In the PlayStation's sparse field of 2D side-scrolling, old-school space shooters, G. Darius is a welcome offering. Fans of the genre will be grateful for this home conversion of one of Taito's many arcade shooters, but newcomers are likely to be unimpressed by the simplistic gameplay. G. Darius is more nostalgia trip than innovative blaster.
In a traditional you-against-them-to-save-the-universe scenario, you take to the stars in one of two spacecraft in one- or two-player-si-multaneous modes. You know the drill: Collect power-ups, dodge incoming fire, and blow the snot out of anything that comes in range. Adding spice to the traditional scheme are cool features such as nonlinear gameplay and the ability to suck in enemy ships and use their firepower.
G. Darius is crammed with dazzling graphic details. In fact, some stages are too visually overloaded for the game's own good: The action slows down at times, and incoming enemy fire can be easily camouflaged against the backdrop At times you won't know you're hit until the Dual Shock gives you a telltale shake in concert with your exploding ship. The audio underwhelms with schmaltzy music and equally subtle sound effects. The responsive controls are a bit stiff, but, ultimately, piloting your ship is a breeze. Analog compatibility would have been a plus, though.
For 2D shooter action, G. Darius fits the bill perfectly. It may lack the high-tech gloss of Einhan der or the depth of Colony Wars, but for old-school shooter veterans, it's like old times.
- If you're cornered, detonate any captured enemy ships. The explosion should neutralize incoming enemy fire and create an escape route.
- When fighting a boss, fire the Capture Ball into narrow spaces so the Ball bounces around and causes multiple hits.
- One of the easiest routes to the end of the game is along the bottom of the zone triangle.
- Mid-sized battleships are a real catch. Destroy their outer hull, then launch the Capture Ball to reel them in and use their firepower.
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G.Darius is a perfect example of exactly the right way to bring an old-school 2D shooter into a 3D environment. The 3D graphics are totally awesome, and the stage backgrounds are a marvel to look at, but that's just the game's exterior. Behind all the flash (and believe me, there's a ton of it), lies a very well thought-out gameplay system that has all the elements of a great shooter: intense action, great stage design, awesome Bosses, innovative attack methods and more. Two-player simultaneous play doesn't hurt, either. Being able to capture your enemies and use them is a great feature (especially when you capture the mid-Boss-type enemies who have their own special moves), but that's really only half the fun--when you use those enemies to power up your super beam and then go beam-to-beam with an enemy Boss, that's when things REALLY get nuts. The rush you get from overpowering a Boss' beam with your own is really intense. Also worth mentioning is that you can change paths midway through a stage at various points in the game (instead of only being able to do it after completing a stage). Very cool. My only gripes are minor--there's some slowdown here and there (especially during 2P), and the music could've been better. Aside from Einhander, this is easily my favorite PS shooter.
In my humble opinion, G.Darius is the best U.S. 32-Bit shooter to date. The game is truly revolutionary, letting you capture mid-Bosses (and using Street Fighter-style moves to pull out their special attacks) or making you play giant-beam tug-of-war with the larger-than-life Bosses. The branching levels give the game replay value, the Two-player Mode is a blast and the environments are amazing. The occasional slowdown sucks, though.
It's not the prettiest 32-Bit shooter (that honor goes to Einhander), and it suffers from some slowdown, but G.Darius packs rock-solid gameplay and more than enough levels. Your ability to capture enemies and use them as weapons--or in tug-of-war battles with Bosses-is pure genius, giving the game a nearly limitless variety of power-ups. The Two-player Mode is a cool bonus, although slowdown can get pretty thick.
G.Darius is a superb shooter. The multiple paths, gameplay and visuals all rock. Plus, I can't help but love the strange fish theme--what's more fun than blowing up a giant robotic shrimp? The only problem the game has is minor slowdown. I haven't played a shooter on the PlayStation yet that doesn't have slowdown somewhere though. Lastly, being able to capture an enemy and then use his/her abilities is simply awesome.
Taito recently announced plans to bring their intense 3-D arcade shooter, G-Darius (ver. 2, the most recent release), home to the PlayStation. G-Darius is the latest sequel in the long-running Darius series of shooters, and is now for the first time completely comprised of polygons for a slick three-dimensional look and feel.
The biggest new feature in G-Darius is the ability to use Capture Balls (the bombs that sucked in enemies, if you've played Darius Gaiden on the Saturn or in the arcade) to suck in enemies and have them fight alongside you during play. If you need to get out of a tight spot, you can detonate the captured enemy, creating an explosion that wipes out anything it touches (except you, of course). Two-player simultaneous play is supported in the arcade version, and will most likely be supported in the PS version as well (though we couldn't confirm 100 percent at press time).
G-Darius is a graphical wonder, containing some of the best twitch shooting to come our way in a while. Hopefully a wise U.S. publisher will hop on this one ASAP. It's due out in Japan this spring.
- MANUFACTURER - Taito
- THEME - Shooting
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
THQ is bringing this intense sidescrolling shooter to U.S. shores. G. Darius teatures 15 non-linear levels, 30 bosses, 15 different weapons, and two-player simultaneous gameplay. The game also teatures several cool combat techniques, including the ability to use weapons you obtain by capturing enemy ships.