Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours PC Review
Darius is a series of shoot-em-ups that really should get more recognition alongside similar classics such as Gradius and R-Type. Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours stands as an example to truly reinforce that, and while the price-tag is high compared to others in the genre, once you get your hands on you’ll begin to realise that it’s a much larger game than others compared to it.
A single run-through of all of a shoot-em-up’s levels can usually take around 20-45 minutes depending on the game. While that seems short the appeal is usually in perfecting that run-through by making sure they don’t lose any lives, which for some can take many hours to just master a single difficulty. This game offers that in its arcade mode, though it also has a branching level structure, meaning that to see it all at least once, it’s going to take multiple run-throughs.
And it really is worth doing, Dariusburst keeps things simple and effective. The ships are only armed with a standard blaster and special attack. Shooting gives the right kind of heft, and the stages and bosses are very challenging, but not in any frustrating kind of way. It’s no bullet hell, but it’s encounters with many bosses are especially thrilling. It’s also a great looking shoot-em-up, with all sorts of colourful looking enemies designed around sea-creatures.
While it does look nice, the arcade mode is built with a 32:9 monitor in mind, so even on a good sized standard 16:9 screen, it’s going to look a bit small. However those on PC with multiple monitors are able to pair those together to see the game fill both screens at the right aspect ratio. Doing so really does make the game feel huge, as none of that space is really wasted.
That all said the real star of the game is the Chronicle Saviours mode, which is a story mode that spans over 200 missions. It takes that fantastic action from the arcade mode and repeatedly remixes it in really fun ways, keeping it fresh over the course of the game. There will be bosses that end up repeating, but just when you’ll think you know exactly what you’re up against, the game will throw in an extra surprise attack.
Clearing a mission will earn you points which you can spend on unlocking and customising ships. Unlocking ships is permanent, but customisation will only last a single mission. While it does make the game a bit easier for those struggling, it doesn’t stop the game from being challenging. If you don’t take some effort in learning a boss’ attack patterns, adding on super powerful guns and 50 shields isn’t going to be much of a help. If you die in that mission all those points you spent will go to waste, so use them wisely.
This mode also is optimised for support on a single screen, meaning that you won’t need to a second monitor to get the “full experience”, and honestly this is the better part of the game. You could spend more time than you might playing with other shoot-em-ups and only see around half of what this mode has to offer.
The music accompanying this game is beautiful and incredibly eclectic. Ranging from gloomy soundscapes to upbeat jazz, all with an ethereal alien quality that really adds more unique flavour to the experience.
Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours is jam-packed with brilliant shoot-em-up action. It’s a game that can last you a long time, and hardly ever loses its touch over that period. Pricey compared to similar games, but what you get for that is absolutely stellar.