GamingReview: R-Type Final 3 Evolved

Review: R-Type Final 3 Evolved


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I’ve been out of the schmup scene since Super Aleste, which I played in around 2013. Since then I’ve played a few hours of a handful of titles that I’d struggle to name, and I haven’t really though much about the genre since.

I started playing this game a little over a week ago and, after the first few hours, I had a realization: “Oh yeah. These games are incredibly fun.”

Godspeed Spaceship

You’re in a ship going left to right and there’s a host of alien scum in your way. We all know what the premise is, so how’s the gameplay? You have your charge shot, rapid fire, charged special, and a “force”, which is a small orb which either attacks independently of your ship, or affixes itself to the side. You also have 4 different speeds which can help you maneuver out of any sticky situation you may find yourself in.

There are 7 levels, and those 7 levels took me about 3 hours. Keeping in mind that I used almost all of my 10 continues (about 30 lives) and had a few other setbacks, this might not sound like a ton of game. For anyone accustomed to 60 hour pseudo-rpgs, this might seem off, but this is an arcade game in which repetition, replayability, and mastery are key.

As well as the 7 levels in this game, you also get the entire campaign from the last game, as well as 3 free dlc packs of 3 levels each. I spent about 20 hours in this game before accepting that there are levels I am not yet capable of beating on Bydo difficulty.

Should you still have any questions regarding what is actually in this admittedly confusing package, then please check out the FAQ.

Look & Sound

If you’re coming back into the schmup scene after a while like me, you might be somewhat put off by the graphics of R-Type Final 3. In screenshots and videos the 3D models of enemies and environments just feel off. This was my initial reaction, and it’s what made me so reticent to try and review the game, but then I remembered that one of the best metroidvanias of the past decade was Bloodstained and that looks arguably worse.

3D models in these 2D legacy games always feels off, but the moment you begin playing I find that any previous reservations just melt away as you get taken in by how immediately entertaining the gameplay is. These older games have no grace period and not much build-up, they’re fun from the moment you have control until the very end. Yes, sprites would have looked nicer, but they also would have taken away so much development time, that we wouldn’t have gotten a fraction of the content we actually got, and certainly none of the customization.

In fact, the only complaint I actually have about the visuals is that the camera slightly tilts whenever you move up or down and this threw me off a few times in some of the later areas which are more reliant on precision.

The music is nothing spectacular, but it’s serviceable to hype you up as you manage to sweat your way through a seemingly impossible section for the 10th+ time. One thing which can feel off at times though is the sound mixing. I’m almost never attentive enough to notice things like this, but so many of the sounds when over-layed will simply amplify, or muffle one another. I tried a few stages with several different sound options and it never seemed to help. It was never a huge issue, and perhaps it may just need a patch, but it felt worth mentioning.

What Else We Got?

So, you’ve beaten a few levels and now you want to see what else you can do. I was incredibly surprised by the sheer amount of customization this game offers you.

For starters: there are 12 ship slots in which you place one of over 100 unlockables ships. Each of these ships can be purchased using resources earned at the end of levels, and each one differs in any number of ways from the previous ship. Many have their own designs, their own shot types, and their own feel. Each of these ships can then have their colours changed, their decals changed, and they can all then be stored in your own hub area.

When the multiplayer aspects gets off the ground, it’ll be interesting to see the number of ways in which people can express their personalities and playstyles through their ships. You can also buy additional outfits for your pilot avatar. While these initially seem like vanity items, certain colour costumes can actually affect the resources you gain after a mission.

One other thing which is not all too impactful but warrants a mention is that every time you unlock art in this game, you can set that art as either the load screen image or the main menu image. This is a small thing, but it’s solved a problem I’ve always had with unlockable art and it’s done it in a way I never expected.

A Wonderful… Sequel?

R-Type Final 3 is an iteration on R-Type Final 2. Much in the same way that Hitman 2 was an iteration of Hitman 1; the game basically looks and plays the same, but there’s a bunch of new levels, you can also play all of the old levels, and they’ll be incrementally adding stuff to it whenever they happen to feel like it (there are 9 dlc level packs available at launch, all of which contain 3 levels).

This kind of structure makes these kinds of games difficult to review at launch because many of the advertised features, while ‘available’, are mostly promissory and come with the dev message of “This will be really awesome once it’s in the game”.

There’s supposedly some sort of multiplayer in which you compete with players to see who can get the highest score in a given level, but it’s inaccessible as of now. There’s also an MMO-esque hub area in which you can walk around with your customizable pilot and emote; however, there are no other players because the service is not available yet.

I get that community is important in arcade games, but if score-jockeying and schmup supremacy/ friendly rivalries were such a focal point of this game, then why is none of this stuff available yet? What’s here is wonderful and incredibly fun, but by virtue of adopting an almost live-service model, it’s inherently half-baked.

The game is also exclusive to PS5 of all things supposedly because it hopes to implement PSVR. Not for the actual game mind you, but just for a first person cutscene at the beginning. I’m not sure of the story behind this exclusivity, but this seems like an odd way to split your fanbase especially when the last game was available on practically everything.


+ Wonderful customization
+ Expansive set of unlocks
+ Inherently fun gameplay formula
+ Unique and distinct levels
+ 2 campaigns as well as 9 free levels

- Promisory multiplayer with missing components
- Exhaustive sets of dlc, some of which are resource based micro-transactions

Costs $50. Game reviewed on PS5. Exclusive to PS5.
Daniel Kelly
Daniel Kelly
A man forever in search of a game to surpass Metal Gear.

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+ Wonderful customization <br/> + Expansive set of unlocks <br/> + Inherently fun gameplay formula <br/> + Unique and distinct levels <br/> + 2 campaigns as well as 9 free levels <br/> <br/> - Promisory multiplayer with missing components <br/> - Exhaustive sets of dlc, some of which are resource based micro-transactions <br/> <br/> Costs $50. Game reviewed on PS5. Exclusive to PS5. Review: R-Type Final 3 Evolved