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Sunday, 8 February 2009

R-Type Dimensions (Xbox 360)

Bit lazy, this one, in that I haven't had to spend ages setting up the system first. I did have to download the game from XBox Live Arcade though, and that took a while.

I never intended to buy this. For starters, I never liked R-Type in the arcades (or on any system, actually). I always preferred Nemesis/Gradius. Even when new versions were released on the PS2, I much preferred Gradius V to R-Type Final. They're both pretty similar when you boil them down, but I think that Gradius feels faster paced and you've got a bit more freedom with your progression, in terms of the weapons you can use. Just my personal preference.

Also, I didn't play it long enough to learn how to use the "The Force", the power-up attachment that you can bolt on to your ship. It's just such an integral part of R-Type, that I'm not surprised that I never got into the game. You have to know what you're doing with your power-ups. I think that some prolonged play and experimentation is going to aid me here, and hopefully nurture a bit of love for the game.

Another reason I didn't want to buy it was the price: 1200 points. I don't like spending that much on any game, let alone an arcade conversion. But then I worked it out, and it really amounts to paying 400 points for R-Type, 400 points for R-Type II, and another 400 points for the updated graphics and extra game mode. It doesn't seem as bad when you put it like that.

Playing the game for a long period has made me realise that I should have given the game more time when it was sitting in an arcade in Whitley Bay. It hasn't taken me long to get to grips with the power-up system and to learn some of the layouts, and I'm enjoying it a lot more than previously. I've also managed to progress quite a bit further than before... I never continue on arcade games, so I'd never actually played the famous level three before. Now I have, and it's great.

So, 1200 points for an arcade game is perfectly reasonable after all, when it's done well. If it was a straightforward port, maybe not, but the choice of new or original graphics and game modes, coupled with the classic gameplay, make it well worth the purchase.

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