I was browsing the Xbox Live Arcade yesterday and noticed that R-Type Dimensions had just released. Way back when I lived in Ottawa, The Chapel Hill Quickie Convenience Store in my neighborhood had an R-Type arcade machine into which I fed many a quarter. The store was right at the end of my paper route and I’d stop in and play almost daily. R-Type was the sole reason I begged and pleaded my parents for a TurboGrafx-16 which had a “near arcade-perfect” port of the game.
The TG-16 ultimately failed miserably in North America, but I loved that console. I was big into shoot ’em up games and the TG-16 had the best library of them available. Aside from R-Type, I can remember playing titles like Blazing Lazers, Super Star Soldier, and another of my favourites, Soldier Blade. I was crazy-good at shooter games, and often impressed my friends with the zen-like state I entered when playing them. The games seemed to slow down for me and I could fly through the hail of oncoming bullets like they weren’t even there. I was Neo in a shoot ’em up Matrix.
I downloaded the R-Type Dimensions demo and smiled when the familiar sounds and music of the opening level flowed out of the speakers. Three enemies in I flew into a bullet and blew up. Times have changed.