Blast from the Past

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.