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R-Type 2 logo

ACTIVISION * £25.99 Joystick
R-Type 2 B ack in the early days of video gaming, there was little choice of games. If you wanted to play a horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up. There was either the archaic Scramble or Defender. When a game called Nemesis appeared in the arcades and it spawned a whole new breed of horizontal blasts, because it had a progressive weapons system. The ultimate sci-fi shoot out to incorporate this system did not actually appear until a while later.

The game in question was R-Type. With its Alienesque graphics, impressive weapons and somewhat disgusting enemies, it soon became the object of a large number of… er… ‘tributes’ (yes, let us be diplomatic about this). Well time waits for no man (and no arcade game) so the inevitable follow up game duly appeared.

After the defeat of their first attack force, resulting in the failure of their attempt to invade our solar system, the Bodean Empire retreated to reassess their combat tactics. Despite our vigilance and constant surveillance, the Bodeans have become rather more cunning. They have managed to amass an even more devastating army and have launched a massive attack on the outer reaches of the solar system. Their forces are heavily armoured and show no signs of retreat. The Earth must draw up a suitable battle plan. It is time to unveil the new R-10 fighter.

The jewel in the crown
The new line of R-Type fighters retains the distinctive styling of their predecessors, along with an enhanced jewel-weapon loader.
The jewel-weapon allows the R-Types to blast enemy pods to reveal the crystals powering the units. Once these crystals are collected the jewel-weapon can produce an image of a weapons pod, which can either be held in position behind or in front of the ship, or flown independently to launch attacks in the heart of enemy fleets. By picking up more jewels the R-Type can improve the image’s attack capacity with a whole host of variations on the pod, including spiralling lasers, missiles, reflecting beams and side-firing firebombs.

In addition to the jewels-weapon, the R-Type has its own built-in laser shot. This can either be used to fire a single blast or energised by holding the trigger for a few seconds. A single build-up sends a large laser blast firing forwards, while a second build-up causes the ship to fire a high-power fragmentation shot. This sends a spreading pattern of fire bombs across the screen destroying anything in its path.

Slime and steel
R-Type 2 Your ship is not the only one to go through some changes. The Bodean fleet have also revamped their attack fleet. Having learned their lesson from the first defeat the ships in the fleet are now much more heavily protected. They have harnessed power units to large asteroids using them as huge interplanetary cruisers to carry their fighters to the war zone. Within these mighty rocks the Bodeans have constructed tunnels containing squadrons of fighters. At the end of each of the sections a large command ship must be confronted, and the weak point found before it can be destroyed.

As you progress towards the Bodean Command HQ the going gets tougher, with underwater caverns, various mutations, floating ships and gun emplacements to contend with.

Second time around…
The basic gameplay and overall appearance of R-Type II has not changed a great deal from the original game. However, the extra weaponry, graphical touches and generally increased difficulty make it a decent enough challenge in its own right.

The graphics are a very good interpretation of the coin-op, with loads of colour and a large number of impressively sized sprites whizzing about the screen. The sound is pretty much identical too …unfortunately, because the coin-op’s audio delights were less than impressive. Still, if you liked the original music, it is horses for courses.

The coin-op was an incredibly tough game and the conversion is equally as hard. Occasionally, the going seems to be a mite too difficult, more so than the arcade version, leaving you feeling trapped in a certain location. Perseverance reaps its own rewards though, and the feeling of achievement is pretty good once you have beaten that particularly difficult alien.
Sometimes the fact that the playing area is smaller than the coin-op means things drift on from the side of the screen, but when you cannot see them they cause massively frustrating deaths. The other annoying point is that sometimes gun emplacements and aliens stay alive when your shots pound into them, when on previous occasions they had exploded into a mass of flame.

Still, these few quibbles aside, R-Type II is an impressive conversion of a challenging and addictive blast, which will appeal not only to fans of the arcade original, but also to lovers of frantic laser-pulsing action. R-Type II.
Matthew Evans

Amiga Format, Issue 25, August 1991, p.p.56-57

Verdict
  • Extremely accurate graphics and sound capture the excellent feel of the original coin-op to a tee.
  • Extremely tough gameplay frustrates at times, but persistent types will find winning through rewarding.
  • Restrictions in the playing area make following the action a tad difficult at times.
  • R-Type II is a well converted and frantic shoot-em-up with just a couple of minor flaws.
88%


R-Type 2 logo

Seit die Fortsetzung des klassischten aller Baller-Klassiker in der Spielhalle aufgetaucht ist, warten die Action-Freaks mit zuckendem Zeigefinger auf eine Umsetzung - dank Activision darf jetzt endlich scharf geschossen werden!

R-Type 2 Der Äpfel fallt bekanntlich nicht weit vom Stamm, hier ist er sogar am Ast hängen geblieben. Will sagen: R-Type II unterscheidet sich kaum vom Vorgänger, jedenfalls viel zu wenig, um dessen phänomenalen Erfolg wiederholen zu können. Denn während die Waffen und Gegner dazumals noch revolutionär waren, sind sie heute kalter Kaffee; zudem wurde der versprochene Zwei-Spieler-Simultanmodus leider nicht realisiert (nach wie vor nur hintereinander). Was aber keineswegs heißen soll, daß Activisions Arcade umsetzung nicht für gepflegtes Baller vergnugen gut wäre..

Klettern wir also mal wieder in unseren R-9 Fighter und zeigen den unzähligen Gegnern fünf horizontal scrollende Level lang, wo der Bartel den Most holt! Das sagt sich so leicht, aber Feinde in allen Formen und Farben, Bodenfeuerwerk und bildschirmfüllende Schlüßmonster sorgen dafür, daß es sich nicht annähernd so einfach in die Tat umsetzen läßt! Hinzu kommt, daß man seinen Jäger durch allerlei enge Öffnungen bugsieren muß; auf einem Wasser-Planeten geht die wilde Hatz sogar im feuchten Element weiter - komplett mit Killer Quällen und allem drum und dran. Da die feindlichen Scharen nach ihrem Exitus aber wie gewöhnt Extra-Kapseln zurücklassen, ist der emisige Sammler alles andere als schutz- und hilflos: Die Auswahl reicht vom simplen Speedup über die verschiedensten Laser, Flammenwerfer und Bomben bis hinzu den bekannten Helfershelfern aus Teil eins - sowohl der Super schuß als auch der vielseitige Satellit, den man vorne oder hinten am Schiff andocken kann, sind wieder mit von der Partie.

Tja, das hort sich nicht nur alles sehr nach dem Vorganger an, das spielt sich auch (fast) so: Zwar sind die gegnerischen Formationen nicht mehr ganz so ausgetüftelt wie anno '87, und auch die Steuerung schien mir früher einen Tick gehörsamer zu sein, aber das Gros der Baller-Orgien steckt R-Type II trotzdem locker in die Tasche. Sprites und Hintergrunde werden dem Veteranen wohl vertraut vorkommen, allerdings nur, was den Stil betrifft - sie sind samt und sonders ebenso neu wie gelungen. Daß das Parallaxscrolling deutlich langsamer und auch leicht rückelig wird, sobald sich viele Objekte am Screen tümmeln, ist zwar schade, aufgrund des hohen Feindaufkommens aber verzeihlich. Bleibt der Sound, und der geht in Ordnung: eine hübsche Musik, gepaart mit den unvermeidlichen Schuß- und Explosionsgerauschen.

Summa sumarum ist R-Type II zwar nicht der erhöffte Überhammer, aber ein durchaus empfehlenswertes Shoot em up - für Fans und sölche, die es werden wollen. (C.Borgmeier)

Amiga Joker, September 1991, p.13

Der Amiga Joker meint:
R-Type II ist die gelungene Auferstehung einer Action-Legende!

Amiga Joker
R-TYPE II
Grafik: 78%
Sound: 72%
Handhabung: 75%
Spielidee: 36%
Dauerspaß: 81%
Preis/Leistung: 73%

Red. Urteil: 77%
Für Fortgeschrittene
Preis: ca 89,- DM
Hersteller: Activision
Genre: Action

Spezialität: Drei Bildschirmleben sind zwar nicht viel, aber Continues erleichtern den Vorstoß in die Highscoreliste.



R-Type 2 logo

After the perfection of last month's Toki, Activision make their bid for the title of 'best arcade conversion', with the most single-minded blast-'em-up of them all.

Publisher: Activision
Authors: Arc Developments
Price: £25.99
Release: September

T R-Type 2 ere was a bit of a scare when Activision UK packed their bags recently and disappeared into the realms of history - yes, it was sad to see such a famous and long established name go down, but more to the point what would happen to the various projects they commissioned? For a while it looked like many eagerly awaited games wouldn't see the light of day at all, but slowly they started to crop up with various other publishers – Exile at Audiogenic, the upcoming Realms and 3D Snooker at Virgin - and the Activision name itself resurfaced under the protective wing of Paris-based The Disk Company.

And now the first releases from the new Activision are starting to come out - Beast busters (see elsewhere this issue) and this one, R-Type II. It will be coming your way in the late summer, and if I were you I'd start saving my pennies up right now, because this is simply the best arcade game I've seen on the Amiga in my life. Not only that, it's just about the best one I ever expect to see, because I can't imagine how a coin-op could be converted better than this. But back to the start.

R-Type II was the arcade sequel to one of the most popular scrolling shoot-'em-ups in the history of video-gaming, and on first appearance was the subject of some disappointment. The look and feel of the game was very much that of the original with a few fairly cosmetic tweaks - it seemed more like extra levels to the first game than anything else - but on playing it it became clear that this was a superb game in itself. It was nonetheless only a minor success, and you won't see too many in arcades these days.

R-Type 2 What could be more fortunate, then, than the news that Activision were producing an Amiga version for you to play in the comfort of your own home? Well, plenty of things if it turned out like so many coin-op conversions - a half-hearted attempt at a quick cash-in from the legions of arcade devotees who'll buy the name first and worry about the quality of the game later. It hasn't of course, but why? So just what is it that's so damn good about this one?
Ooh, pretty much everything, really. This might sound silly but I can't think of a single thing that's wrong with R-Type II, at least not if you take it for what it is, a coin-op conversion. (Rather than moaning, say, about a lack of depth or new ideas or any of that old guff. And anyway, Rainbow Islands was a coin-op conversion, and it's the best Amiga game ever - official - so there just isn't a problem there.) Purely on those terms, you'd have to give it 100% because as far as I can see it's flawless.
Of course, since this is AMIGA POWER (and also seeing as this is the real world), it's not going to get 100%, so let's have a go at seeing where it does lose some marks.

NIT PICKING AND HAIR SPLITTING
Okay, well first off there's the difficulty. R-Type II is undeniably a tough old blast of a game, and it's a level of toughness that may well deter 50% of Amiga game players straight away. Level one isn't bad, but to get very far through level two you're going to have to be very good, very persistent, and very lucky, all at the same time. Personally I think the difficulty is judged just right (I'm sick of games that you can finish in a day, or ones that give you infinite or ridiculously high numbers of credits, so that completing it is a test of endurance rather than skill), but some people won't like it, so a couple of marks off there.
Next comes the equally undeniable familiarity with the first R-Type. Again, I personally like it, I think it gives a feel of continuity, but there are people who will feel it's simply unimaginative. One mark off for that.
There is also the fact that - close as it is - it isn't an exact physical representation of arcade R-Type II. The screen is not quite as deep, limiting the play area (most noticeable on level three) and coupled with the fact that everything is slightly slower it actually makes certain sections of the game noticeably harder to complete. Two marks off there.

More worryingly, there seem to be a couple of minor bugs. When playing the games with a hard drive plugged in, some of the aliens can be caught right in the middle of a full-force explosion, yet when the dust clears they're still alive. This caused a bit of a problem once with the end-of-level two boss, and (although it happened only once) it would still be incredibly annoying if it happened to you, especially considering what a bitch level two is to get through anyway. On the very rare occasions when it does crop up, this is a serious flaw, so five marks down for that.

Lastly, there's, um... Well, there's bound to be something I haven't thought of yet, so let's take a couple of extra percent off just to be on the safe side. And where does all that leave us? It looks to me like it leaves us at the bottom of the review...
STUART CAMPBELL

Amiga Power, Issue 04, August 1991, p.p.20-21

Upper UPPERS Perfect conversion of a game that was pretty damn fab in the first place, and one of a fairly rare breed, a shoot-'em-up with real lastability.
Downer DOWNERS Very minor bug problem, and for some people the overall feeling of deja vu.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Magnificent effort from Activision and Arc, that puts other horizontally-scrolling blasters (and most other arcade games) well and truly in the shade.
88

P E R C E N T


R-Type 2 logo

R R-Type 2 -Type was heralded as one of the greatest shoot ‘em ups to grace computer screens. The temptation to better it has proved too much for Irem. Famed for innovative games such as X Multiply and Dragon Breed, they had a reputation to live up to. And so the sequel, R-Type 2, rears its powerful and many faceted head.

The neafious forces of the Bydo Empire yet again loom large and threatening. Not surprising really – this is what happens in sequels! There are six levels of horizontal parallax scrolling action, which bears more than a passing similarity to R-Type. All the great gadgets and gizmos are present. The all-protecting Force shield defends your ship both fore and aft. A wonderful feeling of invincibility surrounds you; the metallic killing machines which attempt to send you to an early bath are rendered powerless!

Collecting the extra weapons and added extras is essential if one is to survive all the dreaded onslaughts of the evil Bydo Empire. A very difficult business as your foes are adept at sneaking behind and shooting your posterior. In order to combat this, pick up the bombs which can fire both front and back. Weapons beyond your wildest dreams, indeed. Missiles travel along like deadly ball bearings, or cascades of deadly energy. The most spectacular effects are the exocet-rockets, and the ring lasers (which crate a display of deadly red and blue lights!). The electric blue lasers which ricochet around the screen are a necessity for killing off those little aliens which lurk in dark corners.

The secret of success is to pick up as many of these deadly items as possible. A minimal amount of skill is required as blasting everything in sight, regardless of aim, seems to be the best policy. Easy, huh? Well, not quite. Staying alive takes a vigilant eye and a steady stream of killer beams. Aim for objects which look like flying space helmets. When shot, these reveal icons with the letter S or M. Speed and bombs are the respective prizes.

After surviving swarms of baddies, your reward is to meet the end-of-level guardian: a huge monster which fills the screen, blocking the path to the next level. Holding down the fire button creates an impressive blinder of a shot. A metre at the base of the screen shows the strength of the bolt. Firing a few of these will destroy beasties like the centipede and the crab ships.

Comparisons are odious, but I will make them anyway. In the original R-Type, the creatures were similar to monsters which inhabit sci-fi films like Alien. They had an identifiable, ghoulish form. In R-Type 2, the enemies, and especially the end-of-level guardians, are so intricate they are difficult to recognise.
The graphics are executed with a great deal of imagination and flair. The best background graphics are in level six; a land of petrified forests and decapitated dinosaur heads. The sounds ar fast and pacy, with music sampled directly from the coin-op.

R-Type 2 is a superior shoot ‘em up with many enjoyable features. However, it remains questionable what this game adds to the original. To be sure, it features parallax scrolling which was absent in the precursor, but apart from that, the game play is slow and sluggish. Fans of R-Type should definitely be eager for R-Type 2. Once hooked, it is back for more punishment.

Fiona Keating
CU Amiga, June 1991, p.p.71-72

LOOK OUT, MA! THERE ARE ALIENS ABOUT!
Scientists tend to view the UFO phenomenon with a great deal of scepticism. Not surprising, if we consider the evidence. Witnesses who have had contact with extraterrestrials tend to be religious fanatics, never ‘rational and reputable persons’, according to ufologists. Some very unpleasant side effects can take place. Victims of sightings have reported physical side-effects such as violent headaches, fits of weeping, and buzzing in the ears. Obviously, UFOs can be bad for health! Even stranger things can happen. After a UFO sighting, a woman with permed hair found that it had gone completely straight!

ACTIVISION/DISK £24.95
Sophisticated shoot ‘em up for fans of the original.
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
78%
76%
70%
80%
OVERALL 79%