Blasting in outer space
While it might not be brimming with originality, RS-2 is actually a pretty decent bet for anyone who likes their shooters horizontally scrolling, in the style of Blood Money or Gradius. As is so often the way, this one takes its theme from science fiction, with a number of spacey environments to fly through, while seemingly neverending waves of bad guys come hurtling towards you with one thing on their mind. There's probably a reason for all this death and destruction but the story is never really the main focus in this kind of game and it's best to forget about any pretence of narrative and drama and instead concentrate on the action. In this respect at least, RS-2 delivers pretty much exactly what you could hope for. There's the usual array of weapons upgrades to enjoy including a pod-style affair which is reminiscent of R-Type's, while the others are fairly meaty and generally satisfying to use. In contrast to many similar shooters, there are no lives to prolong the action, and instead the player is simply given one health bar and when it's gone, it's game over, so this does turn out to be a pretty challenging game even for veterans of this kind of thing. The bosses are a highlight of the game, with some impressive and cunning foes to defeat and while they (and the other enemies) all have patterns which can be memorised, they are still tricky to take down and seem to possess some genuine intelligence (although not in a Terminator/Skynet fashion, so don't worry). Visuals are decent enough, with some nicely atmospheric environments and enemies to enjoy so on the whole, this makes for a sound bit of blasting action.