Capsule Reviews: Barney’s Got It Right (Again) Part 1

(Thanks, CptNem!)

“Get me rewrite!” Or: Sometimes the Stupidest Things Happen at the Dumbest Possible Times Division (Q Branch). Anyway, last night I was about two hours into writing up this article, I actually sneezed while typing and (get this) accidentally replaced about 8 or 900 words and a few videos with one word. I hit that Undo button and laughed loudly because boy, it’s a good thing that option exists when stuff like this occurs, right? But guess what? That actually didn’t work. Yipes. I then find out that WordPress’ auto-saving function in drafts or works in progress does NOT account for these unhappy accidents and yes, will overwrite even as one is trying to fix an issue. Eep.

After some time messaging with a WP tech support rep who was otherwise helpful but couldn’t solve my particularly stupendously stupid accident, I figured out that yep, I needed to start over. I absolutely HATE rewriting stuff like this, so after pressing the old panic button about a dozen times until it exploded, I decided to go watch a three quarters of a very good Netflix documentary on Orson Welles and call it a night. Hey, it was a long day up to that point and staying up any later trying to fix what was busted would have just made things worse.

Anyway, yep, I’ve been busy playing a bunch of games that I’m going to recommend below, now in slightly shorter form than the original, but I think you’ll get the gist of things. Or at least your wallet will start trying to hide before you can whip it out.

R-Type D EX boxR-Type Dimensions EX (Nintendo Switch, $14.99): Absolutely stellar versions of the 1987 classic arcade shmup and its 1989 sequel offer up a wealth of options that make it accessible to anyone who can hold a controller. Both games feature the ability to switch between 2D and 3D art on the fly (with a number of visual options), super responsive 60fps gameplay at 1080p and even a 2-player co-op mode where friendly fire can be toggled on or off.

There are even slow motion and fast forward options if you want to learn how to play or just make things pure hell on your stress level, although that crazy fast forward mode is survivable if your skills are up to the challenge. Me? I laughed so much while using it because I was thrilled I actually survived a few levels while using it. The game tallies up all the R-9 ships you’ve lost, so completing a stage with as few (or no) deaths is pretty rewarding when it happens.

R-Type 01

Heh. You may need a Geiger counter (or H.R. Giger counter, actually) to tally up this game’s visual references in a few stages.

The game is still as incredible a challenge as it’s ever been, with those Bydo Empire baddies doing their level best to blast you into space dust. Whether you play with unlimited lives or really challenge yourself with the more intense original difficulty, you’re getting a pair of games with a ton of replay value as well as a nice slice of game history. I’m not sure if Tozai Games has the publishing rights to the other entries in this series, but if they do, a nice set of all the games would be more than welcome by fan if they can make it so. This one’s also on Steam if you’re a PC gamer looking to check out what’s here on a PC that will run it, so go take a peek if your interest is piqued.

Score: A (95%)

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WIN FREE STUFF! Kill The Bad Guy OR R-Type Delta Game Codes (Pick ONE & Play!)

Hokay, people. I’m up to my earballs in E3 stuff, but I need a break. How do I take a break, you ask? I GIVE STUFF AWAY! Well, not all the time, but you don’t need to know what I do when I’m not hanging out here, grrrr! *Ahem!* Anyway, I have ONE code here for Exkee’s recently released Kill the Bad Guy on Steam (yes, you need a Steam account!) and ONE code here for Tozai Games’ R-Type Dimensions for the PlayStation 3 on PSN (so you’ll need a PS3 and PSN account). Oh, it’s a North American code, so it won’t work outside the U.S. of A. at all. Steam codes should be universal, though. so you can Kill The Bad Guy anywhere you live!

So, HOW do you get ONE of these two codes, you ask? Well, dearies… hit reply and just drop a comment below naming the game you want and BOOM!, it’s all yours. No need to leave any contact info, as I’ll know how to reach you through the MAGIC of email and WordPress knowing who you are when you respond. If you don’t win, fear not. I’m cooking up a sort of random giveaway of extra Steam codes I have here that are duplicates of stuff in my way too massive backlog (which now extends into 2016! Yaaaaah!). I won’t get to that for a while, as I’m up to my earballs in E3 stuff in case you didn’t remember. Anyway, stop reading this and go try and win a game already!

Review: R-Type Dimensions (PSN)

R-Type Dimensions Logo 
Developer: Southend Interactive
Publisher: Tozai Games
# of Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Official Site
Score: A (95%)

Some things never change, and in the case of R-Type and R-Type II, this is a great thing even if you’ve always hated both for being so incredibly brutal to play through. Developer Southend Interactive has put together a neat little retro package with a few great modern twists for you arcade shooter fans as well as anyone looking for a true old school challenge that’s finally flown onto PSN after appearing on the Xbox 360 last year. R-Type Dimensions is an absolute must-buy if you like your games tough, tricky and full of replay value. Sure, both games combined only total a mere fourteen stages, but just like back in 1987 and 1989, both games will test your reflexes to the maximum. And if you take what’s here for granted, how far you can throw a controller.

If you’re terrible at these types of shooters, terminally lazy or just want to see the endings of both before you flee this mortal coil, Dimensions includes couch co-op play and a new Infinite mode that gives you multiple lives, allowing anyone to blow through the game no matter how many times you’re blasted into space dust. Of course, purists will want this because the classic games are intact and perfectly presented in terms of gameplay and even the terrible “Get me a proofreader!” text that spells out the rather minimalist story… Continue reading

WIN FREE STUFF! R-Type Dimensions PSN Codes Up For Grabs!

R_TD If you happen to have a PS3 and a PlayStation Network account and are sitting around staring at a wall right now just wishing you had something nicely nostalgic and hard as hell to play, I’d bet you look as if you could use something nice and free today.

I think I can oblige just a tiny bit with Tozai Games’ R-Type Dimensions, which landed on PSN a few days back. If you’re bouncing up and down in your seat right about now, okay, okay… knock it off and listen up. Two codes, both for North America (which means they won’t work anywhere else!), ONE each for two lucky winners. Just reply below (no need to put any personal info in that response) and the code is yours!

R-Type Dimensions Out Today: Say Bye-Bydo, You Alien Creeps!

And here I was, thinking it would be a quiet day today. Nope, too many games hitting retail and digital, including Tozai Games’ one-two punch for the PS3, R-Type Dimensions. It’s both the original arcade games plus modern remakes with a few play modes and new options that make the game even more (or a bit less) challenging, it’s hard as heck nostalgia that won’t break the bank at only $9.99 on the PlayStation Network. Yes, you need to get this just in case there really are cranky aliens up there coming to visit and you’re suddenly drafted into service…

R-Type Dimensions Trailer: Bydo Empire Returns, Hard As Ever To Take Down One More Time…

Ah, R-Type and R-Type II. I have many fond and not so fond memories of trying to beat you both way back in the day in the arcades and at home on a few consoles and you always getting the better of me until that one day when everything clicked, the sun was in the right spot in the sky and I had enough adrenaline to survive those pesky enemies and out-blast those bosses to a few victories. Well, I’m older and slower and don’t play many arcade shooters these days, but I see you’re BACK for revenge, this time in R-Type Dimensions on PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 on May 20 in North America (and May 21 across supported European territories). I also see that not only are you bringing the pain with the original arcade versions, you’re also packing heat with a remade high-resolution 3D visuals and an all new soundtrack to go with those spiffy looks.

My fingers are now tingling and my brain is percolating up remembrances of tactics past. Yeah, that’s right… I’m coming back to get you damn Bydo Empire jerks and blast you into alien scrap a few times too many. Well, once I do maybe ten thousand push-ups and go through my collection of Irem shmups with a side slide into some Toaplan titles. Practice, practice, practice! You’re going DOWN, you two… AGAIN, grrrrr!

Review: Spelunker (Virtual Console)

spelunker_artPlatform: Nintendo Wii U (also on Wii, 3DS)

Developer: Tozai Games

Publisher: Tozai Games

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Official Site

Score: A- (90%)

Still going strong after 30 years, Spelunker is one of those great games that gets a lot of love and hate for what it puts you through. On one hand, it’s a challenging game packed with treasures to grab and a satisfying sense of accomplishment each time you clear a level. On the other hand, it’s a REALLY and infuriatingly challenging game thanks to “the weakest action hero in the history of gaming”, and yes, that’s a selling point of this gem, folks. If you’re no fan of trial and error, the combination of this terminally frail dude, the need for pinpoint control and collecting air supplies scattered around the levels while avoiding death from everything from a VERY short fall to the small assortment of enemies will have you screaming at your TV within seconds…
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Spelunker Falls Onto eShop for Nintendo Wii U/3DS – Velcro Gloves Not Included.


Spelunker eShopAnd why would you need Velcro gloves, you ask? Well, I’m gathering you’ve never played Spelunker, the legendary game with “the weakest action hero in the history of video games” (and boy, is that ever true!). Since 1983, that fragile little miner guy has been a staple of gaming history who’s stood the test of time, inspiring many other games including Derek Yu’s rather spiffy homage Spelunky and probably helping to break a few too many controllers thrown at a wide range of televisions.

Anyway, after popping up in an HD version on the PlayStation Network, the original classic game is now (and finally) available for $4.99 on the Wii U and 3DS through Nintendo’s eShop (thank you, Tozai Games!), meaning you can see what all the fuss is about if you happen to own one of those consoles. The game certainly demands some fast reflexes as you scoot to nab treasure, avoiding death from above, below, left and right from bats, snakes, hot steam, electricity and falling from too-high spots (among other things). Not to mention that pesky ghost that pops up when you least expect it to get your heart racing.

Spelunker_2 Spelunker_3 Spelunker_4

Now, why would anyone subject themselves to such torture you ask? Well, because it’s actually a ton of FUN, folks. That and it’s hard not to root for that little guy with no particular talents who can die at the drop of a hat forging onward into certain doom to accomplish his goal. I’d say that describes the human condition in a way. Or perhaps I’m thinking too much (again). Hey, everyone needs a hobby right? Mine is stretching my poor brain into assorted shapes. And playing the occasional game that makes me want to jump up and down on a controller (which I won’t be doing as that Wii U GamePad is pretty expensive)…