SNES A Day 23: Darius Twin

darius_twin_pal_box_art

Approximate Release Date: November 30, 1991
Genre: Side-scrolling shooter
Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito

Unless you have a pal to play with, skip Darius Twin.

By no means a bad game, Darius Twin is just standard. Unextraordinary. Outside of multiplayer, the main differentiator is the fact the enemies are robot fish. That’s it! Even the title screen is barebones!

Darius Twin is a side-scrolling where you fly through each level and destroy waves of enemies on the way to the boss. Along the way, you’ll collect power-ups that gives your ship better ways of destroying enemies. This is an aspect that I’m mixed on.

You’ll get the same powerups in the same order, and most of the time the weapon ends up having a wider spread rather than noticably more damage. This is good, because most of the enemies tend to be smaller than in other shooters. But you don’t lose your upgraded weapons when you die.

Why is that bad? That seems surprisingly friendly for this type of game!

Because the weapons have such a large spread, you’ll end up destroying most enemies very quickly. But since you’re almost guaranteed to have these powered-up weapons, the game has to come up with a way to challenge the player (or two players!). So enemies attack from behind, below, and above a lot. So most of your deaths will probably be from enemies you didn’t see in time ramming into you. It’s frustrating.

Overall, you might think I’m being reductive with this game, but I’m not. Darius Twin lacks a hook to make single player worth it. It doesn’t have Gradius III‘s novel upgrade system, Hyper Zone‘s Mode 7 perspective, Super R-Type‘s pod system, or U.N. Squadron‘s RPG elements. Have a friend? Go nuts. Otherwise, skip.

Tomorrow: Golf in a place you can’t pronounce in True Golf Classics: Waialae Country Club!

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