Turns out, R-Type Dimensions is two games in one, specifically these–R-Type and R-Type II. Evidently, they are considered coin-op classics, but I’ve never played them, both in the arcade or on other consoles, if they ever came out for other consoles; I’m too lazy to look it up. That is…until now. By that I mean I played the games, not looked up more info on them. Eek, this whole first paragraph could sure use some editing.
Together, with these two games, you’ll be able to fight through all 14 Bydo-infested stages, whatever that means. I’m guessing the story is this: there are aliens, and you must explode them into bitty bits. You can choose your graphics too, either playing in the original 2D art or all-new 3D graphics, and you are able to swap back and forth on the fly, kind of like in The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition and Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age. Also, there are two different modes to go at it–classic and infinite–for either the single player or multiplayer missions. I only played through the first few levels of the single player stuff for both games before I decided enough was enough.
It’s a shoot-em-up, and a horizontal one at that. You hold down the fire button and destroy everything coming at you, occasionally picking up a power-up or two to help improve your weaponry. Actually, that’s not completely true, because if you hold down the fire button you get a charged shot, so it is more accurate to say you constantly mash the fire button…unless you need a charged shot for some of the bigger enemies. I found controlling the ship to feel sluggish and slow, which make dodging incoming bullets a bit tricky. If I’m controlling a high-tech spaceship, I want to feel like I’m zipping around with ease; alas, that is not this game, and it just constantly felt like the ship was sinking in invisible mud.
The new graphics do look sharp and crisp, but they also seem somewhat strange at times, like they don’t belong here. An alien lifeform sitting on your bedside table. It’s hard to quantify. The animations are nice, and the backgrounds have a lot going on in them, but there’s a certain lack of style missing to the game’s 3D graphics that just makes everything look a bit plain vanilla. For R-Type Dimensions, I actually prefer the original 2D art, and I love being able to switch back and forth at my discretion.
The end result is a challenging yet well-crafted recreation of two of the supposedly greatest shoot-em-ups ever made–not my words. There’s no denying that both titles are products of the genre’s formative years and, in terms of both graphical splendor and range of game mechanics, they falter next to other shmups I’ve previously played and uninstalled from my PlayStation 3, such as Steredenn and Sky Force Anniversary. However, some may still find a lot here to like, and I could see this being an excellent co-op experience, something to sit back and chat over while blasting away at Bydo enemy after Bydo enemy. Good luck on those boss fights; I couldn’t take down a single one myself.
Oh look, another reoccurring feature for Grinding Down. At least this one has both a purpose and an end goal–to rid myself of my digital collection of PlayStation Plus “freebies” as I look to discontinue the service soon. I got my PlayStation 3 back in January 2013 and have since been downloading just about every game offered up to me monthly thanks to the service’s subscription, but let’s be honest. Many of these games aren’t great, and the PlayStation 3 is long past its time in the limelight for stronger choices. So I’m gonna play ’em, uninstall ’em. Join me on this grand endeavor.