Thursday, July 18, 2024

DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX+ PS4 Review

DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX+ screams “Updated arcade title with added suffixes to let everyone know this is a new title!” from the title name alone and for the most part, this is true, but it’s not a bad thing at all. In fact for Darius players and shooter fans, this may be the definitive title for the Another Chronicle release.

Darius ACEX+ 1

As someone uninitiated to the Darius series past G-Darius, ALSO getting an HD release at some point this year, I had to educate myself on the original title, DariusBurst. Originally, this was a PSP exclusive release in 2009, titled DariusBurst. That following year, the arcade version, Another Chronicle was released with an updated EX version released a year after that. In 2015, a console port of the EX was released under the title, DariusBurst Chronicle Saviours for the PC, PS4, and Vita.

Now here we are in 2021 with the release of DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX+, which replaces the console exclusive “Chronicle Saviour” mode with added events exclusive to the original ACEX release with bonus console content exclusive to EX+. In many ways, this alone can be considered an updated release of Chronicle Saviours, yet minus the DLC that came with the 2015 version. However, the Switch version’s main selling point is that Switch owners can now play DariusBurst on the go. With the Darius Cozmic Collection and the incoming HD release of G-Darius, Switch owners will have the entire Darius collection on the console, making it a must-own for fans of the game.

DariusBurst ACEX+ 2

However, knowing that this is simply a re-release of CS, which was already a solid port of ACEX, makes it a tricky purchase for PS4 owners. As someone who hadn’t played the original DariusBurst including its updated releases, I’ll be reviewing this with an open mind. Just be mindful that for players who have played Chronicle Saviour, this may be a purchase dependant on how much of a die-hard fan you are of the series.

Upon start-up, players unfamiliar with Darius will notice the ratio is a bit…off. There are horizontal bars that take up most of the game’s space, with a very tiny portion of the screen dedicated to the gameplay itself. At first, I thought there was something wrong with my PS4 and heck my TV, but this was intentional as the aspect ratios for Darius games are wide, like, abnormally wide. The arcade cabinet reflects this as well, offering a sit-down cabinet that looks like something out of an IMAX setup.

I understand this was done to preserve the aspect ratio of the original and to keep it as authentic as possible, but I often had to find myself squinting my eyes to see the action unfold. On larger TVs and displays this may not be an issue, I wouldn’t think anyway. Hopefully one day we can achieve technology that’s commonplace to experience Darius the way it’s meant to be experienced because look how amazing this is on an actual machine!

Graphics, that aside, take the iconic 3D models debuted in G-Darius and exemplifies it with various particle effects splashing everywhere on the screen. The 3D models of the larger aquatic-like enemies aren’t jarring, but they complement the space atmosphere well. It’s a Darius game but in HD through and through. The music is amazing, setting the tone with various genres, including orchestral EDM, trance, and even rock music. 

The gameplay is entirely dependant on the craft the player selects, as all nine crafts are based on a specific playstyle exclusive to the game is featured in. The “Origin” craft takes cues from the original Darius and as such only involves simple “shoot and move” mechanics. The “Genesis” craft is based on G-Darius and operates largely the same including its charged beam used to repel enemy beams. 

DariusBurst EXAC+ 3

The decision of your craft ensures each playstyle is different enough for replayability purposes and there’s a lot of replay value. Alongside the original arcade modes, there’s a “mission mode” that allows players to complete trials under specific circumstances and crafts already predetermined.

Largely in part to the vibration functions, the atmosphere gives off an arcade vibe as everything involving sound leads to the rumble features of the DualShock 4. Paired with a nice sound system, players will have the closest thing to the arcade version in their home, of course, if one ignores the giant borders and suspends their disbelief. 

DariusBurst ACEX+ 4
You can compare your score to leaderboards and already it seems like it’ll be a challenge competing against veterans.

In short, it’s a solid port of ACEX and it’s the definitive version for players who missed out on CS or for Switch players who want to shoot up giant mecha fish, crabs, seahorses, orca, and other “space marine” wildlife out there. On the PS4 side of things, Chronicle Saviours may have more content and that is easily accessible on the system, so this purchase may only be for the diehard Darius fans and their newcomers. Overall, it’s a fun afternoon experience that does its job in holding the tide until G-Darius HD comes out.

DariusBurst Another Chronicle EX+ releases on PS4 and Switch on July 27th with digital and physical releases courtesy of TAITO and ININ games on both consoles.

DariusBurst ACEX+ 4

The Lost Summer Passively Recommends – ✓