R.Type is one of those classic games that everyone who was around when it was released remembers it. You pilot a spaceship defending the galaxy or something, but you know the story doesn’t matter anyway right, it’s a side scrolling shmup where your aim is to survive and take out the bad guys along the way. And from the outset there are a lot of those pesky enemy ships to take out.

From the very start you have waves of enemy ships coming at you from the right, and the fire slow moving projectiles too so you have to take them out or avoid them as well as their bullets. Just as you get used to all the airborne attacks some ground running robots are shooting from below too and these bad boys can shoot backwards at you leaving you trying to see what’s coming from every which way at once to avoid a quick death. A little further along you get a big boy blocking your path who takes a few hits from the fully charged laser cannon to destroy, allowing you to enter the first of the restricted entrances which cut your manouvering space to a minimum. That’s just the start, as you go along further so the enemies, bullets and obstacles increase in speed and frequency making this a most challenging game.

Graphics in the TurboGrafx (PC Engine) version of R.Type are big, bold and well animated as well as terrifying in their numbers on screen at any one time. The colour is very much spaceship inspired, with whites, reds and black space in abundance, but that really adds to the atmosphere of the game. The music is spot on for alien splattering, with an atmospheric soundtrack which urges you to keep on killing and some proper bleepy sound effects when the killing happens.

Although I suck at it, R-type is one of my favourite shmups on all the platforms I’ve ever played it on, the TurboGrafx / PC Engine version is no exception. A great but very tough game and the NEC console rocks it.

Score 9/10

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