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Game info
Amiga

Darius+

Darius+
GenreShoot em Up
Developer / PublisherSoftek / The Edge
Released1989
Media1 x disk
Rating
Graphics:7.5
Sound:7.5
Gameplay:7.0
Overall:7.0
Reviewed byndial
Darius+ was the first port of Darius series games (initially released by Taito in 1987 for he arcades), and developed in 1989 for the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga and ZX Spectrum. It was only released in Europe and is heavily altered from the original (Darius) game. This is not to be confused with Darius Plus is a 1990 port of Darius for the PC Engine console!
 
Review
Darius+Darius (the initial title) was successful in the arcades due to the three-screen display. The Edge software team have taken ages converting this Taito coin-op, and just like the arcade counterpart there is no plot. It is simple: lay into nasty bug-eyed alien hordes with every weapon at your disposal. This game features a different weapons system than in the other Dariuses. There is a pellet shot which with an upgrade turns to a strong two shot, then next a spread three shot and the large laser. Darius+ is so hard you can never get weapons to match the enemy's! Unlike the other ports this one has been completely redone and it looks a bit more like an R-Type game than anything else. During flight, while destroying certain enemy objects, you can increase the armament of your fighter ship by catching various power ups much like the R-Type series. After you successfully fly the pattern and destroy the enemies, a huge (classic aquatic life-forms) creature will appear. By destroying the creature you can select the next battle zone. At first glance one would assume the bosses were decent ports from Darius. Well most of them play quite different from other games as there is a system of parts you have to blow off before defeating a given boss. Worse of all, you have to learn where they are and they can only be damaged when its they turn to be shot only.

Well, although a good shooter, unfortunately the difficulty of Darius+ is too hard to have more fun or motivation to play more than a few minutes. The ship is so slow moving it's almost impossible to get out of the way in time. And when destroyed, you lose all your extra weapons acquired. And the bosses at the end of each level are impossible to destroy when no advanced weaponry is used. So easily a dead meat. Just play this game the aid of a trainer if possible.

Graphically the game is good here. The Amiga version sports up to 32 colored screens and up to 4 layers of parallax scrolling. The game runs way smoother when compared to the Atari ST version, and handles pretty well the high number of sprites on screen due to the Blitter chip. Much like the Atari ST version, most of the levels have this fishy, sea-bottom atmosphere but with several sci-fi touches. Sprites moves fine, not the best frame-rate we've seen in an Amiga shoot-em-up though, but at least everything is well designed especially the end-level bosses.
In terms of sound, there is a nice music score (a very well composed one, which unfortunately is the same in every World) along with some nice shooting and exploding sampled SFX.
 
Screenshots
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Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
 
Comparable platforms



26 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS



26 colors
Atari ST
 
 
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
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The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
 
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