While the Japanese release of this new Switch collection featuring classic Darius games contained both the arcade and console releases, in the West we have the Console and Arcade collections as separate games.
The console collection, reviewed elsewhere on this site, was impressive but it’s the Arcade collection that excels at providing the most interesting games, many of which have never been played by those picking up this collection
Seven games make up the compilation, though many of them are different versions of the same game. Darius, though, is important enough in gaming history to warrant such flamboyance. A product of the popular shoot-em-up genre in the late 80s and through the 90s, the first game hit arcades with three huge screens and a sound system that helped it stand out from the crowd (and take up a lot of floor space). The sequels kept piling on the enhancements until we hit Darius Gaiden in 1994. Sadly, the impressive 3D G-Darius is not included here.
Like the Console collection, the ports have been lovingly coded and look wonderful, despite the original game being squashed down from 3 screens to one. M2 have provided several different solutions including squashing up the screen or stretching all three screens into one long one (which only really works on a TV unless you have incredibly good eyesight).
It’s quite easy to see the progression of these games and. in particular, the semi-3D artwork of the incredible Darius Gaiden. If you have any interest in the genre then this slice of history will not fail to impress.
That said, it’s missing any attempt to inject any history into the set. There’s no artwork, no arcade cabinets and no interesting historical archive material save for a small piece of text on each game in the bottom right corner which feels more like an afterthought. Still, this is the only way to own and play some of these games, so I’ll take what I can get here.