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G-Darius

by THQ
PlayStation
Kids to Adults
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)


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  • Over 13 levels with 5 different endings
  • Variety of weapons and power-ups
  • 28 bosses
  • 2 player co-op mode

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G-Darius + Gekioh Shooting King
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Product Details

  • ASIN: B00002STPN
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,028 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)

Product Description

Product Description

Jump into a ship and defend the planet from mechanical fish in G DARIUS. Blast through 15 branching levels of action and excitement as you capture enemy ships, and use their special skills to help you work your way through every level. If the action becomes too intense, have a friend help you out with the cooperative Two-Player mode. Only you can save the world from becoming a fishbowl in G DARIUS.

Review

The Darius series has never gained the respect it deserves in the US, and perhaps G Darius is the title that can turn that around. It's definitely one of the more bizarre shooter series. The premise behind Darius is simple - shoot the giant robotic fish. Yes, fish. As ludicrous as it sounds, the bounty of the sea is fighting back, and it's up to two Silver Hawk-brand fighter pilots to single-handedly save the universe from a slew of menacing crustaceans and cetaceans.

Despite the game's questionable tag line, "You will see the creation of new lives," G Darius offers little more than the purest and most satisfying side-scrolling destruction. In addition to the upgradable lasers, missiles, and shields, you have a unique weapon at your disposal - the capture ball. Instead of the screen-clearing bombs of most shooters, G Darius gives you a supply of hypnotic orbs with which to ensnare the mechanical marine life. With a few exceptions, most standard enemies can be captured. More impressive, however, is the ability to capture the game's midbosses after inflicting a certain amount of damage. Following a successful capture, you have a number of options.

Most enemies form up alongside the Silver Hawk, acting like the Options of the Gradius days, firing with you. Other enemies have no attacks, simply protecting the ship. After playing a number of times, you will quickly find your favorite enemy types for handling a given situation, adding (god forbid) an element of strategy to the bullet-dodging insanity. But wait, there's more! Tapping the capture ball button when accompanied by an enemy will detonate it, providing a temporary nuclear cloud to absorb projectiles and damage any enemies hapless enough to fly into it.

Finally, and most satisfying, is the ability to transform the enemy into a huge column of energy to slay your opponents en masse. This introduces the all-important concept of counterattacks. When fighting bosses, all of which are equipped with similar beams, firing a blast into another will result in a tap fest for superiority, the winner of which will absorb the other's energy and cause his beam to swell to twice its former size. Once mastered, filling half the screen with pulsing blue energy is entirely feasible, obviously resulting in a massive, graphically satisfying dose of damage.

All G Darius' bosses are grand in design, function, and size. Some span many screens, only letting you attack a portion of the beasts at a time. As with all Darius games, you choose your path through the game's 15 levels. In addition, each level has two subpaths. At the end of each subpath is a variation on the stage's boss, sporting a different color palette and a slightly altered array of attacks. As a result, you could say that G Darius has 30 unique bosses. With so many paths and bosses, nine difficulty levels, and a boss-only mode, G Darius offers more value than the typical shooter.

An old-school 2D shooter at heart, G Darius has been given a visual makeover in the vein of Square's Einhander. Each beautiful level is rendered in unique real-time 3D, each locale offering lots of background eye candy. A number of the game's projectiles opt for 2D sprites over 3D, resulting in a bizarre dimensional contrast. This doesn't hurt the game's visual appeal too much and is actually helpful, making the bullets easier to see and dodge. Musically, G Darius sports the tunes of famed Taito music team, Zuntata. Skillfully blending operatic choruses and power tools with a techno/new age flair, G Darius' tunes are anywhere from soothing to nerve-wracking, but always appropriate and catchy. G Darius' sound effects are just there and nothing more.

G Darius does have a few flaws, but most are overshadowed by the rest of the game. While the laser counterattacks were difficult to pull off in the Japanese arcade version, the PlayStation version sports a rapid-fire button that makes these a snap - a curse or a blessing, depending on how quickly you would like to beat the game. G Darius also features a Darius-trademarked variable frame rate - not exactly a feature; slowdown plagues parts of G Darius and is annoyingly absent in others. Finally, in a few areas, it can be difficult to tell obstacles from background art, usually resulting in an untimely death. Not that it makes them any less annoying when they happen, but these instances are rare.

It's good to see the shooter genre making a comeback. G Darius is a frenetic shooter with a surprising amount of depth, bound to please anyone who enjoyed Einhander and can get over the whole fish thing. THQ has once again outdone its former self and done stateside shooter fans a service by releasing G Darius completely intact, adding only its logo to the beginning of the game. --Peter Bartholow
--Copyright ©1999 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. GameSpot and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc. -- GameSpot Review


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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
With many PlayStation-owning shooter fans singing the praises of Einhander and R-Type Delta, this one has sort of been lost in the shuffle. That's a shame, because G Darius has lots to offer both hardcore and casual fans of the genre.
I fear that, since almost all of your foes in this game are robot aquatic creatures (sharks, crabs, sea horses, etc.), some people may dismiss it as "silly". In fact there is nothing silly or stupid about it. It's a fast-paced side-scroller with intensity to spare, and it boasts some of the most hectic bullet-dodging mayhem you'll ever encounter.
Your spacecraft has two weapons which are fired simultaneously: the standard, straightforward gun (horizontal) and grenades (vertical), both of which can be upgraded by snatching orbs from defeated enemies. What makes the game unique is the capture ball, a weapon you can launch at your foes to turn them into your sidekicks. They'll follow you loyally and attack whenever you fire, like the "options" in the Gradius series. There are quite a few different enemies you can do this to, and all of them have unique offensive capabilities. Some fire a very basic shot; some fire a "spread" shot; some hurl themselves at the opposition, causing damage by brazenly crashing into them at high speeds.
Speaking of speed, G Darius rips along at a pretty brisk pace, although the stages themselves are of satisfactory length. Minor slowdown sometimes occurs when you're doing battle with a boss and it launches about 100 bullets in your direction at once. In those rare cases, the slowdown is actually a blessing in disguise, because it affects everything on the screen, not just you.
Yes indeed, the screen can get mighty cluttered at times, but never to a hopelessly overwhelming degree.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good shooter for the Playstation November 6, 2000
G. Darius is a side scrolling 1 or 2 player shooter in the tradition of Gradius and R-Type. It uses polygons to form the characters and backrounds, and features an innovative new power up system that allows you to capture your enemies and use them as helpers. The great thing about the capture feature is that you can capture almost any enemy...even mini-bosses! G. Darius is of decent length and also has multiple paths so you don't have to play through the same levels each time, adding variety and replay value. There are a few factors which hinder it from perfection, though...like the drab colors in some areas, flat textures on some enemies, and occasional slowdown. Other than that, I believe G. Darius is a worthy addition to any shooting game fan's library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good game for money. January 26, 2001
By A Customer
This is a good game for the money when you compare it to Gradius III & IV for the PS2. I like this game because you can sit down and play very quickly. It doesn't take long to learn what to do or to get started. You can take different paths through the game to mix things up and there is a vs. Boss option that allows you to just fight the bosses. It is a pretty simple side shooter, but it keeps me coming back because it's fun to play.
Instead of buying Gradius III & IV for PS2 (if you have one), you could buy this and another game for the same money. G Darius is much better than Gradius III & IV even though it was created for the PS1.
P.S. if you can't find it - try Funcoland
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