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R-Type Final
  opened by paleface at 21:18:05 08/31/03  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Shooter_Horiz; reg=JPN]
This grabbed me much more easily than Delta, perhaps because now that the graphics are high-resolution or anti-aliased or whatever you can actually see all the little guns and bullets and things coming at you.
But it's more than that. The visual style itself seems realistic in a sci-fi way yet if you sort of squint a bit you notice that everything has this nice glowing shimmer about it. The music and sound effects are top notch. I like the mocha color of the menu screens. You can unlock a total of 99 ships, each supposedly slightly different from each other, and give them whatever color you like, a nice touch. Each creature is clearly distinct with surprisingly sharp detail and ornate animation.
And some of the charge weapons are really nice: huge long blue beams or concussive pulse charges that detonate in a bassy "PFFff" that blurs the screen leaving green particles behind. There are particles and blur everywhere, really, playing to the PS2's strengths, and they look nice. The pace is slower than the usual shooter, maybe even slower than previous R-Types, as you carefully and strategically carve your way through masses of enemies which, if you do it wrong, will simply crush you by sheer bulk.
The bosses and sub-bosses are memorable, heck even the first sub-boss is a keeper, a giant crab-spider thingy clinging to a see-sawing ceiling as you have to shift in front and in back of him, bringing strongly to mind a certain early boss in R-Type II. Another early sub-boss, shaped something like a giant punching bag, will slam back into you if you knock it away with a powerful shot at close range.
After playing for a while in the trancelike music you start to feel as if you're an energized particle yourself, charging up and knifing through liquid seas of weaving pulses and waves, swooping and blasting and living in a stream of energy. Okay that sounds dumb, but the game is fun in an unusually thick and fluid way. And dig how the focus changes when you execute the trademark R-Type plunge underwater. Nice.

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