I’ve had the pleasure of first experiencing the Darius series for the first time in our local arcade around 1991 or 92. The site of the cabinet itself was excellent, but seeing the game in action spread across three arcade monitors made for the ultimate arcade experience. As someone who loved other games in the genre like Gradius and Life Force, Darius was just as impressive graphically as it was audibly. The Darius saga has continued in several sequels, but G-Darius mixed things up by using 3D polygons for the ship models. Unfortunately, I never got to experience G-Darius in the arcade but did get to play the game on the more than capable PlayStation console in 1997. Almost 24 years later, G-Darius has returned to modern consoles, and those looking for a graphical update can look no further than G-Darius HD, which is now out for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
G-Darius looked incredible on the PlayStation, but seeing it on a big, crisp 4K television brings me back to the days of seeing the original Darius at the arcade. The goal in Darius is simple: It’s you against a seemingly endless stream of enemies as you push forward and blast as many of them as you can into sushi. Yes, almost all the enemies you encounter in the Darius series are fish-like crafts, including the giant bosses at the end of each stage. Using power-ups and a unique enemy capture system that allows you to utilize different shooting attacks, one or two players can co-operatively blast their way through this incredible adventure. One of the most remarkable features of G-Darius that always resonated with me was the fact that you could branch to different stages after beating each boss, which brought a lot of replayability to the game. Of course, no Taito game is complete without an incredible pulse-pounding soundtrack, and G-Darius is no exception to that rule.
For this HD update, developer M2 provided some excellent quality of life improvements, like free play. If G-Darius was just too much for you in the arcade, free play mode will allow you to utilize unlimited continues until the game ends.
For those looking to get into a space shooter and a solid entry in the Darius series, look no further than G-Darius HD.
Purchase G-Darius for the Nintendo Switch: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/g-darius-hd-switch/