Monday, 8 November 2010

Darius Gaiden

Darius Gaiden (that's Guy-Den not Gay-Den)

Is possibly one of the best side-scrolling shooters I have ever played.
There are quite a few games in the Darius series, but today I will focus on Darius Gaiden.
To begin with, the graphics are fantastic! From the futuristic buildings, to the inside of Spaceships everything looks amazing. It has a wide range of really cool effects too, lasers shooting back and forth, the you seem to zoom through time and space in between levels and the way the bosses explode.

Speaking of the bosses, they are really interesting in the way that they are all based on a Sea creature of some sort, for instance the first boss Golden Ogre is an Ogre fish and Double Dealer is a flounder.
Mini-bosses (that can be claimed) and even some smaller ships are also marine creatures.
Another thing that is pretty interesting is the way you can choose your own path.
You'd start out at 'A' complete that, then you can choose from 'B' and 'C'
and it fans out until the last (and seventh) stages (V-Z)
This means that you can only play 7 out of 28 (one for each letter of alphabet with 2 V's and Z's) levels in one go, which I believe give the game alot of replay value, so it's a challenge in itself to play through each of the stages and beat all 7 final bosses (which take AGES)
Playing though 7 levels IIRC, will take about 20-30 mins so it's a great game.

A claimable mid-boss indicated by the blue sphere on it
Game play wise, it's a typical Side scrolling shoot 'em up but it has some other interesting features,
The Capture Sphere (which I mentioned earlier) is one of these features.
On your way through each level you will come across a slightly bigger ship than the others with a blue and orange sphere on it's back, you can either shoot this ship like all the others, or you can aim for the sphere.
If you do this, eventually, the sphere will come loose and float towards you, collect this and you'll have claimed the ship to use against others!
Different ships have different effects, the ship in the picture above with breathe fire and is incredibly useful.
Another cool feature is the way you can upgrade, you will come across several coloured emblems which will upgrade either your rockets, bullets, shield or give you an extra black hole (black holes suck up anything in the area and then explode causing additional damage)

The music in the game is astounding too, it's very atmospheric and really suits the locations you are at.
It reminds me of Sharon Apple's songs from the anime Macross Plus if you've seen it.

Darius Gaiden is a very fun and enjoyable game that is really easy to play again and again
and Thanks again Jamie for showing me a really cool game!

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