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 Post subject: Darius Twin (Super Nintendo - PlayStation 4 - Switch)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:00 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 352
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Did you ever had that "Love-Hate-Grudge" mixed bag feeling towards a shmup?, Well. In my case it's Darius Twin on the SNES (also in Switch and PlayStation 4 as part of Darius Cozmic Collection).

This game is a very special case for me, because it was the first game based on the Darius series that i've played, and while the game has its ups and downs, it's impossible not to think on the negative aspects despite the attachment you have with this game.

Thrilling Beach fights! Belser's Spring breakers as tough as they get.

The LOVE part of this game lies on its gameplay, as it allows you to play solo or with a partner and even adjust your starting amount of lives up to 8. Playing the game in 1 player mode sends you in a green Silver Hawk, while 2 players sends Player 1 in a red one with Player 2 is the blue one. As soon as we start the game, we will realize that the gameplay was a little bit simplified than the previous arcade games. Starting off with how your ship powers up, unlike Darius "Pick a lot without dying to level up", Darius Twin uses a basic Power up system for your weapons, missiles and shield. To favor the things in your mission, you're allowed to keep your power levels if you lose a life. I guess Taito considered to rebalance the difficulty on that aspect and its well accepted (Too bad Super Nova/Darius Force didn't had that). In Zones D, J and K you'll find a "Weapon changing" item that will change your regular shot for a Wave Shot that passes through solid objects and enemies, and here's the catch: Makes more damage than your default blaster, so if you've picked it in Zone D, don't do it in Zone J/K, you'll regret it in Zone L. When it comes to power ups, once your bomb weapon changes into the "Laser" you'll be having the upper advantage 'cos even if its a weak green diagonal laser, it has the wave "pass through things" ability.

Today we will take a turn to Planet Danto. Then we will return to the base for lunch.

Another change of the game was the route structure, while the previous games allowed you to go up and down as much as you wanted thanks to its branching, Darius Twin simplifies that with minimal branching and converging paths that end up in specific areas.

While the gameplay of Darius Twin remains the same as before, the difficulty is toned down at the point of being too easy even on Normal difficulty. Yep, the game only has Easy and Normal difficulties, and even on Normal the enemy relies more on tossing large formations rather than bullet patterns, so most of the time you'll be faced with 3 and 5 way basic curtains of bullets. The same applies for the majority of the bosses, with exceptions like Red Mist, Full Metalshell and Hyper Greatthing who at least they pull a fight.

This is where the game is no longer fun.

Zone L is where the HATE part of the mixed bag feeling towards Darius Twin hits. It's been 27 years since i've played this game and i'm still unable to beat it. Yeah, being unable to finish it for almost 30 years is a sad, pathetic shame. Is just as embarrassing as watching the whole Bydo Empire and Bacterion drinking "Gomichelas" on the street and dying a few seconds later as if they're sipping cyanide. ¿But guess what? Dying in Zone L doesn't feel like if its your fault, it's because of cheapness. Tossing you "Captains" like Radiators (5-way shot firing hermit crab), Dark Angels, Blowhards and Pente-Sharks and no shield items to catch a breath in the middle of this assault of Captains only results in a plethora of cheap shots that will kill you again and again and again at the point of being almost laughable. If you survive that sub-boss pelting massacre, the final bosses will be a disappointent, specially Great Tusk, which is more of a punching bag than a challenging boss.
The transition of hate to GRUDGE comes when you're out of lives and it's Game Over. There's no continues if you die and you (and your friend) will have to start all the way back from the beginning, and to make things worse, the game's "True Ending" can only be reached if you don't lose a single ship in the game. ¿Now you understand why i think Darius Twin is a mixed bag of feelings?

The last defense line of the galaxy is a single Silver Hawk against the ORN Empire.

The graphics of this game are also part of the "LOVE" feeling of this "Mixed bag" because at least tries to bring some of the arcade quality of Darius II by bringing large sprites, although they're not as big as the PC Engine Darius Plus and CD Engine's Super Darius II, the graphics in Darius Twin they look a little better than those from Sagaia due to the more colorful and more arcade-accurate palette of the Super Nintendo, that means no more eye hurting brightness like in the PC Engine. The game also uses multi-layers in some of the levels and you can notice that in the clouds of Zone A or the technological Thunder Force III-esque background of Planet Lankus (Zone D). Another thing to love of this game is how Taito kept the tradition of using sea creatures as bosses as well as using former bosses of the previous games as "Captains" like Dark Angel.

The sound department was always a subject of controversy among Darius fans because some of them love it and others hate it, because Darius Twin uses a sound arrangement known as "The Capcom Guitar" due to its reminiscence to Capcom games such as Megaman X and the SNES port of U.N. Squadron, resulting in a more hard-rocking shmup rather than the traditional flat-out weird space music that identifies the series. But there's good songs despite the hard rocking; Zones E & F being the best of the soundtrack. However, there's stages which makes an attempt to go back to the classic style with the guitaring still sounding, like Zones B, C, D, G, H, I, J and K. Also, it was good to hear Great Thing's theme during the battle with Hyper Greatthing, which is greatly appreciated for any Darius fan.

- Darius Twin was the first Darius game on the SNES.
- It was also the first console game not based on an arcade conversion (unlike Darius Alpha which was a Boss Rush based on Darius).
- This is the first debut of the green Silver Hawk.
- Zone A takes place on planet Rilair.
- The canonicity of Darius Twin and Super Nova is a subject of debate thanks to Dariusburst.

I can only recommend this game for the hardcore Darius fans. Otherwise, stick to Super Nova, which is a way better Darius game, and the best of both SNES games.
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

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