PLATFORM: PS4 (REVIEWED), SWITCH | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Developed all the way back in 1986 and released in 1987, Darius was a revolution to the scrolling shooter genre and a phenomenon to arcade goers of the era. With its innovative and immersive three-monitor field of view, detailed backgrounds that were full of life, parallax scrolling and incredibly impressive bosses, nothing quite like it had been seen at the time and its immediate popularity was testament to that. Darius’ popularity not only sparked a new wave of enthusiasm for side scrolling shooters but also made sequels and home console ports both an inevitability and a necessity.
Darius Cozmic Collection does an admirable job of compiling all the early Darius arcade games and all the early 8 and 16-bit console games into a very thorough two-part collection. Many of these titles are seeing home releases for the first time, many of the Japanese versions are seeing Western releases for the first time and the first two Darius arcade games can now be enjoyed with their two and three-monitor displays respectively (in the way they were originally intended) for the first time outside of arcades. The emulation is absolutely flawless and the presentation is top notch. There are a nice amount of control, sound and display options that can be accessed easily without interrupting your gaming sessions, and save states are available to help with the notoriously crushing difficulty and make some of those trickier areas a little easier to navigate.
All the main titles in the series are well worth checking out (particularly if you’re a shmup aficionado), but the collection may be worth the cost of admission for the wonderful Darius Gaiden alone. We might not be able to recommend this collection to casual gamers due to the price and cruel difficulty, but any fans of space shooters will be in their absolute element here.