Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ - PS4 Review

Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+
by developer and publisher Taito CorporationSony PlayStation 4 review written by Nick with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

While the Dariusburst titles have never been among the best-known shoot-‘em-up games out there, the series has been a consistently excellent one throughout the years. Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ continues that trend and fans of the genre should absolutely take the time to check this release out.

For those unfamiliar with this title, it is actually a port of an arcade game just over a decade old. The genre hasn’t seen a ton of innovation during that time, but you can still make sure that the gameplay is balanced and exciting, and Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ delivers on that front.

The first thing that stands out when you play this game is the super widescreen presentation. You have some cropping at the top and bottom, giving this title a very unique perspective. But given the vibrancy of the colors and fluidity of the animations, these elements all come together to create an appealing visual style. The sound effects are standard shmup stuff – gunfire, explosions and so on. Nothing all that memorable, but the soundtrack pulses and thumps with a life of its own that compliments the constant pressure of gameplay.

As for the core gameplay, you have a core horizontal shot that can be charged up to deal a bigger, stronger shot and the ability to tweak the mechanics with angle adjustments and additional power-ups as you battle waves of enemies while navigating the environments. The F-Burst is probably the most interesting mechanic, as it allows you to set up a secondary turret that will fire along with you. You can use this to double up your firepower or deal with enemies in one spot while your ship directly handles them in another. It’s a fun, strategic little element. Boss fights are large, challenging and visually impressive. Stage design is often clever, frequently giving you a couple of different options or so to navigate through the environments, especially in some of the later, more complicated stages.

Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ is not often a long game. You have infinite lives and you can complete a basic session if you have the patience, but there is plenty of replay value to be had here as well. Original Mode gives you a trio of different paths with branching stages that can increase the difficulty and keeping the flow of the game fresh by letting you mix up your preferred path. Original EX is basically the same thing, but with more variety, shuffled up bosses and basically a higher degree of difficulty. There is an Event Mode which feels like a remixed version of the above modes and a couple of limited time events / stages. These are all solid and provide a reason to come back and play things again, but hands-down my favorite of the options is Chronical Mode. It sees you zipping around the universe on a bunch of remixed missions and boss rushes that provides the most content overall.

So that is a lot of content mentioned above – it’s just not necessarily a ton of variety. There is, after a half dozen or so hours, a sort of ‘sameyness’ to the gameplay once you’ve fought the various bosses and flown the different stages, even if the order they get thrown at you gets shuffled up. Also, the bosses can be something of a mixed bag in how they are handled. I mentioned the things I liked about them – variety and visuals – but they can feel like massive damage sponges. Oftentimes your shots just sort of strike the surface and don’t give you any real feedback as to whether or not you’re hitting them in the right spot (unlike many shmups where the boss gives off a distinctive sound, flashes, etc to indicate that you’re hitting them where it hurts). It’s a minor quibble, but with runs generally not lasting for every long (the focus is on many runs, not long runs), and an uneven amount of that time feels like it’s spent just plinking away at the bosses.


Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ looks and sounds pretty great, with lots of content – even if perhaps the variety of that content could have been better. It is still an enjoyable overall shoot-‘em-up that series and genre fans will want to give a go. This may be a port of a game from over a decade ago, but it agreed rather well.

Score: 7 / 10



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