R-Type Dimensions Review
R-Type Dimensions box art
System: X360 (XBLA) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Tozai Games / SouthEnd Interactive 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Microsoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 4, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Instead, they only provided one mode besides classic: infinite, or unlimited lives. This completely removes every incentive not to die, draining every sense of fun and tension. It kills the core challenge of the game, that of figuring out the "right" path by which to navigate the levels. Given how hard these stages are, it usually feels like you're just watching yourself die until the level runs out. Essentially, you can choose between smashing your controller to pieces and having your eyes glaze over as life number 22 goes by. Neither is what modern gamers are looking for.

R-Type Dimensions screenshot

To be fair, there are a few new features that mitigate the difficulty a little. Once you clear all the stages, even if you do it with infinite lives, you can start on whatever level you want. This lets you learn the later stages without playing through the early ones first every time. There's also a checkpoint system, so a "game over" screen doesn't mean you have to start from the very beginning. There's also a two-player co-op mode with a revive system, available both locally and online.

Finally, before hardcore R-Type fans start bursting blood vessels and sending us hate mail (if they haven't started already), it should be made clear that there is a certain genius to these games that's evident even in 2009. Where most game designers struggle to walk the line between challenge and frustration, R-Type's original teams sought to carve out one way to make it through hazard-packed levels, and to make pretty much any deviation from that path fatal. If one accepts this as a legitimate goal, the level design is superb: you can beat these games, but only if you memorize them and play them exactly the way you're supposed to.


R-Type Dimensions is an attempt to appeal to both retro gamers and newcomers. It's an unmitigated success when it comes to the former, and an unmitigated disaster for the latter. Anyone who wants the old games will get exactly what they're looking for, but those who want something that'll compete with modern shooters should stick to, well, modern shooters.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

The old graphics are intact, which is nice, but the new 3-D visuals aren't all that impressive.
Couldn't be simpler.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The tracks support the game's atmosphere without getting in the way.
Play Value
It depends whether you liked the old R-Type games. If so, this is great, but modern gamers won't fall in love.
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Classic arcade action: R-Type Dimensions includes R-Type and R-Type II, two fully playable classic coin-op games.
  • Multiple game modes: Try the Classic game mode with play that exactly mimics the original coin-op experiences, or the all-new Infinite game mode, assuring the completion of your game regardless of skill level. Both modes offer single-player and all-new co-op play (both local and over Xbox LIVE). Switch between 2-D and 3-D graphic modes even during play.
  • Crazy camera: Play from a non-orthogonal camera view.
  • Cooperative play: New cooperative play uses a simple yet thrilling revive system, and a ship collision feature that can be turned on for added difficulty and sparring.
  • New features: The new stage-unlock functionality allows you to have immediate access to your favorite stages, and the new Continue option lets you restart from the last accessed checkpoint when the game's over.

  • Screenshots / Images
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