Initial release date: July 27, 2021
Mode: Single-player video game Multiplayer
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Publishers: ININ Games
"Review Copy Provided By ININ Games"
The Darius series has been around since 2009 with the release of Dariusburst for the PSP and has become part of the Mount Rushmoore of SHMUPS or Shoot Em Ups as it changed up the formula of the genre. The series has had an enumerable sequels and even an arcade remake of the original PSP release titled Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX and now here we are with a upgrade for the Nintendo Switch and PS4called Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+. In this review we’re going to talk about why you most definitely need to play this game and why it’s absolutely amazing! Let’s get into it!
There are several game modes for you to choose from before you dive into playing this game and that’s Original Mode, Chronicle Mode, Original EX Mode, and Event Mode. The Original Mode allows you to jump into the game and play it in it’s original incarnation with you being able to select your difficulty and at the end of each level you can select a path to follow in the branching paths. When you beat the Original Mode, you’ll get an ending that will tell you that you should start a new game in Chronicle Mode. Chronicle Mode has several rule sets that are applied to the various stages with you needing to complete these tasks in order to open up new locations. Original EX Mode is meant for series vets as it is substantially more difficult than the Original Mode and includes more enemies and different patterns for bosses along with its own set of branching paths. Event Mode gives you access to missions that have time restrictions lifted from the arcade version along with some new ones exclusive to this new release.
Some of the new content added to this game is the Replay Mode, Missions, and the Silver Hawk Murakumo in all modes.
So, I’ve talked a lot about the various modes you can play but I haven’t said anything about how the game plays. Let’s talk about that gameplay!
The game plays in may ways like your standard shmup with you being able to move about the field and you have your standard shoot button. You’re also given access to powerful techniques such as the Burst and F-Burst. So, if you get primarily the same feature set as mot other shmups then what sets Dariusburst apart from others? The ability to turn your ship, that ability alone is what sets this fully apart and changes up the genre substantially. Being able to turn around makes the game a lot more challenging because you will run into enemies that will end up behind you and will attempt to shoot you from behind which is when you should press the turn button and take them head on.
This game is one of the most visually stunning SHMUPS I’ve ever seen and given the unusual aspect ratio of the display, you’ll have a lot of screen real estate to work with for maneuvering around the incoming bullet hells that will be coming at you. There are tons of detail in the ship you fly and then enemies and environments you’re in especially the animal like bosses you end up fighting. You’d think that wih so much going on on the screen that you’d end up losing track of where you are in relation to the background and with the bullets swarming at you in the way that many SHMUPS end up having issues wit, however, in this game you won’t have that problem at all given the high level of and significant attention to detail here.
So this games soundtrack is insanely good and is something that you will find yourself listening to outside of the game because its just that damn good. Zuntata is the sound team over at Taito and they continue to impress and astound with their musical compositions.
With so many great aspects to this game you’d probably wonder what’s wrong with the game, an while there aren’t that many they are still worth talking about so let’s dive into it.
The aspect ration having no customization is a problem especially if you play this game in handheld mode which makes it incredibly difficult to see what’s going on with the bullets raining down on you. It’s strange that Dariusburst: Chronicles Saviors gives you aspect ratio manipulation, yet this game doesn’t.
The HD Rumble can become too much if you’re playing the game portably although you can modify the force of it or even turn it off of which I ended up doing.
The last gripe I have is more a nit pick than a actual issue and that’s in the fact that at the title screen if you press the + button then you’re given the options menu instead of the game modes and in order to get to the game modes you’ll need to press the B button and for whatever reason this throws me off and I just don’t like it.
Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ is hands down one of the best SHMUPS to ever be released and offers an insane amount of replay value to keep you coming back for more. With tight controls, brilliantly designed levels, an outstanding soundtrack, and near unlimited replay value, Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ is a MUST OWN MUST PLAY! Because of the nature of SHMUPS I would highly suggest you get this game before it becomes incredibly rare physically.