Review: Super R-Type (SNES)

The BYDO Empire of mutant extraterrestrials is back with evil intent and awesome power.

That naughty Bydo Empire! You would have thought they would have learnt their lesson last time when a solitary R-9 craft kicked their butt so badly. Alas, they are back and wreaking havoc wherever they go. Time for you to save the universe, again!

Super R-Type was one of the earlier games released on the Super Nintendo. It is actually based on the rather spiffy R-Type 2 arcade game albeit with a few changes here and there. As with the arcade version, the SNES version looks great. The rusted machinery combined with an organic vibe does the job beautifully, though you’ll have to forgive some occasional slowdown and sprite flicker:, as with Gradius III, Super-R-Type’s developers didn’t seem to find the SNES hardware easy to manage when lots of action was being portrayed on screen.

There is a lot of variety throughout the levels; you’ll find yourself blasting through star bases overrun with Bydo, darkest outer space and caves with jets of water. The end of level bosses are satisfying too; gigantic fiends always guard the way to the next level.

To aid you, different power ups can be picked up along the way as can a strange orb called ‘the force’ which can lock to your ship or be detached to cause great damage to your foes. You can hold down the action button and charge up for a powerful blast as with the original R-Type, or hold it down even longer and do a super-blast for even more devastation!

The R-Type series has always been renowned for its punishing difficulty level, and this game is no exception. Unlike R-Type 2 in the arcade, however, this game is made frustrating to the point where you will want to smash your Classic Controller due to a total lack of checkpoints within levels. So, if you die on the boss, you have to restart the WHOLE level again!

Some of the levels are quite long so this really is a game-breaking flaw in an otherwise excellent game, in my opinion. Unlimited continues are available, though, so once you do crack a level at least you can keep pressing on no matter how many times you get wiped out.

Conclusion

So the question remains: is this worth buying on the Virtual Console? Well, yes and no. If you can deal with the crippling difficulty level due to the removal of restart points, you will be pleasantly surprised by a wonderful looking shoot-em-up with some imaginative level design and fiendish bosses.

For most, however, this is one to avoid as the repetition will prove unbearable for those not skilled in the genre. R-Type III on the SNES is already on the VC and will prove to be a better purchase for most.