| R-Type Delta, entering the
U.S. to quiet anticipation, is a different but not so fresh addition to a long lineage in
the shooter world. Your mission is to save the universe as we know it. Expect to die,
restart, die, restart, all the while memorizing every enemy, its movement, and where
everything appears on the screen. This is R-Type Delta and, damn, its as cool and as
challenging as ever.
There are around seven levels in the game (always expect the worst) and increasingly difficult stage bosses. It took me about two days of constant play to make it to stage three, which boasts a boss that sticks on your tail until you finally destroy him. For me, this was appealing and frustrating. I mean, its nice that its hard, but sometimes you find yourself putting down the control in favor of a good walk around the block. If a person is into being pissed off during the gaming experience, then I must say Delta will answer that urge. In my case, I wouldnt come back for a day or so; it just didnt float my boat like it used to when I was playing it on the Sega and in the arcade.
Dont get me wrong: difficult games are good, but only when accompanied by interesting design elements. R-Type Delta just isnt completely interesting on an intellectual level, instead its addictive and non-interactive as hell. There are plenty of boss characters to keep you entertained and enough enemies during levels to keep you jumpy.
One thing that separates Delta from its brothers is the added dimension of polygons. All of the enemies are more intricate and mobile than they were in any of the previous releases. But its unfortunate that this is the only difference from this R-type and the others. Really, theres no imagination to this game; it's merely a challenging shooter.
In R-Type Delta you initially choose from three different ships, and eventually a fourth is added after you free it during the course of the game. Each ship has its weaknesses and its strengths, but really theyre all effective when powered up. Like earlier R-Types, you can acquire an assortment of weapons as well as missiles. The one thing I found I had to get practice was retaining all of my weapons until I got to the boss at the levels end.
One element people will recognize from the other R-types is the way weapons are acquired. Nothing has changed, making it easy to get into the game and be comfortable with the controls. Along with the ease of the game, you are also equipped with a delta weapon. Basically, a black hole appears in the center of your screen and proceeds to suck in and destroy all of the enemies. A nice weapon when youre stuck beneath the belly of a robot.
By the time you hit the seventh level, youre hand is in pain and your nerves are on edge. Its nice to see that Irem has never toned down the difficulty in R-Type. Personally, I knew few people who actually finished the arcade original. Dont let this fool you, overall R-Type Delta remains up to par with earlier editions. it just doesn't have the added innovations one has come to expect in the fast-paced console world.
If there is a symbol I can use to encapsulate R-type Deltaor the R-type series for that matterit would be the ying-yang. In general, yeah, youre getting the same thing you got from the previous installments, which is cool, but it really disappoints me that the design crew didnt take more advantage of the playstations hardware. When I first heard that Irem was working on a new R-type (isnt there one always on the way?) I thought: rad, its going to be full 360. It isnt. But, on the other hand, enemies do come in from the left, right, top, bottom and side, adding to the difficulty of the game.
I have fond memories of R-Type, and Im a sucker for nostalgia when it comes to a good shooter. This game probably wont appeal to some people for not being creative enough, but if youre looking for a non-360, not-very-cutting-edge shooter, take a look at R-Type Delta. If not, wait for Omega Boost and other, better shooters. This is a renter; not an owner.