R-Type Delta is an excellent entry into the side scrolling shooter genre. As any shooter should be, it is packed with fast and furious gameplay. At the height of its popularity in the 80's and early 90's, the side scrolling shooter was known for its 2D graphics and chaotically fast action. R-Type Delta is no different, except that it takes the original recipe and places it into a 3D world and adds some strategy elements. With R-Type Delta's introduction of the Force module, long gone are the days of mindless shooting and dodging.
The Force module is an indestructible sphere that can be attached to the front or back of your Warship. When it comes into contact with enemies, it simultaneously causes damage and absorbs their power. When enough power is absorbed, a catastrophic special attack can be unleashed from it. Each of the three selectable Warships has their own distinct Force module. Also, by collecting Laser Crystals found floating throughout the seven levels in the game, the Force module can be used to fire laser blasts. There are three colors of Laser Crystals that can be found: Red, Yellow, and Blue. Each color represents a different form of laser attack and can be upgraded three times by collecting the same colored crystal.
What makes this feature great is the replay value it brings to the game. You will probably discover your favorite form of attack, but ultimately, it might not be the best strategy against a certain boss or level. Even though there are only seven levels in R-Type Delta, the replay value is off the chart. Because of the different combinations of Warships and Force module attacks, you'll spend hours running through the game trying out each Warship and its different attack capabilities. You may do poorly with one ship while excelling with another. The Force modules are that distinct. OK, enough about the Force modules. You get the point.
Despite its gorgeous 3D graphics, R-Type Delta is essentially still just a 2D side scrolling shooter at heart. If you haven't enjoyed this type of game up to now, then those wonderful little Force modules and the fancy 3D graphics aren't going to change your mind. R-Type Delta may be one of the best examples of its kind, but it remains true to its nature. There are still plenty of cheap deaths to go around and the prerequisite impossible-to-escape situations will have you throwing tantrums like a spoiled child. On the good side, the end-of-the-level boss encounters are as fun as ever.
Most of the bosses take up the majority of the screen and have some very cool anime-inspired attacks. Unfortunately, because of the devastating firepower you carry, most bosses die before running through the gamut of their attacks. One of the game's shortcomings is that most of the bosses are easily defeated. Getting through certain parts in each level is more challenging than defeating the boss with the exception of the third level, which consists entirely of one gigantic super carrier. Systematically taking out portions of its body, while dodging its wicked offensive attacks and huge lumbering legs (think AT-AT from The Empire Strikes Back) provides one of the best challenges in the game.
The control of your Warship is pretty tight, responding instantly to your commands. You can adjust the speed of your Warship accordingly to the action on the screen. Choosing the right speed is imperative to your success. Flying too fast in tight quadrants can result in instant death, while flying too slowly won't get you out from underneath those enormous super carrier legs before they pulverize you into debris.
R-Type Delta's soundtrack is fairly fast-paced but doesn't stand out in comparison to the game's frantic action. You'll probably only notice the music during mid-level transitions. The sound effects are pretty standard as well. Fortunately, you won't have to worry about noticing these trivial aspects because you'll be to busy with the on-screen chaos.
Something synonymous with games of this type is slowdown. R-Type Delta's framerate can slowdown considerably depending on how much action is happening on the screen at one time. In my opinion, the slowdown in action is welcomed. It can actually save your life in moments of sheer frenzy.
Developer's IREM have continued their successful R-Type series with this fantastic entry. How many new games of this type we'll see in the future on home console systems is questionable; however, with solid entries like R-Type Delta, the side scrolling shooter will be remembered fondly for a long time.
~ Damien Thorpe, All Game Guide
Nice 3D graphics enhance a typically 2D genre. Background environments look post-apocalyptic. End-level bosses are huge and look anime-inspired. ~ Damien Thorpe, All Game Guide
The music is fairly fast-paced but is completely drowned-out by the on-screen chaos. The sound effects are standard fare. ~ Damien Thorpe, All Game Guide
The addition of the Force module really adds an element of strategy to the already intense gameplay. The action in R-Type Delta is fast and furious and the weapons are gloriously destructive. ~ Damien Thorpe, All Game Guide
The different combinations of Warships and Force modules will have you exploring the levels over and over again. The fact that this game is very challenging and that there is a limited amount of continues almost guarantees that you'll be spending a lot of time with this one. ~ Damien Thorpe, All Game Guide
Adequate documentation. Not much in the back story department but everything you need to play the game is present. ~ Damien Thorpe, All Game Guide