Another R-Type ’em up enters the space arena, and this time… only one leaves. Just kidding, there’s room on my 500GB HDD for another 25,684 more.
Arengius, like some similar games we’ve covered (Z-Exemplar, Xydonia), comes from a generation that couldn’t let go of the 80’s (the good parts, not the mullets and shoulderpads). While Z-Exemplar digs on the ZX Spectrum, and Xydonia is hot on the 90’s SNES style, Arengius shows its love for the more 8-bit style of the NES.
Gameplay is a pretty straight-up experience, and there isn’t really much to add here if you’ve played Gradius, R-Type or any following derivative. As with most space shooters, it’s all about dem power ups: your tiny ship is born into the abyss with a single peashooter but rather quickly and easily upgrades to a death machine with companion ships, companion orbs, and er.. other companion orbs. By the time you reach a full (or almost full) arsenal, your tiny harbinger of doom fires an almost unstoppable barrage of overwhelming force.
The difficulty picks up rather fast though, and by the fourth stage, things get hectic as more and more bullets begin flying across the screen (including the rather unfair pass-thru-walls variety). The challenge is more in line with the old school horizontal shooters of the 80’s and 90s – so probably not a big deal for some of the modern bullet hell elitists, but for the rest of us Arengius packs enough of a punch to show us what death feels like, again and again.
Arengius | Download
A demo is available for free as a ‘lite’ version, or you can pay $1.49 for the full version. The free version includes only ‘Normal’ difficulty and one ship, but all the stages are playable. The full version includes more difficulty modes and 5 more ships with different weapons.