|Play old-school now!|
|Genre||Shoot em Up|
|Darius+ is the first conversion of the Darius series (initially released by Taito in 1987 for the arcades). The game was developed in 1989 for the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga and ZX Spectrum. It was only marketed in Europe and was heavily altered from the original (Darius) game. This is not to be confused with Darius Plus, a 1990 Darius port for the NEC PC Engine console!|
STORY / GAMEPLAY
Darius (the original title) was very successful on the arcades due to its three-screen wide display. Edge's software team took ages converting this Taito coin op and, just like the original version, there is no actual plot. The main goal is simple: lay into nasty bug-eyed alien hordes firing every weapon at your disposal. This game features a different weapon system than the other Darius titles. 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 through various power ups (much like the R-Type). After you successfully fly the pattern and destroy the enemies, a huge (aquatic life form) creature will appear. By destroying the creature you can select the next battle zone. At first glance one would assume the bosses are decent ports from Darius. Well, most of them play quite differently than other games as there is a system of armor parts you have to destroy before defeating a given boss. And the worst is that you have to spot where they are and they can only be damaged when its their turn to be shot! Well, although a good shooter, unfortunately the difficulty of Darius+ is too high to offer 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 the extra weapons acquired. And the bosses at the end of each level are impossible to kill when no stronger weaponry is available.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The game looks good on the Atari ST with more colors than its default 16 and up to 2 layers of parallax background scrolling. The game though runs slower compared to the Amiga version, suffers from framerate drops especially when too many sprites crowd the screen. Most of the levels have a "deep sea" atmosphere but with several Sci-Fi touches. The sprites move OK and are well designed, especially the end level bosses. In terms of sound, the ST conversion has a very well composed music score that unfortunately remains the same in every World, along with some typical shooting sound effects (not sampled).
GAMEPLAY SAMPLE VIDEO
On our video below you may watch both the Atari ST and Amiga OCS versions of the game.
|Arcades (original version)|
|CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus.|
MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB
GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images.
SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).
|9-bit RGB 512-color palette |
(16 on-screen and up to 512 in static image)
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