G-Darius: An Attempt from January 2017
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Kugee
Kugee
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A bit of an unusual upload (even though I am somewhat known for them), but I think a Vlare upload of the best STG ever made is highly warranted. Unfortunately, I haven't regularly played G-Darius in recent times due to how focused I've been on old PC hardware and videos about them, along with the fact that I no longer had the arcade stick I borrowed.

First released to arcades in 1997, G-Darius is a prequel to the original Darius and was the last installment of the series until Dariusburst came around 12 years later. You may notice right off the bat that the enemies are heavily modeled after aquatic creatures, which, along with the masterful soundtrack composed by Zuntata's Hisayoshi Ogura, gives Darius its identity among other arcade STGs.

Apart from being a very chunky early polygonic 3D STG, G-Darius has a great number of things that stand out in the Darius series: the classic zone branching system is expanded upon with areas the player selects mid-stage by moving to one half of the screen, the Silver Hawk ship the player pilots is capable of capturing most enemies and using them for additional firepower and barricading, and such captured enemies can be used to fire alpha beams, which can be used to counter beta beams fired by bosses. Tapping the fire button rapidly while countering a beam (or just holding autofire) is important as it allows your beam to grow to a potentially enormous size and will increase the duration of which it lasts. The beam counter mechanic is heavily derived from that of Metal Black, which was intended to be Darius III before turning into its own thing.

Like many STGs, G-Darius is very underrated in the West, often being brushed off as "another space shooter". You should try an installment of Darius at some point; you could pick up a Genesis/Mega Drive Mini right now, as it contains a brank spankin' new port of Darius developed by Hidecade and M2, originally as a fan project! Having been released on this miniature console, Darius is the first official Genesis release since Frogger in 1998. Isn't that something?
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