R-Type Dimensions EX (Switch) Review
Switching between old and new graphical styles at will is awesome – the soundtrack changes too
New features exclusive to the Switch version are fantastic enhancements
Classic games that have not aged well but the new features make these titles playable
Cheap and unfair enemy tactics and level design – brutal difficulty
Dying With A Smile
Several years ago, R-Type Dimensions was released on the Xbox Live Arcade then ported to PS3 about a year later. You can read my PS3 review of R-Type Dimensions here. Tozai Games now has ported this R-Type compilation to Switch as R-Type Dimensions EX but added some welcomed quality-of-life features which makes this Switch version the best version to play.
Being honest, these newly added features actually make the game enjoyable due to the absurdly high level of difficulty and what normally would be a very frustrating experience. In addition to instantly Switching between the classic 2D sprites and new 3D visuals at will and enjoying the Infinite mode which allows the player to play with as many lives as it takes, this Switch EX version provides access to the Full Power-Up Mode which allows players to maximize the strength the ship in Infinite Mode. Mapped to the shoulder buttons, the player has the ability to fast forward or play in slow motion at will; my only gripe with this is that the player has to hold down the button instead of being able to toggle it on/off with a single button press. Let me tell you, playing in slow-mo actually gives the player a fighting chance at survival. Instead of dying every three seconds, I usually made it to about every five/six seconds which made me feel like a pro.
Further enhancing the experience, the player now has the ability to re-map the controls and even turn off the rumble feature. Co-op also received an enhancement by allowing players to revive their fallen partner and collision can be turned on for a truly grueling experience. This Switch version also features 1080p resolution when docked and several optional in-game achievements to unlock. Just like the previous XBLA and PS3 version, this Switch version will automatically upload your high score to an online leaderboard and the main menu features a wealth of additional stats like the amount of time played, hidden items collected, and co-op tracking. The amount of care that went into this final product will please any shooter and any R-Type fan.
Personally, I don’t think R-Type and R-Type II are especially well designed games as they are unfair and feature some of the most unforgiving level and enemy design you have ever played in a shooter. But I feel that R-Type Dimensions EX is the best way to experience these classic shooters thanks to the care put into the extra options. Even though the gameplay is absolutely punishing, these quality of life features make this $15 eShop download worthwhile and entertaining.