As we see more beloved games from the past make their way to current generation consoles, they’re both a testament to how far we’ve come and the power of good gameplay. For many, Darius was the game that got them into bullet hell games, a genre that attempts to overwhelm players in the hope they can overcome impossible odds. However, with so many changes, is Darius Cozmic Collection Console a blast to play through or a frustrating adventure that might break a controller or three?
Before we talk about the games and how the experience differs, it’s important to understand what exactly Darius is. In these games, you pilot a rather modest ship and have to defeat a wide variety of robotic versions of sea creatures (craps, squids, fish, etc) and later other animals. The challenge isn’t so much what you’re fighting, as much as the journey itself. Specific enemies have power-ups, which can either increase your attack or defense, making it easier to survive. Dying resets your power, making later stages harder, in addition to making earlier stages extremely challenging. You also have the choice of various routes where you face unique challenges that you need to overcome. All of this needs to be accomplished as you dodge enemies flying across the screen and firing countless bullets are your ship. Overcoming these challenges is the charm of Darius.
Darius Cozmic Collection Console manages to feel like a totally different experience than the Arcade counterpart. Instead of starting with the original arcade game, this collection’s first title is Darius II for Mega Drive (Genesis). This was a downscaled and reimagined port of the arcade title that manages to offer a similar experience that feels different. With everything feeling far closer, the difficulty is higher but not to the point where it’s impossible to dodge everything that comes at you.
Next up is Darius Twin, an adventure that attempts to do different things with the series. At its core it feels like Darius II on consoles, small, easy to get overwhelmed, and a bit crazy but you maintain enhancements making it easier to overcome. As a result, it’s a more interesting title that makes it easy to understand what made certain people fall in love with the franchise.
Darius Force brings back the annoying restart mechanic from the first game but really tries to do something different with the series. Not only is it the first title to move away from marine life, but there is also a ship selector and it attempts to change some of the shortcomings with the franchise, like how levels look a specific way, to various designs.
The remaining two titles are Darius Alpha, a boss rush title, and Darius Plus, a scaled-down and changed version of the original Darius. Those who had issues with the original game might find this version refreshing, as it contains a lot of the same elements, just with better balance in regards to enemy health and flow.
Regardless of how difficult you find these games, Darius Cozmic Collection Console tries to give you some modern advantages. These include additional lives at the start, difficulty levels, and the ability to save whenever you want. Some of these titles have additional modes like a boss rush, time attack, and so forth. Returning fans or hopeful newcomers will have plenty to get excited about trying to master these alternate versions.
Another highlight is online rankings. While this is far from the most interesting mechanic in Darius Cozmic Collection Console, it motivates players to go down specific paths and pushes them to be better. Since every title has alternate routes and specific stages that unlock depending on which path you take. If you’re not good enough to make it through the hardest route, you can try different ones to increase your score. Plus, this way you can play different versions of the same game without getting burned out.
Darius Cozmic Collection Console Verdict
Darius Cozmic Collection Console offers a very different experience from the arcade version. While it is still good and includes more variety, the smaller scale can make things more difficult. It also doesn’t have the same ideas, such as practice mode for every game, but it’s still a solid experience. It will push you to achieve a higher level and offers enough adventures to figure it out.
[Editor’s Note: Darius Cozmic Collection Console was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes. Also, please note some of this review was repurposed in the other Darius Collection due to their similarities.]