It’s time once again to step, or fly rather, into wonderful world of SHMUPs. This time we have the Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade. This one features 4 classic titles from this long running franchise. There are a total of 7 different variations of each title as well to add some spice to the mix. Let’s see if these classic titles still hold up today!
One the most unique things about Darius and Darius 2 is that they use a dual monitor setup. This gives this horizontal shooter a very interesting super wide screen display. This is emulated perfectly on both the Switch screen or any modern wide screen TV. I personally like the full screen option when playing on the Switch screen since it made everything easier to see. As with other compilations like this, there are some other options as well. These included things like scalelines, smoothing and more.
Most great SHMUPs have a fantastic soundtrack and Darius is no exception. Each of these title features some of the best tunes you will hear in the genre. Each track gets you pumped up to blast every last baddie out the sky with extreme prejudice! There are even some vocals in a few of these tracks which is something I didn’t really expect, but it was a nice touch. The sound effects are a pretty standard affair but they get the job done. Though the HD Rumble in the controllers adds to their effectiveness quite a bit.
Gameplay here is exactly what you would expect. Blast everything in your path as the screen scrolls horizontally. This sound easy, but each of the enemies in the games blast bullets at you from every direction known to man. Death carries the very heavy penalty of losing all the valuable power ups you have picked up along the way. Sometimes it would be easier to start the entire game over rather than push forward. At the end of each stage you can choose the route you take. This adds variety to each game you play, since these have different enemies and bosses to battle.
As you navigate down the list of title included in the Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade you will discover one thing very quickly. The developers of these games were probably sadists. When I think of hard games, the original Darius would probably be very close to the top of the list. This game doesn’t allow you to continue, so you have to finish this game on a single credit. This would be an achievement for any player of this genre. Starting with Darius 2 continues are allowed, but these titles will test even the most seasoned veteran as well. Some of these games are rare variations that have rarely been seen, and one may have never been out in the wild, according to the information in game.
Fans of this genre will find a lot to love with this title. The Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade is a very solid collection of games with enough variety and challenge to keep you coming back for more. I would’ve loved to see a museum mode with some of the concept artwork, arcade documentation and maybe a jukebox for these wonderful OSTs found here, but maybe this is something they can add in another collection down the line. If you’re a fan of SHMUPs and are looking to scratch your itch and navigate bullet hell, this one is probably for you.