The Atari ST, and Commodore Amiga, was quite the arcade to home gaming computer, even though it was trumped by the IBM platform. The 16-Bit computer was capable enough to provide quality ports of popular arcade titles such as R-Type. Now homebrew developers are working on improving on the official port that we received so many years ago. Improve in a big way, so much so that this port has earned the “deluxe” moniker fairly.
R-Type is a side scrolling shooter originally released by Irem that saw release on many platforms including the Super Nintendo, Turbo Grafx-16 and various computer platforms. On the Super Nintendo we saw at least one sequel (R-Type III) that improved on the original in many ways (the SNES “Super R-Type” was known for being really easy).
Over the years fans have waited with each announcement for that arcade perfect port- only to be disappointed in one way or another. Thanks to one homebrew developer though, we may finally see the first arcade perfect port (outside of flat out emulation). This is great news for fans of the series, side scrolling shooters in general or those that enjoy playing games that will eat your lunch and beat you up afterwards. That is right, R-Type is not a title that you are going to beat in your first attempt. It is not a title that is going to hold your hand with tutorials and other “help me” things that modern games offer. What you can expect is intense action, challenging enemies and just enough powerups to think you actually have a chance of surviving the next barrage only to realize you are now facing the boss of the level. That is real challenge.
Side scrolling shooters have been a staple of gaming since the early days when Defender saw release in arcades. This genre has been popular, more so than its counterpart the overhead scrolling shooter. Some titles such as Axelay and Thunder Force II interspersed both styles of scrolling shooter, to varying degrees of success.
Scrolling shooters, either style, will probably be around for years to come. On mobile devices they are extremely popular with devs, if not fans, and continue to see release.
Currently planned for release later this year at the STNICCC 2015 show (it is for Atari ST enthusiasts), R-Type Deluxe is sure to turn more than a few heads (and open more than a few pocket books).