Monday 23 August 2021

DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX+ Review (Switch)

The side scrolling shoot’em up has had a mini revival on the Switch recently with R-Type Final 2 and Cotton Reboot making their way onto the system in recent months. While both those games were welcome additions neither of them were the stand out titles we were hoping for. DariusBurst however is something different entirely.

It’s difficult to keep up with the endless revisions of the games but the Switch version contains the original game, the EX version of it (which is more difficult), Chronicle Mode which adds missions and objectives as you blast around different planets and Event Mode which contains missions from the arcade game as well as some new stuff. However, the mode it hasn’t got is Chronicle Saviours which is where the problems start.

Saviours was designed to work with handheld systems and unfortunately this isn’t. The original multi-screen display is simply crammed onto the screen with huge borders at the top and bottom. It makes the action very very small and there are no configuration options to change it. Unless you are playing on a large TV screen it makes the chaotic action pretty much impossible to deal with. It also means any text or instructions relating to ship load outs or how things work are also almost impossible to see meaning this can be a harsh game for newcomers as without some kind of guide you’ll have no idea about some of the options available.

For instance, being able to remove the burst laser and place it around the screen. We had no idea about this until we started looking into the game in more detail and it’s one of the key dynamics of the game. You can even use it to kind of dual with the bosses when they release their energy blasts. With the text this small the game really needed some kind of basic training option to show players how this all works.

On a big enough screen though this is incredible stuff. The visuals, the music and action all come together to provide one of the best and most intense blasting experiences we’ve played in recent times. The fish based enemies swirl around the screen in hypnotic manner and the vast array of bosses are both creative and challenging.

All the different modes also add a serious amount of content to get through and it’s likely to keep you playing for a significant amount of time. The stages are also strong enough to mean replaying them never becomes a problem and the quest for ever higher scores will keep you continually pushing forward. The wide array of ships available also helps to keep things fresh as most of them handle significantly differently and provide firepower to soothe the soul of even the most hard core of blasting fans.  

Overall, DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX+ is a difficult game to nail down. It is a truly stunning shooter but it’s not been optimised and presented in a way that makes it the perfect match for the Switch. We did enjoy playing it in handheld mode but chances of chasing scores or making it through the tougher stages are minuscule when you can’t really see what is going on. We also can’t overlook the fact that the mode of the game optimised for handheld screens hasn’t been included despite the fact it’s in other versions of the game. That said, there are few games out there that provide such a blasting experience. With that in mind it’s hard not to recommend it to fans of the genre as the visuals, music and action are up there with the best in the genre.

Overall 8/10

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