ron, Mar-14 2008

Overflowing VC Friday

At the eleventh hour, we present you the eleventh Friday of '08, or more precisely the VC games that were released today on the European Wii Shop Channel. Shazam.

Super R-Type

Super R-Type is another entry in the venerable R-Type series of horizontal shmups. You steer your ship through waves of enemies and gradually increase your firepower. R-Type has relatively low movement speed and demands some level memorization from the player for good progress. It's quite punishing because the first contact with an enemy, wall or bullet is deadly, and you have to start from the beginning of the level without any upgrades. R-Type uses two notable franchise quirks: a)your basic shot can be charged up to deliver a wider, more powerful blast and b)your "option", a smaller companion ship that supports your firepower, can be detached and fired across the screen while still firing bullets. It can be docked at either the front or the back of the ship.
Super R-Type is not just an SNES port of the original R-Type, but has all-new levels and bosses and a few tweaks to the weapon system. It's a bit more accessible than the amazingly difficult R-Type, too.

Operation Wolf

This is an NES version of a lightgun shooter. You move your cursor across automatically scrolling scenery with the d-pad and fire at people, helicopters and tanks before they fire at you. Ammo is limited, and can be replenished by hitting ammo boxes that appear from time to time.
It's noteworthy that Operation Wolf was released for a lot of different systems, and this NES version is not just the poorest graphically, but also has a completely gimped control scheme that makes it very hard to even play the game. This situation can't be rectified, because the Wiimote can't be used to play the game, and the original lightgun attachment, which was available for the NES, has been lost in time and space and isn't supported anyway.

Operation Wolf is an excess in glorified violence, with a mostly cheap, aracedy, quarter-demanding kind of difficulty, but even so, some version of it, say, a mouse-enabled Amiga version, would be worth ripping through. However, this ugly, borderline unplayable NES version is not worth anyone's time and money today.
Everything about Super R-Type is quite nice, graphics, levels, variety, weapon upgrade system, music, mostly everything, except for the instant death/continue gimped/die again spiral that plagues the entire series. If you want to be challenged once for real by a shmup, this could be a great thing for you. Most people would be better served with a more accessible, more forgiving game though, such as Gradius III.

Summary: Super R-Type only for dedicated shmup masters. Operation Wolf for noone.


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