Reviewed by Chuck

Words cannot describe the wonders of G Darius. BUT, I'll try my best! We shmup fans know Darius. There have been countless versions on just about every platform. My personal favorite being Darius Gaiden on the Saturn. So, when I heard there was going to be a Playstation version based on a recent arcade game; I was very excited. I get the game home and power up the ole' Playstation and am treated to an OK fmv sequence to get me going. It is your standard fmv sequence; trying to get you into the story and feel of the game and it does a fairly decent job too. Let the game sit for awhile(I do this with every game I own) and you are treated to an even better sequence, in English, that details the story. So it is pretty cool. OK, on to the game...

There are just tons of options for this game. You have an Arcade mode, Beginner mode, Vs Boss mode(where you just pick and fight the bosses) and an option mode. Needless to say, you can tailor the game to just about every style. I play the Arcade mode on Normal difficulty and I got through it pretty much on my fourth or fifth time. You are probably thinking, not much playability there, but this is a Darius game and there is the famous "Zone Select" for you to choose from. There are fifteen main zones to choose from and in each zone you can choose between two different routes. Each different route gives you different backgrounds, enemies and bosses. So, this game is BIG! It has 30 levels of play in it and they all just rock!

The same weapon system is available to you as in just about all the other Darius games. You've got the basic pea shooter that can be upgraded to a very wide wave beam which just slices through everything. Bomb goes to multi-bomb. I don't believe there is a homing bomb like in Darius Gaiden. Maybe someone can verify this for me. I think I've had the bombs powered up all the way; but ya' never know! You've also got a shield, which you will most definitely need, trust me! You've also got a capture ball. I first saw this in the awesome Genesis game, Gaires. You can shoot a little pink ball out and "capture" enemies to help you in your blasting quest. It is kinda' neat to experiment and see what all the different enemies do. Some will actually shoot, while some will act like a shield to protect you. After quite a few shots; they will succumb to a fiery can activate them and make a smart bomb to blow up the enemies in the area. I don't find the smart bomb very effective though and usually save the enemy for a very different and greedy purpose..Ha..Ha..(evil laugh). See, if you hold O button down you consume the enemy and fire off a huge blast that just crushes everything in its path. This weapon is so totally cool. You guys have just gotta' see it.

So, what about the graphics...Well, they are excellent and really show off what the Playstation can do graphically. The enemies and backgrounds are polygons. So it really does give a great 3D look and feel; but the game is just basically a 2D shooter. There are all your basic Playstation hardware tricks, you know, transparencies, plasma effects. No lens flare, can you believe that. If I see one more lens flare in a Playstation or N64 game I'll think I'll have to kill someone. I have to comment on the backgrounds and maybe Malc will help me out here. Sometimes I think that they are streamed from the CD. Not generated in real time. I can't tell. (neither can I, but I think they're realtime - malc)

Check out the level with the flying dragons in the background. There is just something about them that looks rendered....Let me know if you guys can figure it out. It is probably just me...The bosses are beautiful. Always a trademark of a Darius game; they are all some sort of fish or aquatic life form. Some are just breathtaking. One is call Queen Fossil and this bitch is huge and just moves so very perfectly. It is also so hard to kill...She jumps into and out of the screen just teasing you with wave after wave of light source missiles. Very very neat boss. I also really like the Absolute Defender. This big guy has a little light on his chin that acts like a button that you have to press. With your freakin' laser though!! Well, what's cool is that until you destroy the button he has a shield on that won't let anything pass. So, if you shoot him without having destroyed his shield; it reflects and glows in the places that were hit. Just think Independence Day Mother ships...It is very neat. So I will give the graphics a big huge A+!!! Very impressive. There is a touch of slowdown every now and then but is OK.

Music. You know me and music and the Zuntata music is excellent. Very techno'ish and just fits perfectly. Now, I actually prefer the music in Darius Gaiden. But this soundtrack is right up there. Make sure you listen to the music on the epilogue...It is just so good.

OK, this game just rocks. Absolute recommendation....Buy it at once and you won't be sorry.

Oh, by the way G Darius mean "Gigantic Darius".


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Cheers Chuck! Again, only a few pics (nabbed from Anime Playstation), but you get the gist. A quick visit to the Taito page revealed two things. 1. It's hard to navigate in Japanese. 2. A logo graphic of something called G.Darius Ver2 - Interesting:) If you click on the white layouts below, you'll get a large spread of the bosses in the game. (these were nicked straight from Taito's site).

So what do I, Malky, think of G-Darius? Chuck's review is spot on, but being a picky sod I've got a couple of things to add!
Bad stuff: sometimes staying alive is pure luck, as there's just SO much going on onscreen.
Good Stuff: The 45 degree angle levels, like Viewpoint! Fabulous 2-player mode.
Such a good game, and will probably never be released in the Uk. Annoys the hell out me that. Malc

Click on the pic for full size (151k)
And this one too! (217k)


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