Dariusburst was originally released as a Japan-exclusive PSP game before being revamped for arcades as Dariusburst: Another Chronicle. An extended version was released in arcades called Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX, which is included in Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours as AC mode. Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours is now available on Steam and PS4 as a digital download.
When you boot up the game, you have two basic modes to choose from: AC and CS.
Firstly, there’s AC mode that is closest to the original game, EX, which ups the difficulty; and Chronicle, which offers around 3,000 areas. In AC mode you play in a wide-screen style, which is designed to look like the original arcade game. I actually really liked playing this mode because of the style. The other modes look more standard. You begin by choosing from three starting zones. The screen scrolls from left to right and you take on a wide variety of enemies that stand in your way. You shoot enemies with your standard weapon and burst attack, collect upgrades by killing colored enemies, fight a giant boss ship, and decide where to go next.
Chronicle mode takes place across planets, each containing different areas to liberate. Each area offers different challenges such as using only specific ships which have varying weapons, or playing with multiple players. There are around 200 levels to beat, which add up to a fairly robust challenge – even though, like AC’s Chronicle mode, they remix hazards, enemies and bosses from earlier levels. The four-player option that was in the original is still available, allowing you to play locally or online.
As you play through the game, you get power-ups that help to improve your firepower and strengthen your ship. You will need these upgrades to take on the massive bosses, that can almost take up the whole screen. I really enjoyed the challenges the bosses imposed, and at times it reminded me of Darks Souls in an odd way. You have to make sure you reach the boss with plenty of health and resources to prevail. There’s a wide variety of spaceships to choose from, all with varied characteristics that keeps gameplay fresh.
You have unlimited continues, which reduces the challenge a bit, but I didn’t mind this.
I did find that most of the arcade modes were particularly tough, but its nice to see a game that offers a challenge. The overall presentation of the game is awesome, and reminded me of playing games when I was younger. It’s surprising how an arcade like game can offer such depth and variety. Colours are bright, vibrant and environments are varied as you progress through the game. The enemies come in all shapes and sizes. I especially enjoyed the bosses and the unique designs, my favourite being a giant crab-like creature with a huge claw. The soundtrack and sound effects suit the game perfectly, with techno tunes and audio flair. Unfortunately, the price (a ridiculous forty-four ninety-nine) at the Playstation Store is likely to be a barrier to many and so it should be (£49.99).
Overall I was certainly impressed when playing Dariusburst Chronicles Saviours. It’s a beautiful throwback to arcade games of bygone years. From its awesome combat, powerups to taking on massive bosses and visiting varied environments it’s a game that’s worth checking out. If you like a game that offers a nice challenging, that feels satisfying but rewarding, then this could be the game for you. DariusBurst Chronicles Saviours offers plenty of excellent old school shoot ’em up action, and it looks and sounds great.
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