If you’re a fan of old school shoot ‘em ups then you may remember a series called Darius way back when. It was a series that from Taito that appeared on both consoles and arcades and provided a nice alternative to other shoot ‘em ups on the market at that time such as Gradius and R-Type. It’s always sad to think about the old classics that many of us enjoyed and can’t play anymore but that’s what makes having them brought back so exciting. Taito has now brought back many of these classic games in two new collections called the Darius Cozmic Collection Console and Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade. Here are my thoughts on the Arcade Collection.
The Arcade Collection contains a total of four of the best entries in this franchise with a total of seven different versions. What’s even better is that developer M2 handled these ports so you know that they are going to play great. If you don’t know M2 is the same ones who have handled other fantastic ports such as the Sega Ages titles on the Nintendo Switch. Now the games you get included here are as follows:
- Darius (Arcade, original version)
- Darius (Arcade, new version)
- Darius (Arcade, extra version)
- Darius II (Arcade, Dual Screen version)
- SAGAIA (Arcade, ver.1)
- SAGAIA (Arcade, ver.2)
- Darius Gaiden (Arcade)
Now while some of these are just different versions of the same game like I said earlier it’s still nice to jump into them and see how they play and perform compared to the other. Each of the versions tells you what is different between them when you play them. The original Darius is of course the original game. The new version made boss fights easier and the extra version also makes things easier. Darius II is an improved sequel in almost every way while Darius Gaiden ups the ante a lot throwing all kinds of enemies at you. It also brings the bomb mechanic to the series for the first time.
All of these shoot ‘em ups play about the same as you scroll from left to right, firing your weapons to kill enemies, and trying to avoid dying yourself. These arcade versions aren’t easy but this collection does bring some nice extras to help you out should you choose. You can modify your additional lives, abuse save states, and adjust the difficulty levels. There is also a practice mode included that gives you a ton of freedom in what to modify with the goal being to really just set you loose and learn the game in the easiest way possible.
Another cool feature is the ability to enable all kinds of cool information on the HUD. These can include things such as the map, Boss HP, how much more your shield can take and much more. Online leaderboards are also present so you can see how you stack up to the rest of the Darius community. You can also watch replays from other players should you feel the need to. Now this collection is a bit cheaper than the console collection with this one being priced at $45. It does include less games but I also think that these ones here play better and they have better features such as the HUD options. It’s still a steep price for only a few older games but they all do play quite well.
Out of the two collections that Taito just released I would recommend this Arcade Collection over the Console one. While this collection has less games I think they play better and have more interesting options such as the HUD customization. All of the games here should please any fan of shoot ‘em ups and because of their design you can get a lot of replay value out of them.
*Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade is available now on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review key provided by the publisher for this review.
Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade$44.99
- Contains 4 great arcade shoot 'em ups with several variations
- Lots of cool extra features such as save states, HUD customization, and online leaderboards
- Non-linear design encourages replayability
- Practice mode lets you learn the game the way you want
- Games could be too difficult for some
- The value may not be there for some