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R-Type DX (Game Boy Color) artwork

R-Type DX (Game Boy Color) review


"Irem managed to shrink down almost everything and present their flagship's first two strikes intact. It's amazing to hear the music so true to the arcade, to feel that the control is as tight as it is in its console big brothers, and to see that everything is so well represented graphically to boot. Whoever made the decisions on what details to forego, and what to retain, earned their salary. The well outlined characters and backgrounds makes things easy to see on the small screen. "



Let's get something straight. As a collection, R-Type DX isn't outstanding. In fact, it's bare bones, sharing much in common with R-Types for the Sony PlayStation, since it only manages to showcase two games: R-Type I and II. There are some extras thrown in here too, but in this case, the 'plusses' are even insignificant to diehard fans.

Irem ported over both R-Type I and II in black and white some time ago to the GameBoy, and both games looked fairly impressive on the colour-deficient little screen. This new DX release includes those two versions, unchanged save for the colour added, and throws in a 'special enhanced version'. Further, Irem gives us the original two games in their black and white state as well, ostensibly to give us the impression five games have been afforded us.

So what we're presented with are two challenging, old school, side-scrolling shooters on the GameBoy Color. We can be quite sure that no one would opt to play the black and white versions over the colour versions, making nearly half of this 'collection' negligible. And what of the special enhanced mission? It's simply R-Type II plunked in directly after I. This makes for a shooter marathon of sorts, but jamming the games together in this fashion seems neither 'special' nor 'enhanced'.

That being said, the DX mission is an excellent game on its own merit. It's certainly one of the best shooters I've had the pleasure of playing whether on a road trip, or a trip to the washroom.

Irem managed to shrink down almost everything and present their flagship's first two strikes intact. It's amazing to hear the music so true to the arcade, to feel that the control is as tight as it is in its console big brothers, and to see that everything is so well represented graphically to boot. Whoever made the decisions on what details to forego, and what to retain, earned their salary. The well outlined characters and backgrounds makes things easy to see on the small screen.

As far as what didn't make it to your palm: the first R-Type loses two levels (bringing the total down from eight to six) but R-Type II's six levels all make the trip to your pocket intact.

The classic gameplay too, is intact. Blast waves of weaker enemies, and position your indestructible Force Unit pod at the susceptible points of your stronger enemies. Control your R-9 spacecraft with deft precision, (one hit, and it's back to the start back point) knowing when to have the Force roam and when to have it on the rear or the front of R-9 as a shield and weapon enhancer. All this while you enjoy the otherworldly tunes and the now colourful alien backdrops and detailed mechanical designs.

Irem should be fairly proud; it's pretty much all here, so if you're looking for a shooter to take with you, R-Type DX should be near the top of your list on the strength of the DX mission alone. As long as you aren't fooled into believing you're getting a ton of gaming here, you shouldn't be disappointed. And if you're an R-Type collector looking to make an addition, this cart should be inexpensive enough now - and should prove that it claims enough ownership to its own miniscule personality - to warrant a purchase.

Rating: 8/10

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (November 28, 2003)

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