Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Darius Twin

My first step in Taito's seemingly ever-popular Darius franchise is one of two Darius games on the SNES, the other being Darius Force (renamed "Super Nova" for the American release, for whatever reason.) Darius is a series of side-scrolling shmups with an interesting theme; all of the bosses are mechanical sea creatures! Other than that, there's little to distinguish Darius from other games of its genre, aside from the sometimes strange, albeit interesting music composed by Taito's own in-house music team "ZUNTATA." So how does this particular installment fare?

When the game powers on, we're greeted with an interesting cutscene with some pretty awesome orchestral music, and you could be forgiven into thinking you're in for a super-cool game. Sadly, you would be mistaken.

The game begins with some pretty bad music. It's not terrible, but it's just a bit annoying & very poorly mixed. The gameplay itself is pretty bland. The enemies all attack in predictable formations, and the all too frequent power-up drops make the game painfully easy. the only break in the simplicity is when a mini-boss flies in and kills you with a cheap,nearly-impossible-to-dodge shot.

The fishiness that the Darius series is known for is definitely here, though; all of the bosses, as expected, have an aquatic theme. It's interesting, but most of them are pretty easy to defeat, which adds to the incredibly lackluster feel of this game.

In short, the best thing about Darius Twin is its price. I paid about $5 for it. However, unless you're a die-hard fan of the Darius series, or you're a completist looking to finish your SNES shmup collection, there's really no reason to buy this game. If you're in the mood for a cheap SNES spaceship shooter, your $5 is better spent on Star Fox. The impression Darius Twin left me is one of disappointment & mediocrity, and I can only hope that this impression doesn't apply to the rest of the Darius series. One to avoid, unless you're REALLY desperate for a 16-bit shooter fix.

1.5 out of 5.

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