Miniview: R-Type Tactics (PSP)

I love:
…the hex-based side-view battle system. I suppose it’s not greatly different from top-down hex-based systems, but certain things – such as fog-of-war, and weapon ranges – act quite differently from usual when encountering obstructions.
…the script. Though a lot of the plot is simply in the pre- and post-mission reports from… well, you, or your character, the commander of your forces… they’re very well-written.
…decoys. They’re fun. Good for scouting and good for detonating on enemy units.

I like:
…named pilots. Renameable pilots, actually. It’s R-Type – your units
are ships and your ships have pilots, much like any futuristic
squad-based strategy game. Pilots have skill and gradually gain in skill as you use them, and can pilot different types of units – captains pilot warships, squads pilot your smaller, more common units – collectively called Fighters, but there’s also a single unit called a Fighter, which is a bit confusing – and remotes handle any Forces you bring out.
…how they’ve kept to R-Type – and general side-scrolling shooter – elements; Fighters, for example – the ships you pilot in more mainstream R-Type games – can attach themselves to Forces, and gradually charge up their Wave Cannon over multiple turns. All your ships face and travel to the right to meet enemy forces – Bydo and other enemy units, such as human units in training exercises, travel left. I don’t know how this translates to versus mode; it’d be nice if the map were flipped and you always travelled right, no matter who you played.

I loathe:
…how the turn-change sequence spoils things. Imagine: orders to return to base have been cancelled, and you are instead ordered to take several units down to Mars, to retrieve research data from an abandoned research outpost. This is the first mission featuring fog-of-war, and it has a much larger map than the training exercises the previous missions were. So I don’t know what I’m going to be facing. Right up until I finish my first turn, at which point I’m told the Bydo Armada is making its moves.

Verdict:
I picked this up for cheap, preowned, but from the state of the game and materials, I’d say this is pretty close to good-as-new. Maybe someone bought it for a Christmas present, expecting a typical R-Type game? It even has information cards on previous games, still in a sealed bag.
Whoever took this back to Gamestation missed out on a good, unusual strategy game.
Ah, well. Their loss is my gain.

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