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    R-Type Delta review

    R-Type Delta (Irem) - Sony Playstation

    I could just sum all i have to say in one short sentence : "R-Type Delta is great!!". But that would not even be fair to the game, since it deserves so much to be said about it!

    So let's make it more detailled : R-Type Delta is HARD! I would define the game's difficulty like this : level 1 is a really tough introduction; level 2 is extremely hard; level 3 is insane; level 4 is a nerve-breaking experience; and i cannot figure out yet how to get through level 5. And i'm just talking about the "normal difficulty" mode!
    Yet the game is amazingly beautiful and full of details, and the gameplay is so very smooth that there's a highly addictive factor that keeps me trying and trying again. And the more i play, the more i discover that the first impression is not true. The game is not stupidly hard after all. It was just designed as a highly technical experience for demanding shoot-em-ups players. Seeing things this way, i can say that the game is the best in it's category!

    Going back from the beginning : there's a background story in R-Type Delta, and, just like any other R-Type games, it's about defeating the Bydo empire once again. Remember that this evil bio-mechanical species was once created by mankind as a weapon, and went berzerk... That was R-Type, the first one, the R-9 spacefighter had the assigned mission to "blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire". Now, the Bydo is back, controlling everything on earch that can cause destruction...

    This time, the player has 3 different space fighters to choose from. Not paying attention to this point at first, i soon figured out that the gameplay will vary significantly depending on which ship you'll take.
    What makes a major difference compared to the previous R-Types is the improved use of the Force (that orbiting shield-module that was on of the original R-Type trademark).
    The force now acts as an energy accumulator; collecting energy as it destroys ennemies and shots, with the ability to release the stored energy in the shape of a highly destructive mega-bomb!
    The ship also has the classic R-Type feature of storing energy by keeping the Fire button pressed, offering a 2-levels super shot.

    Now, each of the 3 ships has a different Force module; and this is the key to the gameplay variations between the fighters. Let's focus on those differences induced by the 3 different approaches :

    - The R-9-IIa "Delta" (close to the regular R-Type ship) is the most balanced of the three : mid-power shots, mid-power Force, with a gameplay really similar to other R-Type episodes.
    - The R-X "Albatross" focuses on the weapons : the Force is weak when separated from the ship, on the other hand, when attached, the weapons are impressive! It's the most technical ship to play, despite it's destructive power; because the player has to concentrate on targetting while avoiding the numerous ennemies and shots on the screen.

    - The R-13 "Cerberus" focuses on the Force! I must confess it's my favorite. I think it's a total renewal of the Shoot-them-up Gameplay! With this ship, basically all you have to do is to send the Force away to destroy the ennemy while keeping the ship safe and regularly shot a super-weapon to clean up the ennemy squadrons. Easier said that done, though, as, even with this strategy, the game is so darn hard!

    Ok, i've mentionned the game is not actually "hard" but has a very finely tuned high-difficulty level; and several clever ideas help the player progress in skills and in the game!
    First good idea : the Force now has a gauge for storing ennemies energy. That gauge don't restart empty with every new life the player uses, but it's level is maintained until the player decides the use the mega-bomb. This means that, after several failed attemps of going through one very difficult part during a play, the gauge eventually gets full and makes the super-bomb available for the next try! Sounds nothing, but believe me it's a great relief in lots of situations!

    Next, i've discovered that even if credits are limited in the beginning, their number increase after a certain amount of play-time! What that means is that, after penibly spending the 5 allowed credits reaching, say, level 5; you may just be granted 4 more credits to spend on that brand new level! I've also read somewhere that one can get infinite continues after hours of play.

    Finally, on the gameplay side, it's amazing to see how one can progress into the game without even noticing! There are of course sections harder than others where one has to think of a way to go through, but there are also parts where the training of trying again and again just makes it and makes progressing very natural (Yet *HARD*! )

    Another great side of the game is the gamedesign! Switching to 3D is a real success for the R-Type touch; it gains wonderful special effects, beautiful weapons, while keeping that very particular r-type atmosphere...
    The developpers also includeds lots of references to other Irem games; not only to previous R-Types. Among the references i've found : the submarine pit in level 2 reminds me of "In The Hunt"; the Yellow weapon of the R-X ship clearly refers to X-Multiply; level 5 in a 3D psychedelic version of an out-of-gravity R-Type 1 level 2...

    If you were a shoot-them-up fan back in the 80's and enjoy playing a shoot-them-up with an atmosphere of it's own; you must try R-Type Delta; you'll certainly love the experience! And don't worry if, reaching level 3, you wonder if that huge mechanical thingy will keep firing like that all the level long : yes it will, it's meant to be, and, moreover, you'll find out soon enough how to get rid of it!

    Related links : R-Type Delta Official Page on Irem's site

    Level 1 : if there were no giant snake, this would not be R-Type!

    Level 2 : just after this submarine passage, the area is insanely hard. The light rays on this screen indicates that a super bomb is just starting to clean up the ennemies away!

    Level 3 : In R-Type 3, "level 3" also spells "I.N.S.A.N.E". Just imagine that the 8 directionnal shot you see here will keep firing continuously (alternating with a giant blue laser beam) until you've destroyed the walker-mounted cannon that pursuies your ship. You'll have to make use of the Force or your rear weapon to do so.