R-Type Arcade flyer
Image: Irem

We've seen some truly impressive-looking Sega Mega Drive/Genesis homebrew ports enter development over the last year. In the past, for instance we've covered @Pyron and @Format_C's attempt Windjammers to the Mega Drive/Genesis, as well as Ray_Castello's Simpson's 16-bit arcade port. Yet, that seems to only be scratching the surface of the sheer amount of incredible work being done in this space.

Case in point, scrolling through Twitter recently, we stumbled across another impressive Mega Drive/Genesis project that caught our eye: Andrea Baldiraghi's 'R-Type' port for the 16-bit machine.

Andrea Baldiraghi (better known as TheRoboZ online) was previously behind the fan-made Pico-8 port of the game, and now it seems that he's applying his skills to Mega Drive/Genesis development, with the help of the open-source SGDK toolset.

On Twitter, Baldiraghi recently shared a closer look at this Mega Drive/Genesis port they've been developing, and it looks fantastic so far. It shows off a brief section of the first level and features smooth scrolling, arcade-quality sprites, and a beautiful remix to demonstrate the capabilities of the machine's YM2612 soundchip.

Arcade developer Irem first released R-Type into the arcades back in 1987. It then went on to appear on a number of consoles including Sega's Master System, but never had an official port for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. Over the years, it has also received various sequels and spin-offs, thanks to its incredible popularity and influence on the shoot 'em up genre.

According to Baldiraghi on Twitter, the plan for this new port is to eventually release it a 4-stage ROM for free, and then publish the source code so that others can add more levels to it. A free demo of the first level is also planned in the next month or two. We'll try and keep you posted on when it's finally released.

What do you think of the project? Are you going to give it a try when it's out? Let us know!

[source twitter.com]