• Bonfire night bonanza from the dreamers...

According to Mediagenic’s lawyers, R-Type is a highly original arcade action shoot-’em-up. CRASH readers may have a different opinion of this Irem Corporation licence, but, as is so often the case, game format takes a backseat to actual playability. The scenario for all this is of the peaceful-galaxy-being- invaded-by-hideous-aliens variety. Naturally a lone spaceship will have a better chance against the aliens than the galaxy’s massed fleets and as for the pilot.., well, thank you for volunteering. Very brave of you.

The latest spacefighter technology (I thought this was a peaceful place — Ed) is represented by the awesome R-9. A single-seat ship initially armed with just a standard R-type laser. While rather feeble in rapid fire mode, by holding down fire for a few seconds you can discharge a massive blue fireball which destroys virtually all in its path.

Further weaponry can be added to your ship by collecting the glowing orbs deposited by the remains of a large number of blasted aliens. Add-on weapons include missiles, a more powerful laser and a small remote craft which flings out bullets at an amazing rate. These are lost when you die, so some pretty nifty flying is needed to get far into the eight, multiloaded levels. Ranged against you are swarms of alien fighters to chase you around the screen, ground-based missile launchers setting a stream of rockets on your tail, and rapid- fire gun turrets. An almost equally formidable threat is provided by the scenery — collisions with which are lethal. Then, of course, there’s the end-of-level guardian which will take all the firepower you can muster to defeat it.

The guardians, like the rest of the game, look very good indeed. Attacking ships in particular are well-drawn and animated with some really good, bright colours. The ferocity of the aliens’ attacks might put some people off at the start, even Nick had problems finishing the first level, but don’t give up! Once you’ve had a bit of practise you can get some great thrills squeezing through amazingly small spaces with a horde of blood-thirsty aliens on your tail. Congratulations to Electric Dreams for retaining the frenetic, arcade feel and producing such a brilliant game.

MARK ... 91%


So it’s arrived. The Spectrum conversion of one of the arcade’s best looking coin-ops. Well it was bound to be disappointment wasn’t it? But wait a minute, what’s this? Colourful, well-drawn sprites in an absolute orgy of violent action, that’s what! Okay, so there’s quite a bit of colour clash, and sometimes it’s hard to see what’s happening, but all the same R-Type is amazingly playable and deviously addictive. The stunning range of weapons featured on the coin-op is available here too, preserving the coin-op’s strategic aspects. After collecting a few extra weapons, your ship becomes an absolute fortress of weaponry with heat-seeking rockets, lasers and plasma bolts. And believe me you need all the armaments you can get to combat the constant barrage of varied, multi-coloured enemies. As for the massive, end-of-level monsters... All these features go to make R-Type a truly excellent and challenging shoot-’em-up.

PHIL ... 93%

This has got to be the arcade conversion of the decade (well at least the past three months). I know I’ve said that conversions have been good before, but R-Type is mega! The amount of colour, sound and excellent graphics that have been packed into it will just knock you over. Some of the sprites almost fill up the entire screen and they take quite a bit of pounding before they’re defeated. You collect more weaponry as you destroy each wave of aliens and when you have the lot, you’re almost unstoppable. Presentation is highly polished with excellent title and loading screens, plus a multitude of levels for you to blast through. This is an absolute must for every arcade shoot-’em-up freak, you gotta buy it!

NICK ... 93%


Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: colour is used very liberally, but even the resulting clashes don’t spoil the detailed, fast-moving sprites
Sound: plenty of noisy effects during play
Options: definable keys
General rating: the frenzied action really sets pulses racing — a surprisingly good conversion of the classic coin-op

Addictive qualities93%