The strike-em-up genre, or Shmups, as they are colloquially called, has been an integral part of video games for a long time, as long as I can remember, and I have been playing video games for a long time. Although they don’t attract the same attention as before, there are a few titles that have kept Fans alive. One of them would be the DariusBurst series by publisher Taito and developer ININ Games. DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX+ is their recent release and although it’s a 10-year-old game, the new additions in ships, levels and a fairly robust co-op mode will make players stick to their screens. So download the game to your console, jump into your ship and launch those evil belsar forces that put your name in the top ranks of the DBACEX+ leaderboards.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of DariusBurst, Taito has reunited the original group and put together a new updated Version that will appeal to Fans of this series and beginners. The DariusBurst series began in 2009 on Sony’s most famous handheld computer, the PSP.
This formula was then significantly expanded the following year with additional features and improved graphics for the 2010 Arcade version. This new 2021 Version not only includes the features of the Arcade version of Another Chronicle EX, but also includes new features such as a repeat mode, new missions and local cooperation for up to 4 players. How long have you been playing a local co-op game with friends?
Now let’s move on to the meat and potatoes of this game, because I know that you definitely want to know how it is assembled. DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX+ features nine powerful ships to free the Galaxy from the belsaric forces. The offer includes the Legend Silver Hawk Burst, the Next Silver Hawk Burst, the Origin Silver Hawk, The formula Silver Hawk Burst, the GAIDEN Silver Hawk, the 2nd Silver Hawk, the Assault Silver Hawk Burst, the GENESIS Silver Hawk and the Murakumo Silver Hawk Burst. Note that this is the first time that players have the opportunity to play with the Murakumo for all levels of this game, rather than for limited areas, as was the matter in previous iterations of the game. Each ship looks very cool and offers different weapons and abilities to complement your play style.
Once you have selected your ship, you must choose one of the four modes that the game has to offer. There is the original mode that offers three difficulty levels: Easy, Normal and Hard, with the aim of reaching the last Area. There is an original EX mode that offers three even more difficult difficulty levels. Expert, extreme and exceed. There is also a chronicle mode that offers a variety of missions and objectives that you can play with friends. Finally, in event mode, you can play time-limited missions in The arcade, as well as new exclusive EX+ missions. The mode you choose determines how you play, but whichever mode you choose, you need to be on your toes and have eyes in mind, because this game is a challenge, no matter how you decide to play it.
While most Shmups have a heavy Sci-Fi theme, DARIUSBURST: Another Chronicle EX+ goes even further and features a really cool and unique ocean design of the game levels and enemy relievers. Inspired by a mixture of science fiction and underwater creatures, realized as large and small mechanical actionships of enemy waves and final bosses. The optical upgrade is fantastic and fits very well on modern consoles and TVs. I played my test copy of a Samsung 2TB SSD on a PS5 that I connected to a 65″ 4K Visio TV, and I was amazed at how bright the colors were and how smooth it played, even when the screen was completely covered with enemies and their weapons were firing. The beautiful backdrop of marine life is emphasized by an equally awesome soundtrack. Taito’s in-house sound team, Zuntata, sets the tone for this adrenaline-powered boom festival with powerful melodies that bring your eardrum to submission.
I must admit that I was overall satisfied with what Taito has to offer for this release of DariusBurst. If there was one thing I should maul, it’s that the game sessions in original and original EX+ mode are much too short. Each difficulty level has only six areas to play, but you can only play three at a time before facing the final boss. The areas you play depend on the path you take through each level. You have the choice between the high trail or the low trail, the low trail offering a slightly more difficult experience. The final bosses are just bullet sponges, if I’m honest, but that’s how these types of marksmans are designed. However, this is not a Dealbreaker, because once you get tired of these modes, you can simply choose one of the other two for a different experience.
After actioning through Ratchet & Clack: Rift Apart, Ghosts of Tsushima and GTA V, checking out DariusBurst was a nice change. The new multiplayer options were exactly what I was looking for, and it was nice to be able to play with friends. The number of ships I could choose made me come back again and again to see how the weapon systems of the new ships worked with my playstyle. This game is ten years old, but the updates are doing a very good job of making it fresh and new. The on-screen action is fast and frantic and kept me on the edge of my seat. There is nothing better than facing a seemingly impenetrable ball wall, finding yourself in that Super-focused Mental Zone and not letting a single person hit you.