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Old 02-16-2003, 07:20 PM   #80
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Weird fun

Darius Gaiden - Sega Saturn - Rating 9
Saturn owners don't have too much choice in the shooter genre (unless you import). Darius Gaiden by Taito is among the best shooters I've played --- fantastic visuals and effects, great bosses, multiple routes (28 stages total), and one freaky Zuntata soundtrack. Acclaim made a wise decision to bring this shooting masterpiece to US Saturn owners.
The first thing you'll probably notice is the soundtrack, which is great, strange stuff. It's got weird female vocals "Lost on eyes..." and even mixes the music with some opera. You'll either love it or hate it. I thought it was enjoyable and even a bit entertaining. What was really freaky was some of the boss songs, featuring the lyrics "eyes, eyes, eyes... HEAD HEAD HEAD...."
The graphics are some of the most impressive 2D visuals ever done on the Saturn (and there's even a few 3D touches here and there). Insane special effects, warping insanity all over the screen, insane bosses, etc. The stages are only about 2-4 minutes each and they consist of vast, scenic outer space, underwater/sea areas (this game's premise is that you're fighting robotic/mechanized fish and sea creatures), rocky plains and even stages that consist of backgrounds overlayed with psychadelic effects and swirling colors. Great stuff.
The enemies are perhaps the weakest part of the game: small, often weak enemies that really aren't impressive. However, where the game shines is its 2-5 minute boss fights which consist of huge fish creatures of every kind, massive horsefish and crabs, and other things. They shoot out lazers, beams, and every other shot imaginable in a shooter.
Controlling the Silver Hawk is simple: move, shoot and use bombs. There. That's it. You reveal power-ups by killing the appropriately colored enemies and by shooting at random areas in stages. There's bombs, extra lives, points, shield power-ups, and weapon power-ups. You can also make some enemies aid you in combat by shooting at a special orb on them and collecting it. The bombs are very cool - you create a void which sucks in every enemy/shot on-screen (except bosses, obviously), and then it closes up, creating a massive burst of electricity/lightning which hurts everything on-screen.
Be forewarned -- this game gets tough later on, particularly on a harder difficulty. But it's far from impossible. Here are some tricks that should help you out~
Extra Credits - At the main menu press X, A, L, R, Left, then hold L and press X, C, Z, A, Right, Right. You'll hear a sound which confirms the code.
Rapid Fire - at the main menu hold B and press Y, Right, Left, X, Z, L, R. You'll hear a sound which confirms the code.
Two New Difficulties - At the game start screen hold X and press Z, C, L, B, Left, R, L. You'll hear a sound which confirms the code. You can select Very Easy and Abnormal difficulty in the option screen.
I recommend this game and Galactic Attack for Saturn owners, both brought to the US by Acclaim. Better, if you've got a converter for import games, here's a great site to check up on some good games Click on the covers to look at screens from the games, including Darius Gaiden.

Here's a useful link for codes and cheats for all Sega Saturn games

I'll return

Last edited by Icarus4578; 03-13-2004 at 09:45 AM.
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