Darius Cozmic Collection review for Nintendo Switch, PS4

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: PS4
Publisher: ININ Games / Taito
Developer: M2
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: Leaderboards
ESRB: E10+

Darius Cozmic Collection launched last week for the Nintendo Switch and PS4, bringing together just about every game in the classic shoot ?em franchise from Taito, spread out between an Arcade collection and Console collection. Developed by M2, Darius Cozmic Collection is about as flawless as we?ve come to expect from the emulation gurus at M2, and if you?re any sort of shmup fan, you?ll likely want to check this collection of titles out. The only thing that might give you pause is the hefty asking price for the combined releases, but I think the overall quality of the collections is ultimately worth it. 

Let?s break down what you get in each collection. For Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade you?ll get the original arcade release of Darius in all it?s three horizontal screen glory. You?ll also have access to the later released variants that made adjustments to difficulty scaling in a few different ways, dubbed here as Darius (New Version) and Darius (Extra Version). After that, you have the arcade release of Darius II in its dual-screen incarnation, and then two versions of SAGAIA, which is Darius II again but with some significant difficulty changes. Finally, the arcade collection is rounded out with 1994?s Darius Gaiden.

For Darius Cozmic Collection Console, you get a slightly larger assortment of releases spread out across the 8-bit and 16-bit era games starting with Darius II for Mega Drive and SAGAIA for Sega Genesis. There?s also SAGAIA for Sega Master System, and then Darius Twin (my personal first Darius experience) on Super Famicom and Super NES. On the backend of this list, you?ll also have the console exclusive Darius Force from the Super Famicom, the localized version for Super NES called Super Nova, and finally Darius Alpha and Darius Plus for the PC Engine. 

Both collections feature a few bells and whistles, including background history/info in each game in the collection, detailing changes between various versions of duplicate titles. There?s also plenty of screen scaling options, the ability to add in some of the arcade cabinet artwork/controls/player info to the borders surrounding the game, and online leaderboards with replays to download and upload. For the arcade collection, you can start each game in ?training mode? which won?t retain score info but will allow you to select your starting zone and adjust the power levels for each of your ship upgrades. 

I played through both collections on the Nintendo Switch and had zero issues to speak of regarding the emulation deployed by M2 here. Playing when docked, in handheld, or even on a Switch Lite, the overall experience was really great. These collections also support local two-player modes for the applicable games in the collection, which again worked just fine for me. The only small issue is that small screen size can be a factor in handheld mode when playing on the triple and dual-screen arcade releases in pixel-perfect mode. Outside of that, this is an absolutely amazing collection of classic shoot ?em ups that I feel is ultimately worth the higher price tag. I think you?ll agree that the overall quality of this collection is worth it.  

Note: ININ Games provided us with a Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade and Darius Cozmic Collection Console codes for review purposes.

Grade: A