(SNES / Super Nintendo)

Darius Twin (SNES / Super Nintendo)

Game Review

Darius Twin Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Double the monotony

The Darius series has long taken a backseat to some of the more prominent shoot 'em up series, despite featuring some absolutely amazing releases on the various 32-bit game consoles. Darius Twin still features much of the aquatic-themed shooter action of its brethren, but for some reason the game comes off feeling very stripped-down and lacks much of the intensity other releases in the series have featured. Perhaps this was done in an effort to keep the game running smoothly on the Super Nintendo's rather slow processor or in order to allow the two-player cooperative play. Either way it ultimately ends up bringing the entire experience down with it.

The layout of Darius Twin doesn't stray too far from the norm of shooters of the time period. You'll navigate your way through a steady flow of enemies and their firepower until you reach the boss at the end of each level. There are a few mini-bosses to tangle with, but they don't stretch too far from the regular enemies other than being larger in size and requiring a few more bullets to take down. As in other Darius releases, you'll find that you can take different paths at the end of some levels that branch off in various directions, allowing you to choose your own unique path to the final level of the game.

Your ship features two different types of cannon fire. Your straight shot fires directly in front of your ship and will provide the majority of your assault power. You also have a secondary weapon that will initially drop bombs but can be powered up much like your primary weapon to become a very effective weapon that will fire in all four diagonal directions. You'll find this quite handy for times when enemies are flying all around you.

The biggest problem in Darius Twin lies in the way your ship can be powered up to make it actually too effective. This means that you'll be firing in some many directions at once that you can virtually destroy any incoming enemies even if you're standing still. To add insult to injury, you won't lose your firepower when your ship is destroyed which can make blowing through the game far too easy. You'll find that even with your limited supply of ships, it's still quite simple to beat the game. There are even many times when you can find a safe spot on the screen and ride out the entire level completely out of harm's way. It's this lack of challenge that proves to be one of the biggest detriments.

One interesting feature of Darius Twin comes in its two-player cooperative mode of play. This allows two players to tackle the game together. While this is certainly a welcome mode for players who enjoy this type of atmosphere, it does tend to make an already easier game even less challenging. Of course it does add a bit of competitive fire to the experience for those who treat it as such.

There were some impressive visual presentations in various shooters during the 16-bit era, but sadly most of the backdrops in Darius Twin are fairly devoid of detail or any type of visual flash. Occasionally you'll see some nice touches here and there, but most of the time you'll be staring at black space with only a host of tiny stars to spice things up around you. Although the individual enemies are fairly typical in design, the large aquatic bosses do liven things up a bit once you reach the end of each level, so all is not completely lost.

The soundtrack in Darius Twin is a difficult one to pin down. On one hand there are some very catchy melodies to be heard, but sadly the synthesized instruments used to play them tend to be very grating and many times come off sounding rather flat. They're complimented by the usual batch of explosions and sirens wailing as the bosses approach, but don't expect much beyond that. After experiencing such musical masterpieces as R-Type and Lords of Thunder, it's a bit difficult to stomach something this lacklustre.


The Darius series has always been a bit streaky in terms of playability and difficulty, so it comes as no real surprise to see Darius Twin leaning heavily to the side of bland gameplay and fairly low difficulty. If you're a fan of the series and just can't pass up a Darius release, you should find at least enough to provide you with a couple of hours of shooting action, but for everyone else, there are just far too many outstanding shooters available on the Virtual Console service to recommend this rather insipid offering.

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User Comments (25)



WiiLovePeace said:

I watched a bit of it on youtube & both the music & gameplay looked awesome so I'll get it if it comes my way



blackknight77 said:

This is a fair review score. Darius Twin is fun but not a perfect experience. Why is Stage 2 labeled as a planet yet the background is only stars and space with no planet in sight? Anyway I think this is better than Dead Moon but not as good as Bio Hazard Battle and Axelay. Still worth a look though.



Corbs said:

If you want to experience the Darius series, try Darius Gaiden, G-Darius or Darius Burst. I love all three of them. This one, not so much.



Link79 said:

I still found some worth in this game. It's nice to have an easy going shooter for once. Losing your weapons after one hit always sorta annoyed me in these type of games. This one lets you keep them so that's a plus I think. When you're forced to use a tiny useless weapon until you get another power up it just adds to the frustration. At least this game won't piss me off like alot of them do.



FonistofCruxis said:

I'm undecided after reading this review because this review made it sound below average but other people have made it sound like a fun game. I hope some of the better Darius games come to vc.



Link79 said:

I'd say it's worth a purchase if you don't like your shooters to be bullet hell balls to the wall difficult. That's me. If I'll never have the patience to finish it I tend to not care much for it.



SolarJetman said:

I totally disagree with this review. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the game has various difficulty settings, and in the harder modes, you don't retain all of your power-ups. Thus, the game doesn't have to be a cakewalk, especially if you don't use the 50-man code. Besides, the branching paths mean multiple playthroughs are in order.

Not to mention, this is one of the few shmups on SNES with 2-player co-op (Firepower 2000 is the only other one I can think of).

And don't forget, this was a SNES launch game, in North America anyway. I'd give Darius Twin a 7 or an 8.

That said, it's too bad the SNES was never able to host a 2-player co-op shmup that rivalled the experience of Life Force on the SNES.



Link79 said:

@ SolorJetman
You make some good points. I agree that the game is much better than what this review would lead people to believe. Sure it was kinda basic for a shooter but come on it was an early Snes game. Life Force was awesome! It's probably my all time favorite Shmup. It was pretty slim in content but the environments, cool looking bosses and music made up for it.



Corbs said:

Okay first off, there is no hard mode. You begin the game on "Normal" and can go into the options and choose "Easy" for an even easier experience (if that's even possible). Also, I'm not reviewing this as a 1991 Super Nintendo launch title, I'm reviewing it as a Virtual Console release almost 20 years later. I love the Darius series, but this game is just far too easy and broken at times for me to rate it above a 5.



Link79 said:

Fair enough. I can see how today it would be a bit dated and broken.
I noticed the review for Super E.D.F. was a 6/10 and I'm just wondering what is it about that game that bumped up the score to a 6 instead of 5?
Both are pretty basic for shooters.



Corbs said:

I can tell you that what brought this one down another point or two ended up being the ability to get into "safe spots" in most levels and boss fights and pretty much be able to beat them without any need to move at all or any risk of taking hits. I didn't like that at all. I don't remember being able to do that in Super E.D.F.



Link79 said:

Yeah I know what you mean. There's an area I know of in Darius twin where no shots will hit you. It's in the very first level towards the top of the screen. I even know of a few spots like that in Gradius 3 during Boss fights.
If you know exactly where to stay nothing will touch you. Does make it kinda boring. It's neat if you want to be a show off though.



Corbs said:

I'll say this, I liked this game a lot more back when I bought it shortly after I got my Super Nintendo console. Perhaps it was a little bit of disappointment that it didn't fare as well with me all these years later. I even went back and popped in Darius Gaiden into my Saturn last night after I wrote the review and it kind of re-affirmed how average Darius Twin felt. But as I said, if you like the Darius games, this one might still be worth checking out.



Corbs said:

Sagaia (Darius II) was ported to the Sega Genesis and it's pretty good. I'm not sure why they chose to rename the games at that point, but if you can deal with the zoomed in look, it's not too shabby.



Sean_Aaron said:

Shame about this. Quality ports of the first two arcade games are available for the PC Engine Virtual Console in Japan: rock hard, but quite faithful to the arcade (outside of being zoomed in). They would make good Hanabi Festival fodder methinks.



Corbs said:

I agree Sean. I'm a little surprised they haven't released a faithful port to one of the HD consoles with widescreen support. I wouldn't mind the letterbox if I could play the real deal.



cheetahman91 said:

The tagline pretty much summed the review up. Hopefully Taito'll support the VC Arcade eventually and give us Darius Gaiden. I'd buy that one in a heartbeat.



xesbeth said:

Yep. Not the best Darius game but still more enjoyable than Darius Force. Now I hope that the Chronicle one will make a jump to the HD consoles....



Kafei2006 said:

Darius Gaiden alone, without the redbook audio CD tracks, weighs more than 40MB, so even considering that they would compress the audio like they do for PC-Engine CD games, this would go over the size limit Nintendo put in place.

Considering also that it's a 3D game, the emulation will prove very complicated, so I don't think, given the very few players who would download it, that Taito would go through all the trouble of fitting everything within the 40MB, and optimizing the emulation to the point that the console would be able to handle all the 3D AND real time decompression of the data track of the CD. The income the game would generate wouldn't balance the cost of getting it to work with the Wii limitations.



NeoShinobi said:

I love Tiato's arcade games, and I love a good shoot 'em up where I can actually get more than a few stages in without quiting in frustration.

But I think I'll pass on this one, for now at least.

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