Darius II

Darius II
Game Name: Darius II
Media: 1 CD-ROM
Publisher(s): Taito
Developer(s): Taito
Genre(s): Classic Shooter
Release Date: 1996
Serial Number: MK81085-50
Region: PAL

Take one ancient TAITO arcade game, port it onto the Sega Saturn, and what have you got?
Well back in 1996 not a great deal really…

Darius II ScreenshotDuring the Saturn’s life many developers released fantastic original 2D Shoot-em-up’s, almost all significantly better than this offering sadly. Hold on though! whilst certainly not feeling worth it’s full retail price back in the 90’s, viewed in a retro context, where if you’re lucky you can pick up a copy for less than half of its original RRP, this game certainly merits some re-evaluation.

As your run of the mill 2D side scrolling shooter Darius 2 does look very basic, more reminiscent of a Mega CD title in fact, the Saturn as we know could produce truly breathtaking 2D titles but this is far from one of them.
The backgrounds lack any depth and at times look downright crude, also as with many un-optimised titles the PAL version suffers with awful borders, much like viewing the game through a post box.

Darius II ScreenshotHowever, the game is fast paced with intense shooting and most importantly the game is seriously addictive. You’ll find yourself coming back again and again for a quick blast on this and as such it has great merit as one of those titles you can throw in for a quick blast while the wife is getting ready to go out.

There are sadly a few other issues With Darius II, the most damning being that the game is far too short when compared to many other shooters on the Saturn. Although as previously stated it has that re-play value you won’t find yourself returning to it too quickly. Levels lack any real variation to keep you interested for long periods, ship power-ups are unexciting and barely necessary when the number of continues makes the game ridiculously easy to slog through.

Darius II ScreenshotThings don’t sound all that promising for Darius II, but if you enjoy your old skool style shooters then you should honestly try to pick it up, while it doesn’t hold ground with much of what the Saturn has on offer it’s a good old fashioned shooter that satisfy many fans of the genre.

To enjoy Darius II it must be accepted for what it is, a very dated old style 16bit era shooter, that was far from the best of it’s genre even in its day. If possible get hold of the JP version to get it full speed without borders.

Buy it, keep your expectations low and you’re almost sure to enjoy it.

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