Hello! Welcome back to a new regular feature where we write a little bit about some of the games we’ve found ourselves playing over the last few weeks. This time: an R-Type off-shoot, a landlord game and a bit of Trials.
I got to interview a bit of a hero of mine in the early hours of Tuesday morning – Irem alumni and R-Type Final director Kazuma Kujo – and I kept myself up by partaking in some tangential research. There are so many gems in Irem’s back catalogue, and a fair few of them I’m ashamed to admit I’d never even played before. Games like X Multiply, a glorious offshoot from R-Type that gets to the heart of why I love shooting games so very, very much.
There’s a 2am eeriness to my favourites of the genre – the likes of Gradius and Darius – that’s shared with great sci-fi cover art; a sort of vast melancholy that works as a counterpoint to the high energy thrills of playing the thing. X Multiply takes all that to an extreme. Giger-inspired levels are pretty much a prerequisite for shooting games of this era, but none of them are as squishy, as full of dank horror, as X Multiply’s effort. As the opening level, it sets the tone for an enjoyably weird game.