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R-Type DX

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Reviewed by Billbowsky I bought a Game Boy Color and made the unfortunate accident of buying Pokemon with it. It was fun for the first, say, two weeks I owned it. Than it just plain got boring. Then I got Zelda DX, and was blown away. The size, music, colors, EVERYTHING was great. So then I thought, now what? I was reading WWF Magazine when I saw an add in it. It was for R-Type DX, and my mind just exploded. How much money I put into that arcade machine at the ice skating rink can only be figured out if I send the info to NASA. So I was pumped, and I bought the game. And let me tell you, it was worth it. R-Type DX has 5 games in it: R-Type I and II in Color, R-Type I and II in black and white, and R-Type DX, a color game which combines I and II into one huge mission. There is also supposed to be a paint and draw mode in it which I saw advertised in Nintendo Power, where it is I don't know. The color games can only be saved, while the black and white versions can't. Too bad. This game is one of those games where a plot really isn't needed, but they have one anyway: In R-Type I, your mission is to save Earth from the advancing forces of the Bydo Empire in a lone R-Type fighter. In R-Type II, you must fly this ship against the Bydo Empire again, which is regaining its power and has even captured some of your ships. The plot's weak, but the game is a lot of fun.

Graphics 8.5 out of 10

The graphics in this game are beautiful. Everything has its own color, and all the enemies look like something, rather than just having three types of ships. Enemies vary, from regular old fighter jets to crazy aliens to jellyfish to walking robots which look like R2-D2. All look great, and their are more than one color for the enemies that need it (the R2-D2 robots have a white body with a blue face and shoot red bullets. On the other hand, the aliens are just brown, but it wouldn't be that scary to be attacked by a technicolor alien, now would it?) The Levels and backgrounds all look excellent. Even the levels set in space have a certain Star Wars feel to them. But you can really see the great backgrounds in the stages actually set somewhere. One stage is set in a luch, tropical rain forest, while another is set inside a cave which is litters by the bones of aliens that look like the aliens in Aliens the movie. All this is great, but the best thing are some of the bosses. For example, the boss in Level 1 of R-Type DX and R-Type I looks GREAT. It looks like something out of a SNES game. Other bosses look just as good, while some suck because they are a machine. What I really admire about this games graphics though is that it managed to cram a game that really doesn't belong on a small screen on to a tiny, portable screen, with surprisingly little slowdown. The only thing that kept it from getting a 10 was that sometimes the game does slow down, and when it does, enemy bullets disappear, leaving you to die.

Music and Sound 8 out of 10

The music in this game is good, but it really isn't all that impressive. It does have a certain ring to it that let's you get into the game, but it won't keep you humming its tunes for days. What gave this game such a high score was its sound. Everything has a sound effect. Whether its you bullets or their bullets or the roar of some boss or the explosions that you hear when enemies die, all the sounds are great and sound the way they should. These sounds are much louder then the music, but the music can still be heard. What you get is a sound card that really works well. The music blends with the sound very well, and it helps to draw you into the game. But even though its this good, you'll still turn it down after a while so as to conserve the battery on the Game Boy.

Game Challenge 10 out of 10

There's just too much to do in this game to NOT be challenged. Not only do all 5 games have different difficulty modes, but the game records high scores, so you will often find yourself trying to kill everything you see and shoot as little as possible to higher your score. But the game itself is hard, especially R-Type I. R-Type II is an easier game, but its still challenging when you play it on hard. And because the black and white versions are, obviously, black and white, you must pay extra attention to the surrounding around you in order to keep from dying. Be prepared to spend some time with this game.

Game Play-Fun 9 out of 10

This game is just a blast to play, and you'll find yourself itching to play it at times when you really shouldn't have the Game Boy to begin with (like in Church). You'll find yourself constantly pushing yourself to beat the levels. But the game really heats up once you get the most famous add-on in video game history- The Power Pod. I describe the Pod later, but once you get it, you'll find yourself laughing your ass of as you kill everything in sight, only to have yourself die when you crash or get hit from whatever side the Pod's not on. You'll have trouble putting this one down.

Frustration

The game isn't perfect, though. The small screen does give you less time to react to oncoming enemies and enemy fire. Plus, many time bosses will take up half the screen, giving you VERY little room to fly in. And because the screen is so much smaller, the programmers were forced to make your ship go slow so as to make sure you wouldn't zip right into some wall you couldn't see coming. You can pick up speed icons, but they are far and few between, and it takes maybe three of them to really make you move fast. The game really doesn't have frustrating elements to it. It's just that this is one of those games that can't make the jump from a TV screen to a 2-inch screen without encountering a lot of problems.

Replayability 7 out of 10

The game is difficult, which means you'll be playing for a while. But, unless you are a person who likes to get the top scores and beat it on every difficulty level in all the games, then you'll probably put this down once you finish with it. It would had been cool to be able to play with a friend via cable link in either a cooperative mode or battle mode, but they didn't do it. It could had been done, too had they not included black and white versions and just left it as a color only game.

Game Value 6 out of 10

I ave it this rating because I hate knowing that I'm giving them 30 bucks for a game that fits in my palm. I feel that they should be released at $20, while older black and white games be released at $15, but this is my opinion. If you have a friend who owns R-Type DX, borrow it rather than buy it, and save your money for an RPG or adventure game.

Control 8 out of 10

This rating is for the color games only. The black and white versions make you stick with B shoots one bullet when tapped, charges when pushed. A shoots out and retracts the power pod. This button combo stinks, but the ones available for the color versions are much better, allowing you to use a button no longer used in video games-the Select button. B is rapid fire, A is used to charge your guns, and Select shoots out the pod and brings it back in. Very ingenious and very easy to use.

The Power Pod and Weapon Pickups- Items 10 out of 10

For those of you who think you remember R-Type but aren't sure, then this should jog your memory- The Power Pod is a small, separate unit that attaches to either the front or back of you ship, whichever you choose, and can take enemy fire and shoots out its own weapon. It can be shot out so as to clear out opposing enemies and shoot, while you fire whatever high-power weapon upgrades you have. This game has only a few weapon pickups, but they are perfect. One is a cannon which shoots out to lasers, one from the top, one from the bottom. They fly out at a 45 degree angle and bounce of the walls, killing whatever they hit. Another one is the fire chain. It is a chain of fire that is shot out from the top and bottom of the ship. It hits the floor and ceiling and crawls along it to destroy everything on the ground and ceiling. The last and strongest weapon is the Bubble Chain, which is a large beam of energy which is in the shape of interlinked Bubble. It shoots our from the front of the ship and kills anything it touches. Plus, there are speed tabs that you can get to go faster, and Probe Balls, which hover above and below your ship, killing whatever they touch. So the weapons in this game are really great.

Overall 9 out of 10

Overall, I'd say that if you own a Game Boy, ESPECIALLY a Game Boy Color, Go get this game. It delivers all the excitement from the good ol' days when everything was sidescrolling and the idea that Mario would be 3D was just ludicrous. This is one great game, especially when played during school or Church. Helps to take your mind away, you know?

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