By: Jeff Cater
Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours is the latest bullet-hell shooter to grace the PlayStation 4. Developed by Taito and published by Degica, Dariusburst CS is the home console version of the arcade hit Another Chronicle. Is there enough stuff to blow up to justify the major bank this game will cost you? Let’s find out.
This series has been around for more than 25 years now and rarely, if ever, has it deviated from the standard left-to-right fight against waves and waves of synchronized enemies. That being said, most of the time you will just be holding Square down while weaving in and out of clouds of enemies with the left stick. Hitting X will activate your super laser, allowing you to get a bit of breathing room from a particularly difficult grouping. Altogether, the controls are responsive and uncomplicated — as it has always been.
As can be expected, the game packs endless amounts of enemies into each level with hordes of bullets and laser streaks filling what seems to be all the negative space. It’s vivid, moves at a brisk pace and features great special effects and lighting.
Even with four players shooting away, slowdown isn’t noticeable at all. The levels themselves, while whipping by you often at a blurring speed, will showcase many neat effects off in the background, adding a lot of meat to the feel of the game.
The soundtrack is… well, aside from the first song that you hear, is pretty awesome. That first song has some off-key lady screeching about “Victory!” and makes the initial level quite humorous, but the tunes shape up almost immediately after the first encounter.
Dariusburst CS offers no explanation to what each mode really consists of and what you will be facing, but here’s what I could figure out: AC Mode, the initially highlighted mode, simulates an arcade full of copies of Dariusburst CS playing the arcade mode.
In AC, there is Original (selectable difficulty), Chronicle Mode (selectable levels) or EX Mode (hard AF). Also, AC mode stretches the screen out horizontally and pushes in some black bars from the top and bottom of your screen, which takes a little bit getting used to.
In CS mode, you’ll find a much more home-friendly experience. While you can’t select your level or difficulty, the levels ascend in challenge much more naturally than they do in AC mode.
When it really comes down to it, Dariusburst CS is just a game about what the series has always been about: avoiding a hail of bullets until you get to fight a giant robotic sea creature. And that’s always badass. Now serving up to four players locally!!!
While the price point of this game is very steep, one would do well to pick this up on a sale if possible. It’s a great game and all, just a bit bare to be considered a great value at full retail price ($59.99). If you have been itching to pull the trigger on a bullet-hell title, wait for Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours to drop a little bit, because it’s absolutely fantastic.