Title: Darius Burst Another Chronicles EX+
Developer: ININ Games
Release Date: July 29, 2021
Reviewed On: PS4
Darius is the blueprint and inspiration for many games in the side-scrolling, shoot ’em ups genre. However, this series has weathered time itself. Originally released in 1986 for arcades, Darius has produced six sequels and an untold number of spin-offs, remasters, re-releases, and collections for every platform under the sun. What set’s Darius apart are its enemies: iconic laser spewing, aquatic metal creatures in space. Coupled with its haunting and beautifully eerie space rock-opera soundtrack, Darius has produced numerous successful hit games in the genre.
Darius Burst Another Chronicles EX+ is a port of the 2010 PSP and arcade game. This release features an ultra-wide 32×9 aspect ratio resolution honoring the original arcade’s dual-monitors and updated graphics. Over 40 bosses and four game modes are here, including, Original, the traditional game mode with branching paths; EX mode, which provides a greater difficulty; Chronicles mode, where you tackle challenges including boss rush; and Event mode, where you’ll be timed and scored based on challenges including events that were only released in the arcades.
Ex+ updates its arsenal for an improved F-burst. This laser beam can be locked into position and used as a shield against enemy fire or asteroids. It unleashes a beam against enemy beams clashing with Dragon Ball Z style animation and force. Asteroids and enemy projectiles replenish the shield, providing the player with additional defensive opportunities.
There are 9 ships available, including the super-powered Silver-Hawk Murakumo. Each ship has unique projectiles, bombs, and F-burst beam durations. Further, they control differently but are all fun to pilot. I found myself drawn to the overpowered Murakumo, but generally, players can easily find a ship here that will fit their playstyle.
Graphics are gorgeous as you surgically navigate enemy projectiles, blast through asteroids and dismantle enemy bosses. The game looks and feels like a next-gen game rather than a PSP port from a decade ago. The super-wide aspect ratio was not distracting and made all of the bosses seem enormous and daunting. I had a blast playing the challenging event mode and trying all the different ships available. In theory, this game represents the pinnacle of the Darius series, but it begs the question of whether it’s even needed today.
Don’t get me wrong, this game is superb and provides a ton of content within its four modes, most of which have infinite ships options that allow you to become accustomed to the levels and boss attack patterns. However, my main concern is that this game is available in the physical edition of Darius Cozmic Revelation collection along with G-Darius HD.
Personally, I’d rather get two for the price of one stand-alone shmup. These releases are fine, but the constant reporting and confusing subtitles make them extremely hard to follow.
Darius Burst Another Chronicles EX+ is a challenging and fun shoot-em-up; a must-play, I dare say. But personally, I saw monstrous red warning signs and heard boss sirens when I saw the price tag. This stand-alone may be a must-have for collectors, but The Cozmic Revelation collection seems to be the best way to experience Darius. If the series wants to make a splash, hopefully, we get a new entry.
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