G-Darius HD is a game that has been in development for over 2 years, and is finally ready to launch on Steam. The game will feature an all new story, updated graphics, and a new soundtrack.
We’ve been able to play a lot of games from the 1990s on our contemporary consoles thanks to dozens of vintage titles coming back as HD remasters or simple ports. Taito is one of the studios that has been actively porting and remastering its games for contemporary platforms, and its Darius series is almost complete on modern consoles thanks to its latest ports and remasters. G-Darius HD is the most recent, bringing the 1997 game to PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. This is our PlayStation 4 review of G-Darius HD, in which we capture several opponents and employ them against massive warships.
While the Darius brand has a long list of games under its belt, G-Darius stands out since it was the first game in the series to use 3D graphics. This meant that, back in 1997, the series had taken a big step forward in terms of graphics. With the transition to 3D, the game gained additional ways to play since the creators now had a whole new dimension to work with, which is evident in the game as well. This also makes it the franchise’s most technologically sophisticated release, which not only looks great but also introduces some very interesting new techniques for you to use against your opponents.
The franchise’s famous Silver Hawk faces up against massive aquatic-themed battlecruisers and adversaries in G-Darius. This time around, you get to witness an HD version of the whole game with improved models of the Silver Hawk and the opponents, staying faithful to side-scrolling action. While the basic gameplay stays unchanged from prior games, G-Darius introduced the unique Capture system, which enables you to use a Capture Bomb to capture an opponent and connect them to your ship.
You may utilize the opponent’s weapons as your own after attaching, depending on the enemy you take. Some opponents will fire a spread shot at you, while others will transform into two turrets that follow you around. Some of the adversaries go out of their way to locate and fire at other foes. Any opponents you have captured in the game will be destroyed if you die. Each level has its own set of foes and monsters to contend with. In certain stages, there are also some mini-bosses that you may try to capture. You get a strong ally in the game if you manage to capture a mini-boss. As you go through a level, you’ll be able to select between two different paths.
After selecting a sector, you may be given the option of selecting between two sectors while still inside a level by either going to the top of the level or to the bottom of the level. Despite the fact that there are many routes, they all lead to the same conclusion, and even if you pick a different path each time, you will arrive at the same conclusion. The opponents, bosses, and mini-bosses you face are the only differences across the routes. Some zones feature the same mini-bosses as others, however if you want to fight all of the game’s bosses, you’ll have to play all of the game’s zones.
G-Darius HD, like its predecessors, has a slew of contemporary features, such as the ability to save and load Saved States. The game also includes a variety of additional features, such as configurable controls and achievements. In addition to high-score hunts, the game allows you to earn different trophies, including a Platinum Trophy. The trophies aren’t simple to get, but if you’re a Platinum hunter, you won’t have to put in a lot of effort to obtain all of them. A single playing of the game may take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the difficulty level you choose. It’s great for quick gaming sessions, and you can change the game’s level to either take a leisurely walk through the game or give yourself a hard nightmare. The HD edition also enables you to have as many continues as you want in the game, allowing you to keep playing even if you keep dying.
In this menu, you’ll also discover the Capture Gallery, which is a useful feature to the game since it keeps track of all the foes you capture. This screen displays a list of opponents as well as important information such as where they may be located and how much health they have. This page allows you to keep track of all of the opponents you’ve caught as well as those you still need to capture in the game. This screen also has awards attached to it, so it’s worth looking at. Filling the screen is a bit difficult since the information shows only after you’ve recorded it once.
I’ve played all of the previous Darius, DariusBurst, and Cozmic Revelation packages released on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, and although G-Darius HD is unquestionably the best, it does contain a little flaw. When there was a lot of activity on the screen throughout my playthroughs, the game lost frames, and at one point, the game slowed down so much that I felt like I was in the movie Matrix avoiding bullets. This is especially strange since I was playing the game on a PS4 Pro, which is almost capable of running 4K graphics, so a transfer of a 1997 game shouldn’t be an issue.
Overall, G-Darius HD is my favorite Darius game that Taito has introduced to current platforms. G-Darius is still the greatest game in the series in my opinion, and we now have an HD version as well. If you want to take a journey down memory lane, the game also contains the original 1997 release, and you may choose between the HD version and the Classic version from 1997. The 3D shift really brings out the colors in the game, and it looks a lot better than the previous entries in the series. Fans of the series will undoubtedly like the version, and it is also accessible to new and casual gamers who want to play a famous side-scrolling shooter.
The Bottom Line:
While G-Darius HD is a fantastic game, and fans of the series will be overjoyed to see it come to current platforms, the frame dips must be addressed. On a PS4, I was shocked to see the game losing fps. Aside from the stuttering frames, G-Darius HD is the greatest game in the Darius series, and we can now play it on current platforms as well. The inclusion of both the classic and HD versions of the game in the same bundle enables you to sample both generations. Fans of traditional SHMUPS and anybody who loves a difficult side-scrolling shooter will enjoy this new release. Must-play for Darius fans, as well as anybody looking for a difficult game with a vintage vibe.