Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Darius Plus

Taito / NEC Avenue

I played through Super Darius many times before acquiring this, its chip counterpart. I knew Plus would basically be the same game as SD, but I was still pretty excited about getting the chance to try it, as I'd heard so many good things regarding its treatment of the excellent Darius soundtrack. I was expecting an overachiever audibly but wound up gravely disappointed. Tunes that are sweet on CD degenerate into warbled messes here; formerly ominous dirges are rendered meek and unassertive.

Otherwise, not much is different. You get the same high-speed gameplay...

...and, unfortunately, the same cramped, unfair boss battles.

Actually, when it comes to the bosses, SD was "blessed" with a few fresh faces. Thing is, some of those new guys are among the cheapest of a bastardish bunch already oversized and overstocked with attack capabilities. DP undoubtedly benefits from the absence of one goon in particular, though boss redundancy still can't be considered a positive.

Now, if you're the type of hard-core nerd that I am and you'll find interesting the differences between the chip and CD that are largely negligible, you'll want to note that Super "features" pre-game bits and ending scenes that Plus lacks. (Plus owners should be able to live happily without these "bonuses." All of the endings are dull, anyway.)

If you're limited to HuCard play, then by all means pick up Darius Plus. It's a great shooter. Of course, if you have access to CDs, go with Super for its amazing soundtrack. Should you enjoy SD and wonder if Plus would be worth tracking down for the sake of hearing the chip music... well, I'd say no. But I'll note once again that most folks do seem enamored with the HuCard tunes, and you may well end up in their camp. It wouldn't be the first time that everyone else in the universe disagreed with me on something.

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