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Arcade Archives Darius
  opened by paleface at 19:45:59 09/13/22  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS4; cat=Shooter_Horiz; reg=JPN]

Going through menus and options before settling down for some Hi Score Mode (Extra) play in the Japan-only Arcade Archives Darius on PS4!
Man I love the triple-wide screen, this game is so gorgeous. The music is pretty amazing too, it's so fun to get to a new zone and dig into the new stage graphics and music track. (And there's more boss variety than I'd thought, too--but oh uh I didn't get to the mean mean mean Zone C boss until after this.)
Not too bad in terms of flashing VFX, either--medium-sized enemies flash a bit when shot, but they're still relatively tiny in the super-wide screen--and bosses don't flash, unlike later Darius games and most shmups in general.
Later I found that the safe way to navigate the zone transition passages out of zone A is just to hang back toward the left side of the screen, then your ship will autopilot cleanly to the next stage, without hitting the tunnel walls. ; )
Oh on pronunciation a Japanese pronunciation would be more like da-ri-us I suppose, but oh well it isn't a Japanese word or name or what have you and besides I'm American so I guess I'll just keep drawling it out the lazy American dare-ee-us way. ; D
  paleface 21:42:29 09/13/22

Measured (crudely) just 1 frame of input lag for Darius ("Extra" revision) in both M2's Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade and Hamster's Arcade Archives Darius on PS4.
This comparison gave me newfound respect for Hamster's technical chops; the last time I compared a conversion of theirs with one of M2's--it was their PS4 ACA NEOGEO The King of Fighters '96 vs M2's PS3 NEOGEOSTATION The King of Fighters '96--M2 had them beat by two frames:
I wasn't even sure prior to this that a PS4 could respond in just 1 frame. = ooo I did count 2 frames for both versions some of the time, but mostly 1.
  paleface 22:42:40 09/13/22

Comparison of music reproduction in the first 20 second of Taito's arcade shooter Darius ("Extra" revision), as presented on the PS4 by M2's recent Darius Cosmic Collection Arcade, and Hamster Corporations' Japan-only (on PS4) Arcade Archives Darius. I also go over a few other distinguishing features of both versions.
They both have their nice points; I'm going to be sticking with Arcade Archives Darius, because man that music is GOOD; with a halfway-decent pair of headphones, it really hits you--whereas in M2's rendition, it's just kind of, you know, fine.
I do like the sharpness of the "Pixel Perfect" screen scaling option in Cozmic, even if it makes the screen a bit smaller. Kind of weird you can't get a black background in that version, though. The pause screen map of the routes with their boss pixel art is pretty keen. And how their whole collection--with three other Darius games in it--takes up less than half the drive space (@ 30:00 - 218 MB) of Hamster's!
(I wonder if Hamster is using that space for high quality sounds. Of the arcade version, Wikipedia notes that "The game's upbeat soundtrack was composed by Hisayoshi Ogura, the founder of Taito's 'house band' Zuntata. Ogura wanted the music to convey a sense of a deep, expanded universe, and to make it stand out among other shoot'em up games at the time. Much of the music was composed via a combination of FM synthesis and sampling, while some was made by the Yokosuka Symphony orchestra group.")
I don't like how you can't have a black background in Cozmic; other than the default blurry box art, the only option is 19:05 that weird gray gradient
I like Archives' low-key presentation, and the during-play display of scores you're chasing in Hi Score Mode.
My previous video crudely compared the control response of the two versions: an astounding mere one frame of input delay for both!
Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade--which comes with the three other 2D Darius arcade games, too--is on sale on the PS Store for $17.99 until the 21st.
About the Darius power-ups other than the red/green/blue ones:
According to :
- Silver: score bonus
- Gold: smart bomb
- 1-Up: extra life ("A miniature Silver Hawk [ship] in a transparent orb")
  paleface 23:09:44 09/13/22
This game has way more sound options than most games in the Arcade Archives series: here you can set up reverb with various schemes, change "subwoofer" settings of some kind (this is Google translate via my phone : P), and even toggle on, I think, some sort of sound display in attract mode or something, which I didn't try.
Hm I wonder if maybe Hamster used re-engineered samples of the Yokosuka Symphony stuff and some sort of copyright issue there kept them from bringing that version to the States; it IS here on Switch, wonder what the music is like in that version. Probably the same--this speculation is getting a bit far out. ; )
  paleface 18:45:52 09/17/22
Hm screen might've been a few pixels short of full width; forgot Arcade Archive's default screen scale is just slightly less than full screen.
As you start Arcade Archives Darius, a screen of Japanese text tells you not to pirate software.
  paleface 00:10:54 10/16/22
Japanese version was updated on 10/6 with an English translation of the menus, coinciding with the Nintendo Switch release in Japan and the west.
US PS4 version came out today.
  paleface 00:15:28 10/16/22
The PSN US store description says that besides the "original" version, it also has the "Extra" version; it doesn't mention the "New" ROM revision that came out between "Original" and "Extra," which the Japanese version has. Not sure if the US one does; I would think so, but dunno.
· Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade (PS4)
· Darius Gaiden (PS1)
· G Darius (PS1)
· Super Darius (PCCD)
· Super Darius II (PCCD)

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