it's been a long time coming, but we emulation retrogamers finally
have the holy-grail of shootemups - R-Type Leo. Many of us have
been after this little classic for a long time now, and for me in
particular I'll bet you lot were waiting with baited breath for
the (now non-existent) M72 emulator with this emulated. We'll, it
never happened, and like Lethal Thunder, I waited until MAME emulated
this. And here it is.
retrobabble, what is R-Type Leo? Well, it is the last R-Type in
the arcades for one thing, and it's pretty much the last Irem arcade
(or so) before Irem went all wank and started churning out pachinko
machines and kiddie things. It's also the only R-Type NOT to feature
the Force Device weapon of old, and as such the R-Type hardcore
screamed 'BLASTPHEMY!!!', before slamming repeated amounts of loose
change into the machine.
a gameplayer point-of-view, this isn't so bad. It's fun to play,
easy to pick up, and enjoyable. The weapon system - without the
Force Device - is relatively recognisable. The Option Pods fire
forward or backward depending on the direction you're travelling
in. The gems are still there - Red gives you the Ripple Laser, Green
gives you a Homing Laser and Blue gives you the standard Reflective
Laser. Charge Beam is no longer existent, instead the Options home
into enemies when the fire button is held down. The levels are nicely
set out, and although they don't exactly adhere to the level design
of the previous R-Type games, they are hard to navigate, and require
expert gaming to get through. Bosses and enemies require decent
amounts of pummeling to beat, and everything barges on at a fair
are some bad points though. Leo seems to owe more to Raiden and
Thunderforce than it's predecessors with the 'fill the screen' gameplay.
What makes it worse is that at certain sections there are bullets
everywhere and you're in small winding tunnels, so cue major wall
smacking and lots of frustrated screaming. The weapon system, although
different, isn't exactly intuitive, and a pain in the arse to get
used to (in my case). Bosses are overly frustrating at certain times,
and you really need to know what you're doing to get past. Minor
niggles maybe, but problems all the same.
isn't all that bad, and it is fun, but R-Type hardcore and elitists
beware! It's not all that good either. Good for hour long blasting.