels, whereas Final has 4.

 

Nope it does in fact have 4. Default speed is 2.

 

Ikaruga is a bit edgier of a subject, but to be honest, the game bores me. It simply defies shooter conventions to eschew power-ups and the standard, straight firing gun combined with occasional homing lasers just isn't enough. Ikaruga does have added depth from the chain system, but it has no benifit to the player other than a higher score. Radiant Silvergun had it right by providing ship upgrades for racking up the chains. I'm not a fan of chain systems anyway. The point of a shooter is to decimate everything that moves, not stop and say "oh, you're white, I can't shoot you until I've killed 2 more black enemies." So, I would say R-type > Ikaruga and is the best shooter of the current systems. I've got a soft spot for Thunder Force V and several Saturn shooters, so I don't think I'll get into drawing comparisons there.

 

I'll have to again respectfully disagree with you on the subject of Ikaruga as well. Though I am in no way disregarding your opinion of the game.(hey if it bored you what are you gonna do you know? ;) ) I feel Ikarugas' color swapping system made for one of the better changes in the genre.(as Brian would tell you its a small innovation that originated in Silouhette Mirage which I recently picked up and am really enjoying). It offered a great depth in both the gameplay mechanics and in the previously mentioned chain system. I do somewhat agree on the lack of rewards allocated for maintaining a successfull chain but I'm an old school score hound so seeing the numbers climb can at times be satisfaction enough for me. I do want to reiterate that your point on Radiant's upgrade system is a good one and I would not have scoffed at its implementation in Ikaruga (Im telling you Im getting near the point of dropping the 150 to own Silvergun!).

 

Furthermore what I really liked about Ikaruga was how hectic and urgent the combat was. You yourself said a shooter is all about shooting things but I do find a little thought and strategy go a very long way in causing mass chaos. You had to be extremely sharp to keep yourself alive in Ikaruga and the onslaught of enemies and obstacles was at times punishingly crazy. The first thing I noticed about Final in that regard was how much "slower" the game first appeared to me because I had become so accustomed to playing Ikaruga recently. Not to say that I lament the pace that R-type brings to the table, its simply an observation and a reason why I think I prefer Ikaruga over the latest R-type. Both are fine games but my preference leans towards Treasures latest.

 

Is the game great? Yes that we do agree on. Is it the best shooter this generation? Of course not silly, that distinguishment goes to Panzer Dragoon Orta. :green:

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For me anyways, Final is superior to Delta because it offers so much more content and in a much prettier package. Final doesn't stay as true to the classic R-type level design as Delta, but it doesn't need to for me to like it. R-type is just one series out of many that I enjoy.

 

Specifically the first two stages of Final lacked any strong level of strategy to me, they seemed very straightforward (especially the first couple boss battles).

 

I thought the swooping camera angles in the first level were a nice nod to Ikaruga and Silvergun, but maybe I'm reading too much into it. Also, I think the second level is very cool, both in art design and the fact that it has several variations. All disagreements respectful of course. I do agree that the second level boss was weak though. However, the level 4 boss gave me chills of nostalgia and is totally amazing.

 

The problem is the game still suffers from some abhorrent slowdown in later levels (you really won't notice it until you reach the end of the Bydo battleship in the third level and it rears its ugly head from time to time after).

 

Call me old school, but I like slowdown in my shooters. My favorite parts of Ikaruga are the boss explosions. It's like the designers just said "fuck it" and took great joy in throwing so many particle effects onto the screen that the hapless Dreamcast chokes and slows down to 2FPS. Besides, the slowdown in level 3 just gives you more time to admire the fantastic view of the city. 8)

 

 

Re: Ikaruga. To me, it feels almost more like a puzzle game than a shooter. Not to say it isn't refined and isn't a good game, it just doesn't offer what I look for in a shooter. I need my weapons to be downright obscene, and Ikaruga's aren't even mildy offensive. I agree that chains add depth and strategy, if they are done right. I've never been much of a "high score" guy, so I need to see tangible benefits or I simply won't follow the chain system. Mars Matrix hit the nail on the head because A. stringing massive chains leveled your ship and made it vastly more powerful, and B. there was no need to worry about blowing up an enemy out of order, just kill everything. Interestingly, I also have Silhouette Mirage and I've been dabbling with it, but that game is damn hard. If I'm going to devote so much energy to it, I'd want to spring for the superior Saturn version.

 

 

Is it the best shooter this generation? Of course not silly, that distinguishment goes to Panzer Dragoon Orta.

 

Again I must disagree. Best GAME this generation, best GAME :lol: . When I look at my games and think about what will still stun me 10 years from now, PDO is the clear choice. Most of the great games of this generation will be topped by sequels that improve on them in every way. As we play GTA 7, we'll look back at GTA3 and wonder how we stomached the graphics, glitches, and targeting system. Art however, is timeless, and no subsequent games could make playing PDO anything less than a blissfull experience. The only other game I've played that is so close to being without flaw of any kind is Rayman 2(DC version).

 

However, I don't view PDO as being in the same genre as R-type, so they can both be generation bests for Big Daddy. :green:

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I'd want to spring for the superior Saturn version.

 

Actually the Saturn version of the game is supposedly much much easier than the Playstation game which is something I'm leary about. I think I prefer the challenge personally but again I never played the Saturn game so I can't speak from experience on that one.

 

It's like the designers just said "fuck it" and took great joy in throwing so many particle effects onto the screen that the hapless Dreamcast chokes and slows down to 2FPS

 

I think the thought process was more along the lines of "Fuck it lets add some more emphasis to the exposions" . I don't believe the final boss explosions are putting a strain on the system. They are also there for the Gamecube version of Ikaruga. I personally believe they were placed there for stylistic purposes above anything else, not so much as the effect actually taxing either console to a great extent.

 

the slowdown in level 3 just gives you more time to admire the fantastic view of the city

 

Damn you make some passionately good excuses but no dice on that one Bling. ;) :lmfao:

 

Again I must disagree. Best GAME this generation, best GAME

 

Well you wont find me arguing on that subject and I agree with your thoughts on the game being a work of art. I still love playing through the game even though I've done it so many times Ive lost count. I however do place the game in the same category as R-Type and Ikaruga but again it comes down to preference and personal opinion. Besides if it allows you to have two favorite shooters in one gen who am I to argue.:D

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As the original arcade machine was a Naomi, I'd expect it to chug pretty much the same as the DC release, yes. It doesn't do it during gameplay, in any case.

 

Mind you, if you want to talk slowdown, little comes close to causing mayhem on the asteroids bit of Gradius 3 in the arcade...

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Anyone interested in having a little tournament? Although I haven't played the AI battle extensively, I did mess with it a bit today and it seems like an amusing diversion. With 99 ships in the game and a decent amount of AI parameters to select, there's some depth in pairing the right ship with the right strategy. You can get a password for your creation and send it to someone else, allowing you to battle their ship. A bit of competition might be good for some laughs, and would give some incentive to unlock those ships.

 

Interestingly enough, this is not the final R-type. Another is coming next month:

 

http://www.gamestop.com/product.asp?produc...uct%5Fid=160430

 

I haven't played R-type 3, but I hear it's really good.

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I just wanted to add this brain dead worthless post:

 

Yeah I remember Section Z on the NES. I think you flew a little guy in a suit around this space station and the controls were kind of whacky. It was fun (and different) for its time. Which is cool and always a plus in my book.

 

R-Type Final is indeed glorious. I'm an "old school" shooter fan, although not as fanatical or nitpicky as some of the others posting on this forum here (I love reading that kinda stuff though!) and I have to say that the game looks nice, feels nice to play and is an excellent "end" to the series. Still I like Ikaruga better for the simple reason of the changing colour thing. That really makes it stand out from the pack. Having said that, my favorite shooter of all time is still Thunder Force III for the Sega Genesis just for nostalgic reasons and the completely awesome music. The stage select was also killer. Oh and of course Galaga. To this day I still cannot pass one of these arcade machines and not pop a quarter in (or two as it calls for sometimes). I had the pleasure of playing one that was "hacked" or whatever to have the main ship be a helicopter and the enemies to be flying people and other weird alien looking beings. I so wanted to buy the cabinet but I could never reach the right person in management to try and buy it from.

 

That's all. Oh. And if you like shooters, support R-Type. Buy it. Its worth it.

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