The Uncooperative Thumb-DotEmu's restoration of R-TYPE II on Smartphones

On my vacation to Seattle, I played a lot of mobile games in my downtime on my phone. This included a lot of time with the recently released(iOS/Android) R-TYPE II. Never having played much of the first R-TYPE, the sequel ate a lot of my quarters at the local skating rink alongside Street Fighter II. Being a horizontal schump, I was looking forward to diving into this game. Mainly because, like most action games on the smartphones I like to play them horizontally. Having extra large hands, those being 28 centimeters by US glove sizing charts from around the palm, it is difficult to play games vertically that require repeated vigorous inputs.

The port of R-TYPE II to phones is feature rich, offering you a near fully customizable control scheme that offers both onscreen dpad or touch controls. Despite my long history with playing R-TYPE II at the arcades, this did not translate to success in this new version of the game. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t beat the first level. Frustrated that I couldn't beat one of my favourite arcade games I attempted new strategies to compensate for the new medium. After a bit I flipped the phone vertically, something the game doesn't have many support options for, which required me to hold the phone upside down. I noticed that the pivot on my thumb was much wider holding the phone vertically than horizontally.

At any given time, holding the phone vertically to play R-TYPE II with touch controls, I’m obscuring less of the screen and my thumb is more dexterous. Being that the game only truly requires one thumb for movement, with an irregular need for a second thumb for powershots, the game overcomes the difficulties of holding it vertically with two hands with one hand being able to hold the phone in a different spot. Now DotEmu just needs to update the game to fully support vertical play and the game would have my full recommendation.

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