Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade PlayStation 4 review: quintessential fish shooting

So, a few days ago, we reviewed the Home compilation of Darius Cozmic Collection. And while it has excellent emulation and a few cool features (not to mention the sheer joy of shooting evil metallic fish), it does come up short with its heavy price tag and lack of variety.

Now, we come across the Arcade version of Darius Cozmic Collection, offering seven different versions of three different games, all favorites from the saga – including the timeless Darius Gaiden. And it’s got a few more options to choose from, along with, whew, a slightly lower price tag. But is it worth dipping into for just under $50? Well, that depends on your fandom. But if you love all things Darius, it’s worth a look.

What’s In the Package?

Here’s the full list of games that you can check out in the Arcade compilation:

  • Darius (Arcade, original version)
  • Darius (Arcade, new version)
  • Darius (Arcade, extra version)
  • Darius II (Arcade, Dual Screen version)
  • SAGAIA (Arcade, ver.1)
  • SAGAIA (Arcade, ver.2)
  • Darius Gaiden (Arcade)

Once again, it’s three games total, with Sagaia acting as a modified version of Darius II. But fans may notice the subtle little changes between the games, and feel the urge to take them on just to see what they have to offer. On top of that, they can play around with options, trying their luck with a Training Mode or going all out for a top-scoring run in an effort to save the universe.

Wait, what kind of fish is this? Screw it, shoot it.

I will admit, the team at M2 – which handles many of Sega’s retro titles among others – did a commendable job bringing these arcade hits to the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Darius Gaiden in particular is dreamy, looking just like its arcade counterpart. We do wish that G-Darius came along for the ride as well, but Taito has already confirmed that for the next collection.

And though Darius and Darius II are on the wide side – they originally debuted in arcades with a dual monitor system – they look perfect. What’s more, they hunker back to the origins of the series, so you can see where it all began.

M2 also loaded the screen with various pieces of information, along with some slick looking wallpaper. So it’s handled pretty well, despite the fact that you have to get close to the TV to see what’s going on with a couple of these games.

It’s Fun To Shoot Robo-Fish

In spite of the small arrangement of titles – couldn’t Arcade and Console just been released together as a $60 bundle? – M2 and Taito bring the heat when it comes to gameplay. All of the Darius games are a lot of fun to play, especially as you collect power-ups or drop those sweet looking bombs on unsuspecting bosses in Darius Gaiden. What’s more, a friend can come along for the ride in two player, doubling the firepower.

Wait, did you say something?

There are more options included here than in the home collection, and this is more of an obvious choice given the smaller price tag of $44.99. But I can’t help but think that Taito could’ve done the aforementioned thing, or at least made them $19.99 apiece. This might be a little hard for people to swallow, though the die-hard players are on board.

A Great Collection Regardless of Price

Taito once again jacked up the price of a Darius collection through the roof, and that’s likely to turn a lot of people off. But those who don’t mind will find a lot to appreciate in this Arcade collection, especially if you want to see where the whole thing began. Plus, considering Darius Gaiden goes for a pretty penny on Sega Saturn anyway, you can get a perfect version here for a fraction of the price.

It just depends on how badly you want to shoot robo-fish. But we know some of you have that fetish, so dig in.

RATING: 8/10

A better-suited collection than the Home version, Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade will suit shmup fans.

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