Developed By: Granzella Published By: Nippon Ichi Software America Categories: Shmup Release Date: 04.30.21
Not only the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign, but the first original R-Type game in over a decade, R-Type Final 2 is finally in our hands. As a matter of fact, it’s the first proper, non remake R-Type since the original Final, back in 2003. Does it hold up to the series’ almost 35 year legacy of destroying the disgusting organic aliens known as the Bydo? Yes, but with a few hurdles.
The Force is Sometimes With You
The R-Type series of shmups is known for a few things. It’s version of the genre staple the Option as the Force, and how…phallic and sexual some bosses can come off as. Lets discuss that first one a bit in detail.
You’ll grab powerups of three colors. Red for forward, blue for diagonal, and yellow for above and below. Grabbing your first grants you your Force. The Force differs from a standard option, as you can have it in front or behind you, or even detach it if needed. When attached, grabbing more of those colored powerups grant you strong shots that can turn the tide. When not attached, the Force acts more as a standard option. Giving extra shots, helping if you need to shoot a boss down lower in the screen, but enemies come from up top. The Force also acts as a shield of sorts, with it’s ability to absorb smaller shots from Bydo. Absorb enough and you can unleash a massive, screen clearing attack.
That’s not the only option, you can charge up your regular canon and use the devastating Wave Canon, to destroy most Bydo in a single strike.
How Can I Hold All of These Ships
The Final sub-series of R-Type is known for it’s massive number of ships, known as R-Craft you can unlock and customize. A love letter to previous games in the series. Final was meant to be the series’ swan song after all. If you just play the game and leave it at that, you’ll never see what it has to offer outside of the default three ships. Taking a step into the R-Museum is where the fun starts. By taking a step inside of the R-Museum you can learn about how every little part of your collection of ships history. Look at them in detail in first person, and of course, develop new ones. If you complete parts of the main game or use passwords you can use specific elements you find (or buy) to develop more and more. This is something previously seen in R-Type Tactics.
Some of the ships are just upgraded versions of ones you already have. Many are new designs, using different kinds of Bits, Forces, Wave Canons, bombs. These can completely change up how stages are played. For example, the default R-Craft’s Yellow Force acts as more of a napalm attack, while one you can later develops Yellow Force is a smaller shot, but spreads once it strikes. If you’re struggling with a stage, try doing it with a different R-Craft and see what changes.
If that isn’t good enough, you can change little parts to your liking. Make your R-Crafts Green and Purple, place decals all over them, including a rainbow flag, whatever. On top of the cosmetics, you can change your Bits and Bombs, depending on how you prefer them. I like the bombs that go up and down and home in on enemies.
Loud and Proud
R-Type Final 2 is a fantastic looking game, running well on top of that, which for a shmup is a good thing. This is a huge step up from Granzella’s previous Switch effort, Disaster Report 4. That game ran under 20FPS constantly, and would have a vaseline filter at almost all times. Particle and other visual effects can and will most definitely flood the screen, from you and the enemies. This is both a good and a bad thing. It helps the game look great, but then can often lead to the screen being a tad busy and visually loud. Distracting is a good word, or even overwhelming.
The music is fantastic as well. A good shmup almost always has a good soundtrack, it’s an unwritten rule. If you buy the physical edition, you even get a nice soundtrack to listen to at any time.
The game is no stranger to certain little details you might miss. For instance, try not shooting much or using your Force too often in the second stage. Do it peacefully, you might actually have an easier time and less attention on your ship.
Not That Hard Please
The difficulty also comes into question with R-Type Final 2. By nature, the shmup genre is not an easy one, with majority having one hit kills. R-Type Final 2 is no different, but the hitbox in particular seems to cause grief with this. Your hitbox and the hurtboxes of many enemies seem too big, which if you’re paying attention, usually isn’t too big a deal. Combining this with how busy the screen gets on higher difficulties, and the game quickly becomes a collection of GOTCHA moments.
There also came up an issue with a certain boss, where the entirety of it, including non-offensive segments would kill you upon touching it. Normally, this is not an issue, but the camera shifting in the boss fight also moved your ship. This means, you’re in a tight and narrow area, with a big hitbox, and touching anything will kill you. Combine this with a checkpoint based continue and it leads to many a frustrating time. If you lose your powerups, just restart your entire run, as certain segments on higher difficulties just become unbearable. At the very least, at any and all times, you can adjust your ship’s speed with no powerups, as to not be at a snail’s pace the entire game.
Something not clear at first is the fact that there’s multiple endings and paths. Not going to go too indepth, but after stage 5, you can go into three different stage 6’s depending on a particular event. This can then lead into one of three Stage 7’s. These can be done on any difficulty, so if you want to get those G-Craft that require a stage 7 clear, you’re in the clear.
Not Quite So Final
It should be said, that despite not really understanding the plot of Final 2, I did notice the player name defaults to Jade Ross, who was the lead in R-Type Tactics. Presenting more links to that sub series.
R-Type Final 2 is still a fantastic game in lieu of those issues, which I’m sure the team at Granzella can patch out if people speak up about them. There’s planned DLC in the form of classic R-Type content, which I cannot wait to play. I can’t say I 100 percented the game quite yet as it’s simple massive, but I’m still excited to see more. As a fan of the genre, and a fan of the series, I’m glad that people supported the game’s kickstarter enough to make it a reality. If you’re in the same spot as me, you owe it to yourself to play this game. It’ll keep you busy.
If you supported the game on Kickstarter, you also get access to a few little extra goodies and G-Crafts, as well as the future DLC for free. I can’t say I’m not jealous of that.
Buy Now: $39.99 Digital – $49.99 Physical
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes