By Shaun Hatton - November 27th, 2008
Jamie has just written a great piece on Dead Space. Because I see that game as a great homage to the movie Alien, reading his take on it made me think of another game with scary aliens in it: R-Type.
As far as I know, R-Type was the first game that genuinely scared me. The first-level boss, Krell, graced the cover of the Sega Master System version of the game. It was this illustration that would ultimately haunt me more than the in-game menace would (though it would take me years to actually figure out how to defeat him – these were the days before easily-accessible video game information, after all). In fact, it’s quite possible that R-Type fostered my somewhat irrational fear of aliens.
What made R-Type a great experience for me was that it featured such a wide assortment of colourful aliens. Sprite flicker be damned! The slowness of the game may have been in part due to a lack of processing power, but its crawling pace genuinely amplified its creepy atmosphere.
Until I downloaded the Turbo-Grafix 16 on the Wii Virtual Console, the Sega Master System version was the only one I had played. Sadly, it now pales in comparison despite how impressive it still is for an 8-bit title. It certainly still has some of my favourite video game music in it. As a series, though, R-Type is my favourite shooter.