This review is from the Saturn version, but I took screenshots in
wasn't to sure what to expect from this one. I bought a Saturn over
a year ago to buy some cool Shmups, but I needed something to tide
me over until then. So, when I bought my saturn With 4-in-one converter,
I picked up Galactic Attack (Layer
Section) and Darius Gaiden. The combined price of both games
those of you who are unfamiliar with Darius, here's the breakdown:
You control a ship called the "Silver Hawk." There are
upgradeable levels for firepower, missles, and shields. These are
upgraded when you pick up certain power-ups, for example: red power-up
= firepower increase. As levels get higher, it becomes a Green Wave
that decimates your enemies. Green Power-up = missle increase. Your
shots eventually become homing missles. Blue power-up = Shield Increase.
The Gold Shield offers the most protection. Also, boss ships look
like sea creatures, because it wouldn't be Darius without them.
is an addition to this system in Darius Gaiden: Namely, the black-hole
bomber. You stock three of these initially, and can get more with
the purple power-ups. What happens is, smaller enemies are sucked
into the hole, then, larger enemies, such as bosses, are blasted
with lightning! There's a cool little graphical effect, too. Unfortunately,
it doesn't really add much to the game, but it's fun to watch, at
most of you know, the Taito-owned band Zuntata always does the Darius
soundtracks. Unfortunately, this is not their best work. The music
is REALLY repetitive, and a few annoying voice samples ("Close
your eyes. Close your head." At least, I THINK that's what
they're saying.) don't help much.The credits theme was decent; I
liked the piano and opera undertones. I also thought the final level
had some good music, but overall, this is easily forgetable music.
Sorry, Zuntata. The sound effects, explosions and lasers and whatnot,
sounded okay, but were really nothing to write home about.
it's time, the graphics were NICE. Explosions look realistic, mass
firepower on the screen with little slowdown, and wicked-looking
lasers. The explosion when you beat a boss looks totally awesome,
and there are some trippy, wavy backgrounds now common to Darius
games. Using the Black Hole Bomber is a visual feast. And the bosses!
Wow! She looks good, I'll give her that!
Here's where we go falling: The game almost RELIES on the Black-Hole
Bombs. There's so much fire on screen at once, that the only way
to get rid of it is to suck it up with a bomb. It's a good thing
the Saturn version limits you to three continues, or it would be
more prudent to simply die constantly for the purpose of restocking
your bombs. If you manage to get your firepower to it's highest
point, the game becomes too easy until you run out of bombs and
get hit. Then, your main weapon drops down a little. Very unbalanced,
to say the least.
certainly isn't the worst game in the Darius series, but it's far
from the best. Should you get it? Well, here's the thing: I bought
mine used, in good condition, for $10.00. If you find it at that
price, by all means buy it. I would have given it points for having
redbook audio, so you can listen to it on a CD player, but the music
was lacking so that's gone. Not a BAD game per se, but if you're
looking for a Darius fix, you can do much better than this. However,
despite these flaws, you can still find something of an enjoyable
experience in Darius Gaiden. Just don't expect to be completely