Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Granzella Inc.
Release: April 30th, 2021
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PS4, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Fans of R-Type rejoice, a new R-Type is now available. With designer Kazuma Kujo on the project who has previously worked on R-Type Delta, R-Type Tactics and R-Type Final, the game certainly keeps in line with previous entries, with some added flare. But keeping in line with prior entries and staying true to the series can sometimes hinder the game as well.
One thing is for certain, R-Type Final 2 is a beautiful game. If you played R-Type Final, you’ll immediately recognize the art direction. The ships have been polished, and there are plenty of details to the background that will make you pause as you realize all the intricate art that’s on display in front of you. The way the background turns to make it look like you are rounding a corner in the areas you are exploring is really well done. You can tell a lot of work has been put into making this game look as pretty as it does.
Speaking of ships, one of my favorite aspects of the game is that you can customize your spacecraft. You can change the base color of the ship and the cockpit window. The customization also provides quite a few default decals you can put on your ship to really make it your own.
The other strong facet of the game is the music. It has a very synth pop sound to it that really adds to the gameplay. With its thumping beat and frantic melody, it makes every run feel larger and fills out the entire experience.
The game is a side scrolling shooter and, unlike recent entries into the side scrolling spaceship shooter genre, this game isn’t a bullet hell shmup. Instead, it feels like more of a puzzle game, where you need to figure out the patterns of the boss and determine how to solve that puzzle. This is a refreshing take on the shooting genre, but some of the puzzles feel a bit cramped and you don’t get much space to maneuver. And with one hit, you die. The way the gameplay works, you evolve your weapon by picking up drops. And when you die, you restart at the last checkpoint, but lose all your weapon upgrades. That makes for some frustrating runs.
Final Grade: B
Fans of R-Type will appreciate the new entry into the series. For those that are new, this is a good starting point. Just be aware that the game stays true to the formula of the series. This isn’t a bullet hell shmup, as it’s more like Gradius meets a puzzle game.