The R-Type series needs little introduction. From its stunning arcade debut in 1987, R-Type captured the hearts and minds of a generation by combining novel mechanics with a distinctive Giger-inspired biomechanical aesthetic. A grand sense of spectacle was matched by a challenge equally imposing, and although reliant on the learn-by-rote methodology that underpinned all shmups of the day, Irem’s craftsmanship created a horizontal journey with a unique imagination. 26 years later, R-Type’s Force and charge shot still feels like a genius twist on the genre’s norms. Bolstered by its uniqueness and wild success, the R-Type concept blossomed into a fine run of sequels. With the 1998 release of R-Type Delta, the series marked its first decade with a bravura entry that demonstrated precisely why true icons are timeless, proving that its template could sing in polygons just as well as it could in bitmaps. However, all good things must come to an end. In a unique and emotionally affecting turn, Irem decided to wave farewell to R-Type as a horizontal shooter in emphatic manner with 2004’s R-Type Final. Dissonant and confusing on release (thanks in part to a funereal pace, malicious checkpointing and some ponderous poetry introducing each stage), R-Type… Read full this story
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