Monday 11 October 2021

G-Darius HD Review (Switch)

We reviewed the excellent Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ recently which proved to be a stunning and very welcome addition to the wealth of side scrolling shooters out there. Now Switch gamers can take a look at something from a little further back in the long running franchise with this arcade version of G-Darius.

The most notable thing to begin with is that this game isn’t meant to be running on dual monitors like it’s more recent entry in the series so you don’t get the small screen size which proved a controversial choice for Dariusburst. The visuals are rough around the edges though, taking on the polygon heavy style of the era. There is an HD port here but in reality it barely looks any different. So, unless you are a fan of the look of the 32-bit age then this may be too much for you to bear – which is a shame as beneath the look of the thing there is one hell of a blaster here.

The core Darius mechanics are still in place with the colour orb power up system working much the same as always. The key gimmick is that players can trap enemies with a kind of electric lasso and draw them back to their ship. Depending on the enemy captured these then add things to your ship such as extra blasters or a shield. This technique can also be used to counter the boss’s energy discharges leading to big scores. It’s a simple system but one that adds options to the players arsenal while encouraging experimentation and flexibility.

General level design is of a consistently high quality and each area is varied and packed full of things to blast. At a point in each level you also get the chance to choose two different routes through the game as well meaning replay value is massively increased as it’ll take  a while to see all the different variations on offer. The bosses are of course insanely awesome as always but then this is a Darius game so what else would you expect?

Another thing of note is that the slowdown from the original game is still present here. This is somewhat controversial as on one hand you might have expected this to be removed (especially in the HD version of the game), but on the other hand this was tried in other recent versions of the game and it could certainly be argued that they suffered massively in terms of how they played because of it.

Overall, it’s always good to see classic games like this make their way to new systems and new audiences. On the other hand we can certainly see how people not familiar with the game the first time round might not get into it. It’s certainly one for fans of the series and the original as this is very much the game you remember but we wouldn’t recommend it as the place to start for those looking to get into side scrolling shooters. Especially not when Dariusburst is sitting right next to it on the eshop with its crazy array of options modes and general flash.


Overall 7/10

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