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 Post subject: Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours (PS4 - PS Vita - PC)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:57 pm 


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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 333
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
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The definitive Darius shootout.

After all the trash shooters and Gamerscore Milkers reviews I've wrote about and those I'll still have to play and write about them, I really owe you a good review.
Well, this is gonna be "The Sturmvogel Prime Shmup Review to rule all SP Shmup Reviews" in the shmups forum and when I say that I mean it.
I really mean it 'cos this is gonna be an EPIC review since I'll be reviewing no other than Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours, and when I say "Epic" is because it might be the longest of all my reviews, surpassing Ginga Force, the XBLA review of Triggerheart Exelica and ACA Neogeo Blazing Star.

Hope you like it guys, 'cos I'm not sure if I could write another epic review like this again.

Sit back, grab a drink, and get ready for "The Greatest Shmup Review I've Ever Wrote".



STARTING POINT: AC MODE

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Dariusburst CS is two games in one.

COIN-OP SHOOTING, NO QUARTERS OR CARDS REQUIRED: AC Mode is the Arcade Mode, which is actually Dariusburst Another Chronicle EX. On the bottom right of the screen we can read on a small "EX" the word "Phase 2", What is Phase 2?, an update of the original Dariusburst Another Chronicle, which includes the "Original EX" mode, which I'll talk about later.


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Four...er, Three Modes for the definitive arcade experience.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The AC Mode features 3 of the 4 available modes since Event is unavailable, but for those who are still curious and want to get the "What is Event Mode" question outta their heads, Event Mode features Online missions with varying selections of ships, lives, preset Power up configurations and even random bosses. With this said and done, let's focus on the main three.



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Simplified route, yet traditional for Darius fans.

THE ORIGINAL ARCADE GAME: Original Mode is the main Arcade game, the original Dariusburst Another Chronicle, which is comprised of 12 stages. For an arcade game, it is kinda short, considering that the stage branching remains the same as the original games. However, going down means things will be harder rather than having the traditional branching stage with random difficulties on each stage, even the starting Stages could be easy or hard depending if you want to start from Zone A or C.



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EXPERTS ONLY: Original Mode EX, is the Expert route of the game as the game now features three new harder levels: Expert, Extreme and Exceed. While the stages look identical to those of the Original Mode, the enemies and bosses will differ. Think the big bad Great Thing was easy?, Just wait until you meet G.T.V. in Zone Z.
This new mode will put Darius fans and overall shmup players to their limits as the game becomes the ultimate challenge for the ultimate Darius veterans. If you've picked this mode by mistake, the best chance to survive is by going the upper route and select either Silver Hawks Second or Gaiden ship.



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I feel the wind in my hair and it's whispering, telling me things.
Of a storm that is gathering near.
Full of power I'm spreading my wings.


THEY FLY ON SILVER WINGS: The ultimate Darius game reqiures to give the player(s) the chance of selecting his/her/their favorite Silver Hawks, a feature inherited from Darius Force / Super Nova but this time comprises of 8 Silver Hawks, anyone who've played Dariusburst will already know the original ships (Origin, Legend, Next and Formula), Dariusburst Another Chronice EX adds four new ships: Second, Gaiden, Genesis and Assault.



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New Silver Hawk, Classic Design.
Taito's legendary ship has reborn.


SILVER HAWK LEGEND: One of the Silver Hawks from the first Dariusburst. This one is piloted by Ti2. This Silver Hawk uses the Dariusburst series feature weapon; the Burst Engine, that allows the ship to fire a beam similar to the Alpha Beam from G-Darius and tapping the burst button twice will unleash the Fixed Burst that deploys small pods that generate the beam and can rotate when the player releases the shot button and moves the ship.



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Sleek design for pilots who want agility.

SILVER HAWK NEXT: Another Silver Hawk featured in Dariusburst. It is Riga Practica's ship. This is the Homing-type ship as its bombs are homing missiles. It can use the Burst Engine, allowing it to fire a charged beam attack. Tapping the Burst button twice will unleash the Fixed Burst like the Silver Hawk Legend.



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The Choice of Formula-E champions.
Coming Soon, Silver Hawk Formula in both Jaguar Racing and Julius Bär Edition.


SILVER HAWK FORMULA: If you want another dose of challenge without sacrifying the Burst feature like the Silver Hawk Origin, Forumla adds some challenge by using short ranged shots which stops at 1/4 of the screen (1 screen in a real arcade cabinet). However, the power of the ship's shots was compensated, and it uses the same homing missiles of the Silver Hawk Next, but fires twice the amount of bombs. Like Next and Legend, it uses the same Fixed Burst System.



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A Silver Hawk that goes into the Danger Zone with all the power of the 80's.
A basic space fighter, with enough firepower to stand on its own.


SILVER HAWK ORIGIN: The 3F-1B, this is the classic Silver Hawk from the first Darius. With a basic fire rate of 4 shots on screen and average power, it lacks of a Burst Engine, so the Burst button is the standard bomb of the ship, making it the proper selection for Expert players who want a challenge from the game. Since it lacks of a Burst feature to increase the multipliers further, it compensates that with a higher increase by destroying normal enemy formations up to a maximum of "x60".



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Straight out of the 90's and with some of the fiercest Non-Burst weaponry available.
Victory is "In the bag" with this Silver Hawk.


SILVER HAWK SECOND: From Darius II / Sagaia, also called FFSA-0019 Silver Hawk in Darius Force / Super Nova. Like the Origin Silver Hawk, it lacks of a Burst attack making the Burst button the bomb button. It's main weapon is the Napalm Beam, a large and powerful blast of energy that pummels any enemy on its path. Like Origin, its fire rate allows it to fire 4 bullets on screen, but the fire rate is backed up by green lasers, these green lasers do the job of the Wave Shot as the "pass through" artillery. Combined with the bombs, these features makes the Silver Hawk Second the perfect choice for those who want to play without using the Burst feature and have better chances of survival than the Origin. Like said ship, it also utilizes the same score multiplier mechanic allowing the players to reach a x60 bonus from enemies and formations.



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The classic shape of a Taito Silver Hawk it is retained in the last revision of the Silver Hawk used on Vadis.
It is also the first one to feature a "Bomb" special weapon.


SILVER HAWK GAIDEN: The titular ship from Darius Gaiden: Silver Hawk. It fires both laser and bomb with the fire button and has a considerably good fire rate, which was even improved from the original Darius Gaiden since it fires rapidly enough by holding the button rather than mashing the fire button like in the original arcade. Rather than having a "Beam" Burst Engine, its "Burst" is the Black Hole bomb which replaces the bomb stock for the refillable Burst Gauge, making it virtually unlimited as long as you recharge the bar below your ship. This Silver Hawk is a good choice for starters due to its rapid fire.



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It has a built in ability to take everything it sees, and now it seems Belser's falling, to the Alpha Beam.
This seems to have an Invisible Touch, yeah! It reaches in and blasts right through the enemy's heart.
This seems to have an Invisible Touch, yeah! It takes control, and totally tears them apart.


SILVER HAWK GENESIS: Phil Collins' band references aside, this is the Silver Hawk from G-Darius and the origin of all the Silver Hawks. Its Burst is the Alpha Beam, but unlike G-Darius, it utilizes two small pods that provides basic additional fire, these two pods are the "generators" of the Alpha Beam, thus the ship no longer needs to capture an enemy to generate the beam. The true power of the Alpha Beam is revealed when it counters the red beams that blink before firing as it can make a Doublefold (blue), Threefold (green) and Fourfold Counter (gold), causing devastating damages. Double tapping the Burst button will adjust the aim of the pods from horizontal to diagonal and even its formation in the style of the Options from Gradius.



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If you want some explosive power at your disposal, this is the Silver Hawk for you.

SILVER HAWK ASSAULT: The "Explosive Bomb" type ship. This Silver Hawk utilizes explosive projectiles fired on a full frontal trajectory which generate a small blue explosion after impact. Its Burst Attack differs from the traditional beam as it generates a sphere of energy that remains static for a moment and then begins to move, tapping the button once its generated will create a larger explosion capable of take nearby enemies.





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With the Heart of a Warrior we fight! O-ooh!
With the Heart of a Warrior we stand as one unite!
With the Heart of a Warrior we fight together marching through the night!
For the kingdom we hold our flags high!


AT THE HEART OF THE GAME: Regardless of which mode is selected, the core gameplay of Dariusburst Another Chronicle remains the same as your horizontal scroll shooter where you are pitted against Belsar's mechanical fishes. Since the game was divided in 3 stages on both modes, the game's mechanics have to adapt to the stage length, and that's the Power Up system. Rather than requiring 7, it now needs 5 to level up, and the game grants you plenty of power ups for your guns, bombs and shields. However, the true heart of Dariusburst lies on the Burst Engine, the "Special Weapon" of the game. This is an evolution of the Alpha Beam from G-Darius and the Beam Duel format from Metal Black as we can utilize the Burst beam to counterattack both regular enemies and bosses and destroy large "popcorn" enemy formations to obtain a much larger multiplier than the one imposed by destroying enemies with regular shots (Example: get a multipler higher like x48 or x96 while regular shots grant you "x16"), Also, the Counterburst can be done manual (button tapping) or automatically. Another variation introduced in the game was the Fixed Burst which implies to tap the Burst button twice to fire pods that shoot thin beams, you can change the beam's aim with the Silver Hawk's movement when you're not shooting, and also, the Fixed Burst can be replenished by destroying enemies with its beam or your shots, this is useful with multiple "popcorn" enemy formations (Fixed taking the enemies above while your ship destroys those below).

QUICK TURNS: Remember when you had to turn left or right automatically in Darius II during boss fights?, In this game you can turn freely to destroy your enemies from both sides of the screen, breaking with the restriction of "facing right" all the time.

BURSTING IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO HI-SCORING: The Burst Engine and its beam are not the only way to get high scores, Silver Hawks Origin and Second can reach a maximum multiplier of "x60" since they don't have a Burst Engine, and the scoring factor was passed to the ship's regular weapons making these two ships ideal for those who are not used to the game mechanics or simply don't want to use it.

YOU ARE GONNA NEED ALL THE POWER YOU CAN GET: Like in Darius Twin, the game gives you the chance of keeping your power levels if you lose a life or die and continue, this is very useful since the boss fights will basically require you to fight with all the power ups you've find since a powerless attack would be suicide.

LIFE LOST? NO PUSHBACKS, NO WORRIES: Unlike Darius Force, you are not sent back to a checkpoint if you lose a life, making the action more fast paced and instantaneous just like Darius Twin and Darius Gaiden, this really helps especially in the boss battles 'cos you don't have to start the fight all over like in the first Darius.



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Everything changes, make way for the darkness and create space for something new.
We'll move and blast the heavens, conceal what we really should.


DIFFERENT GAMEPLAY MECHANICS: The Burst Engine adapts not just as the "Over Weapon" like in Thunder Force V, it can be used as the bomb like the Black Hole Bomb of Silver Hawk Gaiden and the counter, overpowering Alpha Beam from G-Darius carried by Silver Hawk Genesis, this one is good if you want to end a boss fight quickly.

UNNECESSARY ARBITRARINESS: We all know Capcom's 1-point on the score per continue, becoming a "Mark of Shame" on the player's score. well, Taito took that to a more harsh and arbitrary level by slapping 9 points in the score when you continue the game.

BROKEN BEAMS: Due to a patch, the manual Counterburst feature of Legend, Next and Formula was removed, reducing the game's Burst format into a Charge Attack format. Fortunately, Silver Hawk Genesis wasn't affected since it utilizes Auto-Counterburst.



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You and your friends will team up to save a planet.

SILVER HAWKS CHRONICLES: Chronicle Mode is a Supervariety of missions based in several planets. The first thing to do is to pick a planet by moving the cursor as you move further away from the Solar System.



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Saving a planet, one region at a time.

ONE PLAY, ONE REGION: Once you've selected a planet, you will be granted the option of selecting a region on the map. Each region will feature different mission objectives with presetted power levels, limited ship selections and even conditions to complete it like clearing the whole sector without continuing once, using a continue will deprive your "Mission Qualified" status to a failed one, so you've better make a wise choice selecting a mission in this mode. Keep in mind, there's a total of around 3,000 stages in this mode, so this is one hell of an "Arcade-Campaign" combination that will take a lot of time to conquer.



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¿Don't you hate when someone forgets to translate the text?

TRANSLATORS REQUIRED: The loading screens features illustrations explaining the game mechanics and some boss data. This is well received, but there's a small problem: They didn't translated the text. Unless you know Japanese, you'll understand what they say.

NAME ENTRY, ONLY FOR THOSE WHO FINISH THY GAME: Unlike the classic arcade games, the Name Entry has become a priviledge for those who've finished all the stages of the game regardless if they've used a continue or not. So, If you've died half way your score won't enter.



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REMEMBER KIDS: SAFETY FIRST.

ARCADE ACCURATE UP TO THE ADVICE: For this game, being "Arcade-accurate" doesn't mean just the gameplay and graphics, the accuracy goes even on the cabinet exiting advice as if you're playing on a real arcade cabinet.





THE EPIC JOURNEY ACROSS THE UNIVERSE: CS MODE

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Light the fires of freedom, on the shores of endless seas.
Wings of glory guide us, on the path to victory!


THE REAL GAME BEGINS: CS Mode is the main game of Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours, since this is a "Campaign Mode" with a vast array of missions.



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Walking through fire, fate's in my hands, waiting for lightning to strike.
Man on a wire, bearing the brand Waiting for lightning to striiiiiiiike!!
Lightning to strike!


THE ULTIMATE BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL: CS Mode was designed with one sole purpose and that's to keep you playing as much as possible, and when they want you to play for a long time, they took that concept beyond literally since the campaign is not your basic 10, 20 or 40 stages. CS Mode has a total of 186 missions that scatter across the galaxy, the objective is to reach Kyokkuho. For an expert player it might take more than 40 hours to complete the whole map, so any average player will take even more time. This is perhaps a record breaker that should be on the Guiness Book of Records as the longest game campaign ever.



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This is basically the "Forza Hub" of Darius.

YOUR VERY OWN SILVER HAWK, THE FIRST OF MANY DECISIONS: The game grants you the option of play with a "Preset" Silver Hawk or buy one and customize its power levels. The best option to rack fast points is to buy either Origin or Second, since their "x60" multiplier allows you to obtain more spendable points than any other ship in the game.



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I have the power, I've got your destiny in my hands.
I will decide your fate, I'm the ruler of the darker lands.


PERSONAL DISPLAY OF POWER: Once you've bought a Silver Hawk, you can use your Points to increase its power levels, and even its Arm Points (Shield), making it the HP of the game. This is essential if you want to survive on levels with tough bosses like Great Thing or Gigantic Bite or clear a mission where Shield items are absent.



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To quote Megadeth: "Peace sells, but who's buying?"

BUDGET CUTS: One problem that I have with the unlockable Silver Hawks is that once you've bought your ship and upgrades, you need to get the required Points to use it again since the upgrading is not "permanent" unlike the skill point-based powering up of RPG's such as CrossCode or Mass Effect, forcing you to downgrade the ship or stay with the preset ships and play the same missions constantly until you get a considerably high amount of Points to play with your fully powered ships, keep in mind, the price increases based on how many Arm Points your ship has.



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A brand new Silver Hawk for a brand new game mode.

EXCLUSIVE WINGS FOR AN UNIQUE MODE: Silver Hawk Murakumo. This is the 9th ship and an original design made exclusively for the CS Mode. This ship utilizes pods that can change its aim like the Genesis and utilizing a Burst Beam like Next. Murakumo can fire the Burst Beam regardless of how many drones it has. Its Burst Beam has the same Auto-Counterburst as the Genesis Alpha Beam and if the player can accumulate enough energy, it will generate an explosion capable of taking multiple enemies, mastering this will help to kill multiple formations and add more multipliers. Unlike the rest of the other Silver Hawks, Murakumo's Burst can be used in a "Controlled Blast" like the Over Weapon in Thunder Force V. Like Silver Hawk Genesis, its Counterburst wasn't affected by the patch that screwed up Legend, Next and Formula.



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With weapons drawn we claim the future and then seep out through every storm.
Bring in the foe to be defeated, to pulverize from dusk to dawn.
Firepower!, Petrifies!, Firepower!


ACTION PACKED!: Most of CS Mode's missions consists of sending you on a varying number of stages comprising each "Mission", making them look more like "Pseudo-games" because sometimes you'll be facing 4 to even 8 stages with their respective boss battles. Sometimes it will be a "Stage-Stage with Boss-Boss-Stage" combination where you'll play a boss-less stage then a stage with its boss, then a boss fight, providing a well varied challenge for all players. The way how the game splits the stages is like if it divides the stage and boss fight as "individual" levels. For instance, Rahario is splitted in 17 segments, this means a pattern of "Boss-Stage-Stage-Boss-Boss-Stage-Boss-Stage-Boss-Stage-Stage-Boss-Stage-Boss-Stage-Boss-Boss", A long journey from Zone Alpha to Zone Lambda, being Kyokkuho the longest of all with 24 segments: 12 Stages with 12 Bosses.

GREEK ALPHABET: Like in G-Darius all the zones of each mission utilizes the greek alphabet as you start from Zone Alpha to Zone Eta. Later in your tour across the galaxy you'll be facing the decision of going to Zone Gamma or Zone Gamma' (pronounced ''Gamma Dash''), I'll explain this in a while, so let's move on with CS Mode review.


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Thousand Disco Ball: The "Thousand" model features its "Dancin' in the Laser Light Mode" when its fins and scales are gone.
Includes the tracks "Wake Up", "Duri Duri", "Call My Number", "Groove Boy" and 30 more Hi-Energy and ItaloDisco hits.


SOMETIMES IS JUST BOSS FIGHTS: While most of the "Missions" are basically a random number of stages making them "Preset games" on their own, sometimes you'll be facing boss battles as if it was a Buss Rush Mode like Darius Alpha.



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Everybody love a hero, honey. Living on a danger line.
Saved by, saved in the nick of time, I was saved in the nick of time.


ACTIVE TIME REMAINING: Not all the CS Mode missions are the sequence of stages or boss fights, some of them are Time Attack based, combined with "prevent the enemy from reach the other side" like in SDI and Cloudphobia, taking a hit means losing time and letting too much enemies to reach the left side of the screen will result in a mission failure. In these type of missions you'll face around 3 or 4 waves before facing a boss in a traditional Darius boss fight. There's a variation where the objective is to complete the stage in the fastest time possible and that means taking the less damage possible since a hit adds 3 seconds on the timer.



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The Perfect Bonus for the Perfect Winner.

WINNER TAKES ALL: The game knows how to reward the player's skills since killing a boss in no time isn't just a bonus, clearing a stage without your shields taking a hit a second bonus, and the final zone will give you a bonus for your remaining Silver Hawks and if the lives count is at 2, the game will double it.



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Thanks to your gentle charity, we will provide new beds to our soldiers, better meals,
faster Internet services and pay our yearly subscription to NASCAR on FOX.


COULD YOU SUPPORT OUR "HONORIS CAUSA?": Once your Silver Hawk becomes a goner for the second time in the same mission, you'll get a Mission Support Bonus that increases as long as you fail on the same stage again. I've tried to exploit this but the Mission Support Bonus reaches its maximum at 30,000 points.



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Some thousand years been counted down.
Kings and queens have lost their crowns.
Live by the sword and you're gonna die by the sword.


AN UNEXPECTED TURN: During your journey, some of the regions you've saved will turn purple and you'll have to replay them again to reclaim those invaded areas. However, these are the "Alternate" routes which are harder variations of those areas. Alternate Routes have more stages or bosses and there's gonna be higher chances of facing die-hard enemies like Great Thing or Gigantic Bite which will require to play the stage with your bought-and-customized Silver Hawk with a large amount of Arm Points (From 32AP onwards is good enough).



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All you have is this one shot, better keep it while you got it.
Life is way too short to only fool around!


SEPARATE WAYS: Remember what I've said about deciding between Zone Gamma or Gamma Dash? Well, this is what I was talking about. There's missions that will drop the message "Alternate Route Conditions - Get over 65,000,000 points", Getting the required score before the end of Zone Beta will unlock a branching which leads to the normal and the alternate zone. However, you'll still have to play both zones to complete the mission.

THE ULTIMATE TROPHY HUNT FOR SUPER PLAYERS: This game puts the idea of divine effort requirements for unlock all of the trophies since some of them really require super skills like passing the Original EX mode without taking a single hit, and that means your shield should be intact through the whole game, something almost impossible to do since that requires to defeat Great Thing Violet unharmed. ¿Want to be the Top Gun of Darius and overall shooting?, then this is your trial of fire.





BUY AND PLAY EVEN MORE: DLC MODE

DLC Mode is a special mode where you can play with characters from Non-Darius based titles as if it was a crossover of some sorts. Each DLC ship features three exclusive stages to play based on their respective games along with their original and Dariusburst-exclusive arranged themes. Also, DLC characters can play stages from other packs if you have them (Example: Harrier in Galaxy Force II or Silver Hawk Origin's stages). The "collaboration" ones are sold separately and feature mechanics that break with the basics of Darius as they carry on their respective features.
While you can buy ships separately, buying a "Pack" (Taito Pack for example) will unlock more content and any DLC will unlock a "CS Pack", allowing your Silver Hawks to be used in the game, increasing the variety possibilities of this mode.



CATCH THE HEART: TAITO DLC

"Catch the Heart" is Taito's slogan, and that's precisely what they do: Catch the heart of the game itself, fully exploiting the core and essence of something as simple as a game and turn it into a spectacle. From the three-screen wonders like Darius and The Ninja Warriors to 2.5D shootouts like RayForce, RayStorm, Gridseeker: Project Storm Hammer and Geikirindan. Taito (sometimes called Taitronics) is more than just Darius and its Silver Hawks, they also have their own successful cast of characters and ships. Buying the DLC unlocks the "CS Pack 1".



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Welcome to a new type of Law Enforcement: Intergalactic Law Enforcement.

CB-40 INTER GRAY (Night Striker): For those who don't know about this game, Night Striker is an After Burner-like 3rd view shooter where you shoot down criminal vehicles. Like Darius, it has the same stage branching system. For its appearance on Dariusburst CS, the Inter Gray features a single frontal shot that is only backed up by small arched bullets that appears when the ship is moving. For its Burst, it unleashes multiple missiles. Despite lacking of a bomb or a beam-like Burst, it can utilize the Shield/Arm to protect itself and upgrade it to increase its Arm Points.



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The promise of Darius III was fulfilled.

CF-345 BLACK FLY (Metal Black): Originally conceived as Darius III and later renamed as "Project Gun Frontier 2", Metal Black is an arcade shooter based on full force Beam Duels. In Dariusburst CS, the Black Fly's main weapon is the same from its original game: A Twin Shot whose strength relies on how full is the Beam Gauge, just like in Metal Black, the game will pelt the screen with Newalone particles which you can pick to power up the gauge. The Burst Button will allow you to use the Beam as a full frontal blast or a all-directional lightning strike, but this time, you can control the duration of the lightning attack, saving energy and power level for your shots. Another detail to mention is that being part of Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours, the game addresses two flaws from Metal Black: The first one is the Autofire. Anyone who played Metal Black will remember that the auto fire decreases its rate as long as you hold the fire button, this issue is fixed in Dariusburst CS making it fully functional since the game demands constant fast firing mostly in the levels than the boss battle. The second issue addresses is the most notorious and that's the lack of having a shield. Now the Black Fly can carry and upgrade the shield providing an improved and more complete shooter experience that the original game needed. While the majority of ships have random stages, those of Metal Black's "Stage A" have a reminiscence to the original game, Zone Alpha is a desert stage that evokes "Down to Earth", and Zone Beta is clearly a nod to "Cry to the Moon".



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What's fast and is hitting your PlayStation 4 with advanced precision?

RVA-818 X-LAY (Rayforce / RayStorm HD): The Ray Series, games based on perspective targeting using Lock-On lasers were revolutionary due to the use of 3D perspectives with distance effects. As a Dariusburst CS ship, the X-LAY utilizes an improved Laser Lock-On system capable of target 16 enemies simultaneously, this acts as the bomb and Burst as it takes place of the Bomb sub-weapon and carries the multiplier system of the Burst Engine. Like the Black Fly, it also addresses the difficulty caused by a lack of a shield by allowing the X-LAY to have the Shield and increase its Arm Points, making it more resistant to enemy fire.




THE CHALLENGE WILL ALWAYS BE THERE: SEGA DLC

"The Challenge Will Always Be There" was one of Sega's slogans along with "Now, there are no limits", "Welcome to the Next Level" and the Nintendo-trolling "Genesis does what Nintendon't", and their DLC pack features some of the most memorable characters of their arcade game catalogue, and no, I'm not talking about Sonic The Hedgehog, James Taylor or any of his AMS buddies, I'm talking about the classic arcade fly and shoot games of the 80's. Buying the Sega DLC unlocks the "CS Pack 2".
Sega challenges you (and Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours) with the Sega Pack, a DLC so exciting you're gonna imagine you're in for the fight of your life.



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You are Harrier, the resourceful extra-terrestrial warrior. And space is your battlefield.
Your mission is to save the Land of the Dragons from vicious mechanical creatures led by the vile and crafty Belser.
Can you survive the intense fighting? For your sake. For the sake of the Land of the Dragons. You must!


HARRIER (Space Harrier): Taito wasn't the lone revolutionary on arcade games, If we have to take a look to who made innovations on the genre, that's definitely Sega, a company that was ahead of its time, and Space Harrier was one of those games with its 3D-like effects and incredible CD-like sound quality breaking with the traditional chiptune soundtrack which followed later games like After Burner II and Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. Since its release on the arcades in 1985, and its release as DLC in 2016, Sega once again proves that Harrier is still a very modern character that aged well with the pass of time. For Dariusburst CS' DLC, Harrier can fire on any angle instead of using the basic left/right turning when you're not firing and lock the firing angle by holding the fire button. Its bullets while fast-rated, they decrease their power as they move further, thus, the player has to get close to his enemies to damage them with full power. His Burst attack uses Fixed Bursts which are a holographic projection of Harrier himself firing a thin laser. You can fire a maximum of 2 simultaneous Fixed Bursts, giving Harrier an incredible combat advantage when you know where and how to place those Bursts. He can utilize the Shield and upgrade its Arm Points. Unlike Taito's Silver Hawks, Harrier lacks a bomb. Also, some of the game's sound effects are present, giving the DLC a semi-spin off feeling as if we have a new Space Harrier game after 31 years since the DLC was released (35 right now), also the music of the game is present and it fits on the more modern Dariusburst CS game just as well as it did on its respective arcade game back in the 80's. The zone selection for this DLC have an arcade reminiscence, Stage A's Zone Alpha could easily pass as Moot (Dark Flare nods Squilla), Beta is Geeza (Hungry Gluttons nods Ida) and the Gamma could be either Amar or Olisis as they catch the "Fantasy Zone" atmosphere of the original game.



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You are the Force!
When Belser invades the Junos System, only you are what stands between victory and total annihilation.
If things go well, you'll vaporize a couple of Belser's battleships and be back in time for lunch.


TRY-Z QUASAR (Galaxy Force / Galaxy Force II): For those who are not familiar with this game series, Galaxy Force is a series of 3rd view shooters similar to their legendary arcade hit After Burner II as the weapon system of the ship features a lock on missile. Now, since Sega can't use the F-14 due to Northrop-Grumman's license things (thanks, corporate crybabies), the closest thing to After Burner was either Galaxy Force or Thunder Blade, so Sega picked the first option. In Dariusburst CS, the Try-Z utilizes a basic 3-way small "pea-shooter" as its main weapon combined with 6 Missile volley shot that goes on multiple directions as its bomb support. The Lock On missile feature as its Burst weapon, it locks on enemies before firing pretty much like the targeting system of the original arcade game. It has an unique score mechanic, as you can get a boost in the score multiplier if the ship evades fire while rolling.



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Before you even pick up your PlayStation 4 controller, you'll quickly see that this DLC is from another planet.
You start out by building your own space ship. Pick out your own engine parts, lasers and defense systems.
Then head to the universe of Dariusburst. You'll enter screen after screen of perilous worlds. As you try to bring peace to a Belser-troubled universe.


OPA-OPA (Fantasy Zone): Fantasy Zone, the colorful and cute shoot em' up that started the Cute'em up sub-genre of shmups was innovative for its shop feature and for breaking with the Sci-Fi and military themes which predominated in the arcades. For its appearance in Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours, Opa-Opa utilizes a basic Twin Shot and a basic Bomb. Since it lacks of a power up system or a Burst Engine of its own, Opa-Opa utilizes a variation of the shop feature from Fantasy Zone where your enemies will drop coins when they're destroyed and you can use those coins to buy 3 different beam types and 2 Bomb types. The beams available are the Wide Beam, Laser Beam and 7 Way Shot, while the bombs are the Smart Bomb which destroys everything on screen and the Heavy Bomb which is a 16t anvil that falls on the same spot as Opa-Opa, making it a precision requiring bomb. You can toggle which upgrade you want with the ship side-turning button (R1 in PS4) and buy with L1. With the side changing button doing another function, Opa-Opa will turn to the left or right using the Analog Stick/D-Pad like in the original Fantasy Zone, getting used to that is required to play with this character. Also, your power ups are permanent and they'll increase their price with each purchase. So, you've gotta be strategic on your decisions. Fortunately, the Shield/Arm Points are for free since they can be obtained by picking blue orbs like the Silver Hawks and the other crossover ships.




BULLET HELL FIGHTERS: CAVE DLC

Known for its intense bullet hell shootouts and the DoDonPachi series, Cave is basically the institution for "Danmaku" enthusiasts. Buying this DLC will unlock "CS Pack 3".



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Ripping mechanical fishes doesn't differ too much from ripping a giant robotic girl apart.

DELTA SWORD (DoDonPachi Resurrection): One of the latest entries in the series. DoDonPachi is Cave's "flagship". The Delta Sword's main weapon utilizes a full frontal fire of missiles and thin lasers, the bomb button fires the beam which is the Hit-maker as it makes the Hit count to go up fast, the beam is also capable of cutting through the bosses Burst beams, but it can't overpower the beams, not even in Hyper Mode. When the ship is in Hyper Mode (its Burst Engine), any bullets and enemies destroyed not just adds to the combo count, but also releases bonus items. This ship, along with Windia and the Tiger Schwert can utilize the shields, addressing Cave's common problem of lacking a shield when bombs ran out.



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Casper fans will not gonna like this DLC.

WINDIA (Deathsmiles / Deathsmiles II): Cave's latest title and very first horizontal shmup developed by them (unlike Progear which was a Capcom-Cave joint project). Deathsmiles is mostly remembered for its gothic themed setting and characters. In Dariusburst CS, Windia and her pet owl Hoo are in to fight against Belser's forces. Unlike the other ships, she doesn't have a bomb subweapon, instead the bomb button is the right frontal fire and the regular fire button aims to the left. Holding the fire button will activate her Rapid Fire while tapping the button is her "Heavy Fire" attack. Hoo's attacks will change too from a free-direction fire to a swirling fireball shot. Holding both fire buttons will release the Lock-On bullet stream. Her special attack increases the rate and strength of her attacks. However the duration of the special attack and Lock-On depends on how many items you've picked from destroyed enemies. Like in Deathsmiles, destroying an enemy will drop an item which will reduce its value after bouncing with the ground (a Crown will become a Skull Ring), and they're also the Item Bonus after completing a stage.



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How come a low number like 5 bring you so much bonuses?

AH-Y72 TIGER SCHWERT (Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi): "Determination: Cutting the Bonds of Hell" is what the name of this game means, and just like it did with the evil EVAC corporation, the Tiger Schwert is here to cut the bonds of Belser's hell, even if that means to fight with a helicopter in space. For its debut in Dariusburst CS, the Tiger Schwert utilizes a wide shot backed by four pods. Without a Burst Engine or even bombs, this ship utilizes a Lock On weapon that combines a beam with the pods vulcan shots. It has a unique bonus mechanic that involves on getting close to the enemies to get large bonus cubes, being "5" the highest number. To get fives you'll need to get very close to your enemy and use the regular shot.




TECHNOLOGY AND MAGIC ALTOGETHER: EIGHTING DLC

They didn't just created the bullet hell, they're revolutionaries in the genre. Buying this DLC will unlock "CS Pack 4".



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But you're stronger than they are. Feel the wind in your hair
And you're faster than they are, and it feels that you're lighter than air.
When you're drawn to the ground by the dragons, would you raise up your head, would you gaze at the sky.


MIYAMOTO, THE SAMURAI DRAGON (Mahou Daisakusen / Sorcer Striker): They've could pic Chitta who's more of a fan-favorite, but they've had to choose the dragon. Anyway, The steampunk-magical shmup Sorcer Striker makes its arrival on Dariusburst CS with the Samurai Dragon Miyamoto, whose weapons are a rapid full frontal Kunai shot backed up by three different subshots which can be switched with the Fixed Burst button: Wind (Green) is the default one, firing shurikens in a frontal line, Water/Ice (Blue) fires a semi-diagonal fire that explodes on impact, and Fire (Red) which is the Auto-aim Vulcan that locks on targets. His special attack is a magic circle called "Magic Bomb", just like in the original game.



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Private Security. Now providing protection against Belser's forces.

S.O.Q-004 SWORDFISH/TO-RYU (Soukyuugurentai / Terra Diver): Translated as "Blue Sky Crimson Squad" and "Azure Sky Red Lotus Corps", the shoot'em up about private military/security hits the Darius universe. Its name roughly translates as "Dragon Slayer", To-Ryu is Piloted by Kaoru Yashida. Its weaponry consists of a frontal fire backed by diagonal bullets making a somewhat basic spread shot. However, its real strength lies on the NALS (No blind spot All range Laser System) which is the subweapon and special attack of the ship (and the main mechanic of Terra Diver). The NALS can best be described as very advanced predecessor of the Free Range from Thunder Force V as we have a field that can be aimed and any enemy that gets within its range will be locked on. The NALS has two modes: EI-DOU which is a short ranged but wide dome with multiple laser lock capacity and the Pinpoint which is a long range cone with very limited width and lock capacity, but more powerful lock-on fire. EI-DOU has a Lock-On capacity of 16 targets while Pinpoint only has 7. The ship's "Burst" fires small bombs around the ship. This game makes a twist in the "Warning!!" screen by writing the whole boss warning in kanji and katakana.



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Prop-planes in space, like in the Strikers 1945 series.

G-913 WILD SNAIL (Battle Garegga): A classic of danmaku. If Seibu Kaihatsu's Raiden series are the origin of the Bullet Hell, then Battle Garegga is the evolution of that genre. Vaguely resembling a Grumman FPF-3P Tigercat, the Wild Snail utilizes a basic 3 Way shot backed up by small planes that act as Satellites or Pods like those of the XA-1 from E.D.F.: Earth Defense Force. The Fixed Burst button switches between four different Satellite weapon-formations: The default one is the wide shot, providing lateral attacks on both top and bottom. Second is the Auto-rotate fire, in this mode your pods will fire in 4 direction while they're rotating providing a full 360° range. The third one locks your pods in a frontal, yet rotational fire which moves based on the ship's movement, being a little tricky to control. The last one is Auto-targeting Satellites which sends your satellites in front of the enemies, like the Maxed out Satellites on Earth Defense Force. The Wild Snail's "Burst" is the Flamethrower bomb which fires large flames to the enemies.




THE GREAT ENTERTAINMENT: CAPCOM DLC

For any old-schooler who grew up with the arcades, will surely know Capcom is more than just Street Fighter II, Megaman and Final Fight. It was also a producer of some of the most successful shooters out there like Forgotten Worlds, the 194X series, U.N. Squadron and Eco Fighters. Their DLC picks two of their most classic shooters and 1 Capcom-Cave joint project to contribute with Dariusburst CS' DLC Mode. If you pick the whole DLC you'll unlock the "CS Pack 5".



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Vintage game mechanics adapted to present day gaming.

MOBILESUIT ALPHA (Hyper Dyne Side Arms): Sometimes known as Side Arms Hyper Dyne, the Mobilesuit Alpha is a classic icon of Capcom's games, making cameos in titles such as Forgotten Worlds, Street Fighter Collection, and the Namco-Capcom crossover Project X Zone series. The Mobilesuit appears in Dariusburst CS as a playable character. Its controls are quite intrincated since the fire button makes Alpha fire backwards and Bomb/Burst button is frontal fire. The ship turning "Reverse" button toggles the weapons and L1 activates its "Ultimate Combination" which is Alpha's Burst Engine. You can switch weapons in the fly: Bit utilizes 3 Orbs that provide additional fire, S.G. is your Shotgun-like Spread shot, M.B.L. is the Laser beam with slow fire rate but reasonable strength and 3 Way which is your 3 way rapid spread shot. All the power-ups and items from the arcade game are utilized, including the mini Mobichan and the Yashiki.



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The Power of the Pods at your disposal in the war against Belser.

TANIKURA F7W SABER (Varth: Operation Thunderstorm): Published in the US by Romstar, Varth: Operation Thunderstorm is a vertical shooter that involves the destruction of a Rogue AI which causes a global war on planet Varth. The most notorious aspect of the game was the amount of Capcom cameos hidden in the game. This time, Varth gets its cameo on Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours as the downloadable F7W Saber. Its weaponry is the same as the arcade, the changeable Machine Gun, Long Shot and Laser, all of them can be upgraded with the red Power Up item. While it lacks of a Burst Engine, it utilizes the Fireball Bomb of the Long Shot. The main feature of the game is the Pods, which are the shields and side shot support, these ones take place of the bomb function and you can use the L1 button to adjust their position from the top-bottom placed "Smart" which reacts automatically to deflect enemy fire to the "Fixed" mode which is the frontal defense like the Shield in the first Gradius games. You can adjust the pod configuration with the bomb button, since the Pod's firing is done with the fire button, also, changing the Pod's position will switch the sub-weapon: Smart Pod uses the Homing and its Fixed mode fires the Napalm bombs. Another feature from the arcade was the inclusion of the "Podless Bonus", you'll get 5,000,000 points if you clear the stage without obtaining the ship's pods. All the arcade's "key" sound effects are carried for the ship and its power up systems, the same for the music and voice samples such as "POWER UP!" "VULCAN!" "WIDE SHOT!".



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Defying the laws of physics by flying with a prop plane in space.

GAMBLER (Progear): A Capcom-Cave joint project, the Steampunk-themed Progear is the first horizontal shmup from Cave. Piloted by the 14 year old kid Ring Reed, the Gambler is among the playable planes of the game. In Dariusburst CS, this ship is quite odd 'cos like with Aero Fighters 3 and Strikers 1945 we're talking about having a prop-plane in space, how do it works, I don't know. The Gambler's main weapon is the wide shot, backed up by bombs. Pressing the Burst Button will activate the bomb "Lock-On" mode, reducing the regular shots to a basic straight shot, but increasing the bombs power and aiming the closest enemies nearby. Although the game says tapping twice the Burst button will deploy the bomb, actually it has a bomb button on its own (in the PS4 port is the L1 button). Like Varth's Saber, it carries another aspect of the game and that's the Item bonus which adds a Stage Clear bonus based on how many items you've picked from the enemies you've destroyed. When you lose all your lives with this ship, the Mission Failed "chime" will be replaced with Progear's "Game Over!" voice sample.



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Apparently, the battle takes place during Second Impact.

EXCLUSIVE BOSSES: The DLC Mode features two exclusive bosses: Azure Nightmare and Crimson Nightmare and they live up to the name as they can be quite difficult (way too much for a ship like the Inter Gray) as they utilize weapons like spheric shields that absorb your attacks and rapid shots.





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Thrilling battles in worlds beyond your imagination.

VISUAL MAGIC WITHIN THE VISUAL TECHNOLOGY: The graphics are the most amazing aspect of this game. As we have amazing worlds with vibrant detail and stunning background effects, like the forest stage which features a vibrant sky filled with stars, space clouds and planets in pure fantasy style, yet keeping a realism in the worlds seen on screen.

REPLICATING THE ARCADE SCREEN IN YOUR TV: While playing AC Mode, the game goes widescreen to replicate the multi-screen style of the arcade version. While this shrinks the size of things (that's why I had to keep the default size of the screenshots in the review) the problem with the resolution isn't too critical depending on the size of your TV. Both CS and DLC Modes rely on a single screen kinda like the Megadrive Mini and PC Engine ports of Darius, but there's plenty enough of size to navigate through the enemy attacks, even those of monsters like Great Thing.



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The most emblematic Belser ship, the Fossil type, makes one final appearance with gorgeous detail.

MECHANICAL WONDERS: The boss design is perhaps the most impressive aspect of the game, since the cast of characters not just re-takes the classic Fossil and Great Thing types, they enhance it with greater detailing making them look more alive than before, which can be considered as the evolution of what Taito learned on G-Darius, and even for an emulation of four-screens, they're suprisingly big to contain them.

MAKES NEW DARIUS GAME. USES BLAND TEXT AND MEME FONTS: Something that I've noticed is the somewhat bland, single colored choice of fonts on the text and the score, being the "WARNING!!" the most notorious since it uses the typical "Impact" font (AKA Meme font) making me feel that I'm watching a Bad Luck Brian meme rather than a Darius game. This is a step back if we compare this with other Darius games like Darius Gaiden where they used gradient colors on the text, making them colorful even when they used the classical videogame font, that would look excellent in this game.

ACOUSTIC MAJESTY: The sound department of Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours is an epic of spaced orchestration and the combination of vocals in pure New Age style that captures the atmosphere and essence of omnipresent beauty and mystery of the universe around the individual. It is worth of mention that some of the tracks have a reminiscence to the works of Enigma, Robert Miles and even Enya, being the Robert Miles influence more notorious in CS Mode (Beta Zone in Oruriba for instance), making Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours a pleasant auditive experience for fans of said groups/artists. There's also some "Experimental" rhythms that won't fit on any known category like Lightning Flamberge's theme in Oruriba's Gamma Zone as it have this Techno-New Age or the Jazz Vocal-New Age in Alpha Zone on the same sector. One complain that I have with this game is that some stages are too short to enjoy the soundtrack, Zone F lasts for a few seconds and there the boss alarm is already wailing, cutting out the music. It is the same problem as in Aero Fighters 3. Like in Axelay, some of the boss themes feel like the "sinister" versions of the stage theme, like Iron Fossil's theme in Zone A in AC Mode.

REVISITING THE CLASSIC THEMES: On CS Mode, each sector will feature songs the from previous games depending on which Silver Hawk is the "Preset" ship. For instance, the mission "Chamara" where you'll play as Silver Hawk Gaiden as the preset ship, it will play the music from Darius Gaiden: Silver Hawk. This reminiscene in the games soundtracks is quite accepted, although the original Darius soundtrack (Silver Hawk Origin) sound old and outdated because it's the original music without remastering and some of the "instruments" sounds muffled, making it quite hard to fit with the game, and its pretty much the same for Darius II's (Silver Hawk Second). In Darius Gaiden's and G-Darius (Silver Hawk Genesis) case, the clarity and almost Redbook/CD like quality of the music makes the music fit with a much more modern game like Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours. Despite those details, it's good to play some of the classics in your journey across the universe.

TALKING IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE: An added detailed in this mode was the inclusion of dialogues in the game, which I don't know if it's an Earth language (old or modern) like the Tangut in Thunder Force VI or it was invented like in Star Wars. Despite that, it has english subtitles so you can understand what they're saying throughout the mission.

DARIUS BIBLE INCLUDED: The Options menu includes scans of the book Darius Oddysey which comprises well detailed aspects of Darius' lore like an explanation of all the endings of the series (Did you know G-Darius Zone Nu's ending is about how Sameluck and Lutia are destroyed and reborn as planet Darius?), enemy data of all the series and even small comics and an interview with Taito's house band Zuntata. The only problem that I have with this is the same of the loading screen in Arcade Mode: All the scans are in japanese.

SUPER NOVA IS SUPER OUT OF CANON: Darius Oddysey comprises from G-Darius to Dariusburst Another Chronicle, but one small detail was missing; the SNES titles Darius Twin and Darius Force (Super Nova). There's not even a single mention of them, which implies one single thing about their place in Darius canonicity: Banned from the Darius Bible. They are Non-canonical in any aspect. While Darius Twin is a spin-off which takes place after Zone X's ending from Darius II, making it extra-canonical. Super Nova has no place in the continuity.


DARIUSBURST CS: CURIOSITY SAVIOURS



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"GRA" collaborated in this game?, That's interesting.

- END OF THE JOURNEY: This is the final entry of the Darius Series.
- UNIQUE FEATURES: It is the lone title to feature a campaign with an extraordinary long number of missions and a mode with crossover characters.
- MISSING LETTERS: Zones M and N are missing in Original/Original EX Modes.
- WHO IS NEO?: The achievement name "Captain Neo" comes from the Zone A theme of the first Darius.
- SUPER NOVA REFERENCED: The achievement name "Piece Destroyer" is a reference to Darius Force / Super Nova's boss Peace Destroyer.
- VESTIGE OF AN OLD ERA: Silver Hawk Murakumo is based on Scramble Formation, an old Taito game.
- THIIMA REFERENCE: The achievement name "Absolute Defender" comes from Zone Zeta's boss from G-Darius.
- THE AMNELIAN DOOMSDAY WEAPON: The achievement "All Nothing" comes from the G-Darius superweapon which destroyed Amnelia's moon Blazar.
- PATCH OF FAILURE: This is the only entry in the series where an update patch ruined the game's mechanics, in this case, the Manual Counterburst.
- YOU MEAN "BELSER"?: The game calls Belser as "Belsar".
- VARTH - CALLIGRAPHY SCREW-UP: The "Help" screen for Varth's Saber spells "Sub weapopn" instead of "Sub weapon".
- SUPERHUMAN WINDIA: We already know Windia's magical girl powers, but in this game we will see her in space and even underwater, the same can be said for Hoo and his identical "Superanimal" skills.
- WE ARE SILVER HAWKS: The collaboration ships/characters are tagged as Silver Hawks on the ship remaining bonus as "SILVERHAWK BONUS".
- NON-RELATED TO BELSER: Azure and Crimson Nightmare are Thiima intelligences rather than Belser's creations and they're related to The Embryon, the Zone Nu boss from G-Darius.
- THIS IS (NOT) AN EVANGELION REFERENCE: The background of Crimson Nightmare looks like a rip-off of the Second/Near Third Impact from Rebuild of Evangelion.
- DESTINED TO RETURN: Silver Hawk Murakumo will make its appearance as a selectable ship in Dariusburst Another Chronicle EX+, the upgraded exclusive from Darius Cozmic Revelation.
- HELICOPTERS IN SPACE: The Tiger Schwert from Cave's DLC as a "helicopter in space" mirrors that aspect from the Type-B ship from Taito's Gekirindan
- TITLE NAMED SHIP: The options menu tags Varth's ship as "Varth" instead of F7W Saber.
- SPECIA APPROVES: Yousuke Yasui, the composer of Ginga Force, Eschatos and Natsuki Chronicles composed the remixes for the music of Eighting's DLC.
- TRIGGERHEARTED COLLABORATION: Kazuhiko Kakoi, better known as the character designer and illustrator "GRA" in Warashi's Triggerheart Exelica is credited in this game because he designed Brute Gluttons.
- MAN OF WITCHES AND SHIP GIRLS: Humikane Shimada (Also called Fumikane), the creator of Strike Witches / World Witches and the Kan-musu Taihou from Kadokawa Games' KanColle: Kantai Collection (who published Dariusburst CS along with Taito) is also credited in this game since he was the creator of Ti2 and Riga Practica.




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Hear my call, don't waste your time. Remember what we're fighting for.
Hear my voice, take my hand. We've got to win this war.
We were meant to be free, not to live in slavery.
To the other galaxies we go. Gather all our strength before they know.
Soon the time will come for all of us to unite our souls and hearts. Save the Universe!


FINAL OPINION: If you're looking a REAL GOOD reason to buy a PlayStation 4, this is the game you're looking for. Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Saviours is the ultimate Darius experience for those who want to are looking a great shootout experience and for first timers who are new in the Dariusburst universe.



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The aircraft that deserved a chance on DLC Mode. ¿Why you didn't considered them, Taito?

ADDITIONAL WORDS: I think there was room for more shooters like Gradius, Triggerheart Exelica, Thunder Force, R-Type and even Qute's shmups on DLC Mode 'cos they've really deserved it.
It'd be interesting to play with the Vic Viper, Crueltear, the RVR-01 Gauntlet, R-9 Arrowhead and even the FV-G27 Enforcer. Too bad Taito didn't include them.
_________________
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

STG Wikias: Thunder Force Wiki - Wikiheart Exelica - Ginga Force Wiki


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