The legendary shoot'em up saga that began its journey in 1986 with an arcade created by TAITO Corporation, returns with two compilations that allow us to relive its classic arcade and console games on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch with Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade and Darius Cozmic Collection Console, which are now available for purchase. Both compilations have been brought to the console by M2 and distributed by ININ Games in collaboration with Taito, preserving everything that made this saga great but adding some extras that we will talk about later.
The first thing we are going to comment on is that they are two compilations with a different number of games, finding in the Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade four games in seven different versions and in the Darius Cozmic Collection Console six games in nine versions. This makes the price vary from collection to collection, missing a kind of discounted pack that included both.
In essence, all these games have a very similar mechanics, finding a 2D side shift where we can move freely around the screen, shooting, dodging obstacles and taking power-ups that gradually increase the capabilities of our ship in the form of more powerful projectiles. or in a greater quantity, shields or missiles, finding in some also the special ones that clean the screen of enemies.
The levels have a great design, developing at a frenetic pace and with a multitude of enemies appearing all over the screen. Halfway through we find mini-bosses and, at the end of each phase, a powerful boss always awaits us, being one of the most characteristic aspects of the saga that they are all based on sea creatures with a robotic design that makes them as strange as they are powerful and complicated to defeat. They are quite complex titles that force us to memorize the behavior patterns of the enemies and the place where they will appear, preserving that arcade style that we like so much. In the case of some, in addition, we have different routes to choose from that ensure that each game is different.
I have to say that, depending on the game chosen, we can find different modalities, such as practice, time attack, leaderboards (online and local) and even the possibility of two players participating in a local cooperative. While in the console versions you will access the game directly, in the arcades you will have to throw coins for the continuations. Then you have other options, such as saving the game at any time to follow it whenever you want, manipulating the game settings to remove or add difficulty or modify the number of lives available.
Both collections, as is usually the case in this type of compilation, have several display options, such as if we want to play full screen, using frames with illustrations, activating the scalines to simulate the appearance of a television or smoothing the pixels. The problem comes from the games that used the double screen in arcade games, since here they are shown as a huge widescreen. This makes that on small screens, or on that of the Nintendo Switch itself, they are practically unplayable for not being able to see well what is happening. Of course, on large televisions it is a delight to see such wide scenarios.
The duration of either of the two collections is quite extensive, and not because they are especially long titles, on the contrary, but because they offer all the replayability of the era where we always tried to beat the scores of other players and with as many lives as possible. .
As for the graphics section, all games use a pixelated design although, logically, the more current the game is, the better it is. The best titles are those of the arcade versions, where some even began to make use of quite striking three-dimensional effects and high-quality effects. The best thing of all is that, with so little graphic load, they all work very smoothly and with hardly any load times.
I also liked the sound, finding from chiptune-style songs in the most classic to more current ones with vocal songs that feel great to the frenzy of adventure, all accompanied by good effects. The texts, on the other hand, come to us only in English, although it is not necessary to know the language to play them.
Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade and Darius Cozmic Collection Console offer two collections designed for different types of users, whether they are more than consoles or recreational, with different game modes, leaderboards, quick saving or various display options, among others. Both editions are quite entertaining and, removing the problem of the wide screen, that they do not launch together and the price (somewhat high for our taste), they seem to us a good way to get to know this classic saga.
If you like classic shoot’em up with a fairly high difficulty and compete against other players for the best score, you will find in these compilations something recommendable to have a quick game with friends.