I’ve been a big fan of Irem’s classic shoot-em up R-Type ever since I laid eyes on it back in the late 80’s, as the graphics and sounds were a cut above the rest back in those days. Tozai Games would remake the first two entries of the game series back in 2009 with R-Type Dimensions making its way to Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, and now they’ve remade it again as R-Type Dimensions EX for PC via Steam and the Nintendo Switch for some sweet alien shoot-em up action at home or on the go.
If you’re looking for a story, there’s not much outside of the evil aliens known as the Bydo empire trying to take over the universe, and your mankind’s last line of defense armed with the powerful space fighter called the R-9 to fight back against them. Here you’ll fly and shoot your way through numerous stages and end bosses while collecting power-ups such as speed boosts, missiles, laser beams, and the best one of all called the force (no relation to the famous Star Wars one) which acts as a shield and secondary weapon to help out when things get tough.
And they will get tough, as you’ll be fighting your way through both the first game as well as the sequel, R-Type II. Both of these have been improved with clean, remastered 3D visuals and music which you can switch between this mode and the original arcade pixel look and chiptune music at the press of a button. You can also “tilt” the camera in 3D mode to give the visuals a nice depth look as well. While things can get intense, thankfully there’s a mode included titled “infinite mode” that gives you unlimited ships to go through, so you’re guaranteed to beat both of these at least.
There’s also online leaderboards to see how you measure up to other players around the world, though sadly no online co-op play (at least there’s the local option for you and a friend). And the only real key difference between the EX version of this title and the 2009 release is the newly added feature to speed up or slow down the gameplay to either make things more challenging or to make dodging loads of enemy fire easier.
R-Type Dimensions EX is a classic space shoot-em up that’s perfect for fans and those looking for something fun to pass the time with. The remastered visuals and sounds are spot on as is the original look and audio that’s faithfully reproduced for old school gamers such as myself and newcomers that are ready to make this one their type of shoot-em up.