R-Type

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The home computer conversion of Irem’s horrendously challenging arcade shooter, and the CPC version is something of a mixed blessing.

The level layout, the challenge, the difficulty, the fun is spot on to the arcade original.  In shear gameplay it’s lost absolutely nothing in its move to the home computer.

Just as in the arcade it’s an amazingly difficult shooter.  Instead of feeding the machine with coins we now have 5 lives and some continues to keep going when lives are lost (at the expense of any score gained).

However, at some point, we have to address that elephant in the room.  It’s a Spectrum port.  And not a particularly skilful one at that.

Robocop and Operation Wolf both highlighted how low resolution and too much colour can make sprite hard to see.  The background and foreground  blending.  Especially in Operation Wolf.

R-Type is the very essence of a game that could make perfect use of Mode 0 and those extra colours.  With a black background there is nothing to camouflage with.  A quick look Exolon will show off this point to splendid effect.

Using Mode 1 for extra detail is nice, but you need to be cleverer in the choice of which four colours to use and how to use them.  A straight copy from the Spectrum with everything in Cyan isn’t the answer.

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