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Super R-Type

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Released: 1991

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: SNES

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Irem

Submitted by: Marc Parker

R-Type has been a series that captivated me from the minute I played the unbelieveable Spectrum conversion of the original, and it was for this game alone that I purchased the SNES on release day in the UK.  Was it worth it?  I’m still not sure.

I’ve got to say that even taking its myriad of flaws into account, I think that Super is a better game than R-Type II.  Or should have been.  Let me elaborate.

It was genuinely, for me, the first game that delivered that long-awaited ‘coin-op at home’ expereince.  Based, as it was in effect, on R-Type II, the weapons were more balanced.  The soundtrack was better.  The graphics were better.  The traditional ‘Battleship’ level trounced that of the coin-op from a huge height.  In short, where changes were made from R-Type II, it was always for the better.  It was nearly perfect.  Except…

I could live with the flicker.  I could even live with the horrid slowdown, as it made a pretty daunting shooter that much more easy to learn.   What I couldn’t live with, even back in a day where I had a far more bloody mindset, and stuck every new purchase on ‘Hard’ difficulty; as it would have to last until I could save for another from my paper-round wages, was the lack of restart points.  Seriously, this has to be one of the most idiotic decisions in the history of video game design, ever.  It turned what should have been the best horizontal shooter, ever, into the Rick Dangerous of Shmups.  You had to memorize every single situation within every single level, and considering that R-Type was known for being pretty demanding on the old synapses in the first place, it went a long way to killing the fun that was undoubtably there to be had.  If that isn’t enough reason to hate Irem forever, I don’t know what is.

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