you missed something:
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thing you will definitely notice quite soon in Metal Black is
that there is a very strong Darius look and feel to it at times.
There are a good deal of maritime (and quasi-maritime) life forms for
enemies and bosses (in fact, the ones you face in the bonus stage are
cannon fodder in the Dariuses), and...I don't know. Play the game to see
what I mean. They even reused some ideas and gameplay mechanics here
in later Darius games. Originally, though, the game was designed to be
the last chapter in the Darius saga (but not necessarily the last
Darius game). Here Proco and Tiat (the traditional heroes of the
Darius saga) would return to Darius (they left it in Darius) to
find it devastated by Belser. The producers from Taito found it too
depressing, and asked the development team to change it. I wonder if
the original game would have had the same gameplay...
the end, Metal Black is nearly an under-rated classic.
However, the mind-boggling cheapness of level design nearly sinks it,
leaving the 'atmospherics' to make it a palatable shmup. For, in spite
of everything, one gets the impression that the game is a bit ahead of
its time. But, of course, it's an acquired taste. You are warned. It's
a hard shmup to love, and it's a love that should not be put aside;
otherwise, you may end up running back to the more seductive