Release Date: November 1989
Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
IREM is back here with R-Type on the TurboGrafx-16. We saw it at the end of 1988 on the Sega Master System. R-Type is a horizontal scrolling shoot ‘em up. The evil Bydo Empire is invading and it’s up to you to pilot the super secret R-9 fighter to blast them out of space and back to hell!
Controls are still simple. Move around the screen with the d-pad. Shoot your weapons with Button II. You can mash it for rapid fire or hold the button to charge up a shot that will devastate your enemies. While you’re blasting the enemies on screen, you may destroy some Bydo POW Armor units and find some powerups. Three of the powerups give you a bonus Power Pod that can attach to your ship or be detached with Button I.
The powerups upgrade the Power Pod when detached. There are three levels of Power Pod that increase the number of shots when detached. The Power Pod also acts as a shield, which will save you more than you realize. When attached to the ship, the blue powerup shoots ricocheting lasers in a diagonal fashion. The red powerup shoots a high powered circle beam straight from the droid. The yellow powerup shoots a ground laser, that shoots up and down to the screen edge and then moves along the ground and ceiling to destroy enemies. The droid can attach to the front or back of the ship and shoots in the direction it is facing.
There are also S icons, which increase the speed of the ship. These stack and help you get around fast. M icons are twin homing missiles that shoot from the front of the ship. There are also Bit powerups that you can grab that will take residence a little above and then a little below the ship. These will destroy enemies that they touch. Powering up and launching your droid is imperative to victory.
Levels run from decently easy, like the first level to frustrating, like the Terrible Mechanical cells of level four. At the end of each level is a boss fight. These will test your abilities. I definitely set a save state before bosses to try as many times as necessary. The speed is just about right and you’re going to have to learn patterns through lots of playing. Once you finish, you get to start back at the beginning and keep going.
The graphics are fine, but I didn’t feel they were a giant upgrade over anything we’ve seen recently.
Music isn’t terrible, but it isn’t very memorable, either. Sounds are overpowering.
I think it plays worse than the Master System version, probably because it’s quicker paced with less slowdown.
There were a lot of areas where I felt the game wasn’t fair and that hurts the difficulty rating.
Fun Factor: 2.0
I liked this version less than other similar games in the genre.
Overall Grade: 2.3
R-Type earns a C+. R-Type is still fine, but I really think the TG-16 version doesn’t hold up to the Master System version.