R-Type Final 2 Review

Great Return to Form

Developed By
Published By
NIS America
Horizontal-scrolling shooter
Steam, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox series X/S
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Looking back at my history with video games there was always one game that my brother and I played on the Game Boy that probably helped shape my love of challenging games. There was something about the original port of R-Type, I just couldn’t get enough of it. As a kid it was hard for me, I don’t even remember how long it took me to beat the first level. Every time I got just a little further in it I thought it was a huge accomplishment! Years later I’ve come a long way as a gamer, playing different types of shmups like Ketsui Death Label and Mushihimesama over games like R-Type. Despite that branching out, I was very excited to see the release of R-type Final 2! Currently available for almost every major platform, R-type Final 2 marks the first release in the United States that isn’t a compilation of previous games! I think it was worth the wait so let’s take the fight to the Bydo and get into it!

R-Type Final 2 takes the player through seven levels as they attempt to come out alive after battling waves of Bydo creatures. The first five stages are always the same; however, depending on the players’ actions the routes of stages six and seven can be different and lead to different endings. Fans of the series will like the new level designs as they are a pleasure to experience throughout the playthrough. In normal shmup fashion, you’ll find yourself dodging enemy fire while collecting power-up and navigating the ever-scrolling stage. To help you dodge better you can change the speed of your ship by four levels on the fly with one being the slowest and four being the fastest. Being someone who normally plays bullet hell shmups I was normally on four at all times. While not always ideal I quickly learned that I needed to change the pace constantly if I wanted to make it through each level without being hit.

Being a side-scrolling shmup it’s very important to know what can and can’t damage you when it comes to the background. I didn’t have any problems as I felt like these objects are always clearly marked. The only time that caught me off guard was a part in stage three where some Bydo ships are in the foreground in their normal pattern. It took two or three times to figure out that they were not on the same plane as my ship. The only real complaint I have is that compared to other R-type games in the series is everything is so big in this game. The enemies are big, which is fine, but your ship’s hitbox is also very big. This makes it hard to navigate tight situations without getting clipped by some random bullet you thought you were safe from. I died so much because I attempted to graze the bullets like I do all the time in many bullet hells and other R-type games. After a while, I didn’t see it was worth it to take the risk. I feel if they made the ship’s hitbox just a little smaller it would benefit the game so much. Even giving different ships different hitboxes would vary the gameplay more.

Now probably the biggest aspect that R-type Final 2 has going for is its replay value! Currently, there are 54 playable ships in the game that are unlocked through normal gameplay, DLC, and codes that were shared through the Kickstarter page. Currently, there are 99 slots for ships; however, there has been no confirmation on when or if more playable ships will be added in the future. Each ship plays somewhat differently than other ships so there is a lot there to experiment with. I find it nice that you can change your ship any time you beat a level or when you get a game over. I switched ships multiple times to figure out which would work best for any given situation. Also depending on the difficulty you play on the boss at the end of the levels may change, so make sure to try all different modes! 

Outside of the ship’s hitbox being very large I don’t think I have any other problems with R-Type Final 2 and enjoyed my time with it. As a game that was originally teased as an April Fools joke but turned into an actual Kickstarter project, I’m very happy with the result. It’s been a long time without a new R-Type game and they returned strong with this installment. I’m very excited for the future of R-Type Final 2 when more of its DLC is released.

R-Type Final 2 Review
R-Type Final 2 Review
Outside of the ship's hitbox being very large, I don't have any other problems with R-Type Final 2. It's been a long time without a new R-type game and they returned strong with this installment.
Currently 54 Playable Ships (with more coming)
Amazing replay value
Hitboxes are too big
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