Darius Cozmic Collection review

Shoot em ups or “shmups” were a staple in the 80s and 90s and now the Darius Cozmic Collection has come to Nintendo Switch in all it’s glory, showcasing some of the best games from the Darius series. There’s plenty to get your teeth into and if you’re a fan of the genre then this is a great package to pick up. The following is my review of the Darius Cozmic Collection.

The first Darius game came out in 1987 and we’ve seen many versions, ports and different names attached to the series. For a newcomer this all may be rather daunting, but behind the barriers to entry and choice lay a whole lot of fun packaged up onto a modern-day console that fits perfectly in your hands. M2 had the job of bringing this all together and they’ve done a stellar job.

The games run beautifully well – smooth as butter. Darius has seen rather rockier days on the old Super Nintendo system back with Gradius III, and the Nintendo Switch port here is silky smooth and pleasing to the eye. There’s a bit of input lag when it comes comparing to their arcade originals but it’s something that I could personally like with.

With this being a collection you’re presented with a game selection screen when you first boot up the game. It can all be rather overwhelming with the sheer number of games on offer. There’s a number of save states per game, plus a neat replay feature which is very handy indeed.

There’s a couple of editions of the game; standard and special. The Standard Edition offers four of the classic arcade games from the series of this side-scrolling shoot ‘em up and that’s the one I’m reviewing for Nintendo Switch.

First of all, there’s Darius I and that comes in three versions (Old Version, New Version, Extra Version) each have slight modifications on the gameplay and difficulty. Darius I Extra Version is considered the definitive version of Darius I, so if you’re interested in the first version of the game then start there. Next up there’s Darius II, Dual Screen version. This can be confused with Sagaia, but that’s simply named for the international release of Darius II.

The main event of the series for many is Darius Gaiden. Originally this was set to be Darius III, and this version updates the series in many ways, making it more fun and engaging that the previous entries. Darius Gaiden could be considered by many as the primary reason to buy this collection in the first place and is worth the rather steep entry price alone. The gameplay, soundtrack and feel of the game are simply awesome and will take you back to the 90s with it’s nostaligic atmosphere.

Overall, this is a great collection of classic games and you have the chance to go through the series and see where the roots of Darius came from. M2 have done a great job with the collection, bringing the best of Darius up-to-date with modern standards including 60fps. Darius Gaiden is by far the best in the series and the most fun, so if you like “shmups” but don’t know where to start with the collection then that’s a good place. It’s pricey, but if you’re a fan of the genre and want a “shmup” for when you’re on the move then this is an ideal collection for you.

Developer: Taito
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4
Release Date: 16th June 2020 (PS4 Feb 2019)

Final Score71

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