Apologies for being slow to this – it’s partly because I still can’t believe it’s real. Some 16 years after the last proper game, an R-Type has been announced, courtesy of Granzella – a developer composed of various alumni of Irem, the developer behind the original and much-loved side-scrolling shmup series.
R-Type Final 2 is, as its somewhat contradictory name suggests, a sequel to the 2003 PlayStation 2 game that gave the series a beautiful, elegiac send-off. It still stands as a high point for the genre, and is also the subject of one of my favourite pieces we’ve ever published on Eurogamer.
The announcement is the first part of what looks like a fairly long process, with crowdfunding to get the project fully off the ground kicking off next month, and with PlayStation 4 the first target platform.
The really confusing thing, though? The announcement was made on April Fool’s Day in Japan, and seeing as Irem was once renowned for its elaborate April Fool’s pranks – such as the Irem burger and the announcement of a life-sized R9 ship – it was hard to take at face value. Granzella has since come out and insisted it’s genuine, so let’s see what the crowdfunding campaign brings in May. And meanwhile, can someone get development of Gradius 6 back up and running?