Darius is a series I love, ever since playing Darius Twin on the SNES I became a fan.Fast forward to current day I still love the Darius games, and after I heard about DariusBurst Chronicle Saviours was coming to PS VITA(also on PS4 and Steam), I started to relive my childhood days, of destroying all massive enemy ships that resemble aquatic lifeforms.
DariusBurstCS has a lot of content to offer, it has a CS mode, an AC mode,which it has a Chronicle mode. So first up is the AC mode, which is the original arcade version of Darius Burst Another Chronicle EX, and IMO the mode in which you will spend more time playing. it has Original mode it includes branching stages or zones( as they are called in game) that go from Easy to Hard difficulty with six different end zone bosses to tackle. The Original mode EX also includes different branching zones, however the difficulty is raised to a whole other level, not only the zones are harder, the end zone bosses are also harder to destroy. I love this mode since it takes skills to get to each end zone, and it takes bullet hell elements and as the developers said in a interview “instead of doing bullet hell we ended up doing enemy hell. So you’ve got huge numbers of enemies that you use your beam to scythe through”. I love bullet hell, but I am growing quite fond of “enemy hell”. You have 8 ships to choose from(9 on CS mode) each with its strengths and weaknesses, some of them use the Burst Beam, while others have different “Burst” attacks, and for the hardcore gamer there are some that do not have burst mechanics, so classic shmups action and skill is needed( my favorite ship is the Genesis Silver Hawk since it plays like the one on G-Darius my all time fav)so there is something for everyone. The Chronicle mode on the AC mode is by far the most extensive mode that I have ever seen, it offers 3000, yes 3000!!!!, zones to unlock and makes use of a form of online,you see when you boot the game for the first time you are given a random cabinet number, that is not unique to you, meaning that many players around the globe are going to be given the same number, so when you play on the Chronicle mode and you beat some of the zones on the mission based grid, your score, ship used, and Id will be saved on the “cabinet” and when you unlock a zone you unlock it for all of the users of that cabinet, this is particularly useful on multiplayer stages( than can only be unlocked on a PS4, since the Vita version does not feature local or online coop) so if a PS4 user is on the same cabinet number of a Vita user both can benefit from unlocking zones even if they can’t play together. Also it is worth mentioning that in the AC mode everything is letter boxed on the PSVITA system, I like it since it gives the feel of being on a arcade, it even has the do not bump your head warning when you quit the game, or finish it, it is a nice touch.
Now the CS mode is where it gets interesting, first of all it uses the full screen so no more letterboxed visuals, and it uses a grid layout like the Chronicle mode on the AC mode, however I like that fact that it follows the Chronology in the Darius universe, also each of the zones follow a set of rules such as all items allowed, or no continues and so forth, another cool thing( for me at least) is that you have to unlock the ships in order to use them, you start with the Legend Silver Hawk and after each successful mission you are awarded unlock points based on your score, that you can use to unlock the other ships. I like the small cutscenes at the start of each mission it goes well with the atmosphere of the game and gave me the impression of being mankind last chance.The music is awesome also, it is what I expected from Darius, fast paced background music, a woman singing that makes no sense( but I like it damn it!!!) and cool boss battle music, I think that it is to enjoy with some headphones.Graphically the game look gorgeous, the animations are fluid and I did not experience any kind of slowdown even when hundreds ofenemies where present.
Bottom Line: DariusBurst Chronicle Saviours is a great game, it is without a doubt a MUST for any Shmup fan, it has intense moments, and fluid gameplay even in the middle of an “enemy hell”, with over 40 bosses to defeat, 3000 zones on Chronicle mode, and a all new CS mode,different ships to choose from(ranging from noob friendly to hardcore) it is a complete package that you don’t want to miss even if it doesn’t include online or local coop play the among of content compensates it.
DariusBurst Chronicle Saviours is available now on PSN for PS Vita and PS4 and also for Steam. Especial thanks to the developer for providing us with a review copy.
SHIGERU REVIEWS SCORE: 9/10