The original pioneer of the horizontal shoot ’em up genre is back with a bang, as Darius Cozmic Collection hits consoles.

Developed by the legendary TAITO Corporation, the original Darius game wowed arcade gamers in the 1980s. Its dedicated dual-display cabinet, imaginative enemy designs and revolutionary sound design changed the face of video gaming as we know it.

In the 34 odd years since, there have been numerous sequels and ports.

Unforgettable, aquatic-lifeform-themed boss designs were a signature of the Darius games, as were branching paths at the end of each section.

Now the Darius Cozmic Collection has launched on Nintendo Switch and PS4 bringing all its iconic 2D history into the modern generation of consoles.

But how does it hold up nearly four decades on from the first game?

A throwback to arcade gaming

‘Shoot ’em up’ is hardly heard in modern gaming, replaced by consumer demand for ‘first person shooters’.

But anyone who knows anything about gaming recognises the Darius series as a classic. This side scrolling blaster offers the three games from the series with additional updated versions.

Played on the Switch in handheld mode, it works beautifully and seems made for Nintendo’s clever little device. It suits the screen and controls well.

 

Harking back to the days when most games were designed for the arcade, this collection is no different. You will find yourself constantly topping up the coins to be able to continue as the levels and bosses get harder.

Even with the many power-ups on offer, you will struggle to get through this in one go. For most of it, you will be holding down the auto fire button whilst trying to dodge the hundreds of bullets and rockets being fired at you.

A perfect reincarnation

This is a great pick-up-and-play if you want to kill a bit of time and the addictiveness soon kicks in. But it’s not going to keep you occupied for hours.

It is, though, the perfect reincarnation of the original series and provides a wonderful trip down memory lane, especially if you are anything like me and were addicted to R-Type.

The graphics and sound are on point and are true to the originals and that bygone era.

A great addition to any Switch collection with superb pick-up-and-play value.

Rating: 7/10

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