R-Type II is a side scrolling arcade game that made its debut back in 1989. Now it's part of the iOS world, and for gamers who need a bit of sensory overload, this explosive shooter hits the target.
Players command the R-Type II, a ship that's tasked with taking down an empire filled with creatures and vehicles in what looks like an H.R. Giger-inspired world in the vein of ‘Alien.’ The beauty of R-Type II is your respective enemies are not just lazily constructed, laser spewing crafts. When you venture into R-Type II's environment, each section feels like a living and breathing entity. Slowly marveling at visuals created almost 30 years ago is, unfortunately, not a smart option, especially since aliens of all persuasions are waiting to destroy your very existence.
Although you're given the choice of touch or d-pad controls, the former is the only way to go. By sliding your finger on the left side of your device, you'll have a better range of movement, and considering the heavy collection of gunfire that's constantly headed your direction, your craft needs to maneuver in quicksilver fashion. The d-pad may seem like a great option for gamers who love their virtual joysticks, but unfortunately directing your ship by tapping on directional arrows will only slow down the process. For all intents and purposes, the d-pad is simply a window dressing option.
My abhorrence for the d-pad control deter was offset by the game's touch mechanic. Although everything about R-Type II is insanely difficult, getting my ship out of tight jams has never been a problem with the quick slide of a finger. My high death rate can only be attributed to my lack of dexterity and the overall skill of the enemies I've come to face.
Even though you'll probably die a ton of times, choosing unlimited play will give you an infinite number of lives, which translates to you having the choice of what "game over" really means. If you're fixated on killing a boss who just knows how to beat you to a bloody pulp, you'll probably end up wasting a ton of time on this side-scrolling shooter. I spent a half-hour trying to kill my first boss, and since R-Type II is such an addictive and eye catching experience, another half-hour in suspended reality wouldn't have been such a bad thing.
Along with unlimited lives, learning how to properly use your power beam should increase your chances at success. The beam icon is located on the lower right side of your device. To generate a ton of firepower from your craft, press on the icon until the beam meter turns completely blue.
Other weaponry is available during your flight, and when you fly though certain power ups you'll receive another craft that will aid in the mission. To attach or detach that craft from your own ship, press on the icon above the beam button.
Explosions, massive gunfire, and insect like aliens are all part of R-Type II's terrain, and having all of these elements populate your screen makes for an enervating and nerve wracking experience. I really loved the time I spent blowing creatures to kingdom come on R-Type II, even if it's a world that was created back in 1989. Some throwbacks don't have to thrive on pure nostalgia, and thankfully R-Type II is a shooter that keeps all its guns firing on all cylinders.