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More shooting bursts from Darius

Side-scrolling shoot ’em-up games typically have small aircrafts blasting their way through a hail of bullets and an onslaught of enemies. The Darius series has the rain of incoming fire, sure, but it also has an interesting twist on the sci-fi theme: robotic fish foes.

The first entry was a 2D shooter released in 1987 that let players control a starship to battle robotic sea-fowl dead set on destroying the planet Darius. Taito is now back with Darius Cozmic Revelation, a collection of Darius’ 3D polygon games, G-Darius and Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+. Plus, the games are getting enhanced ports so they look and play better than ever.

G-Darius, the sixth installment in the Darius series, debuted in Japanese arcades in 1997. It was the first in the series with 3D-polygon graphics, but retained the franchise’s classic 2D gameplay. Dariusburst was released on the PSP in 2009, the first proper game in the series since G-Darius. It got an arcade release a year later with Dariusburst: Another Chronicle and was expanded in a release that followed. Here, it gets expanded once again for the Cozmic Revelation bundle.

Priced at ¥7,480, Darius Cozmic Revelation was released on Feb. 25 for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

darius.jp/en/revelation

Brave new world: Bravely Default II has a completely different setting from the first game and features four new heroes who traverse a continent called Excillant. | © 2021 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Brave new world: Bravely Default II has a completely different setting from the first game and features four new heroes who traverse a continent called Excillant. | © 2021 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Only the brave

Finally, after keeping fans waiting for years, the long-awaited role-playing game Bravely Default II was released in February. It’s actually the third game in the series, following Bravely Default and its direct sequel, Bravely Second: End Layer. That chapter wasn’t received well, however, and so Bravely Default II, while not a reboot per se, is a way for the game’s creators to start anew.

And it’s a brave new world indeed, with a setting completely different from that of the first game. This time around, four new heroes traverse a continent called Excillant, visiting cute towns and getting in traditional RPG battles along the way. However, Bravely Default II isn’t an easy game, with the boss battles in particular offering up quite the challenge. Then again, nobody likes too easy a win.

Bravely Default II was released on Feb. 26 for the Nintendo Switch for ¥7,480.

www.jp.square-enix.com/bd2

Fly high: Players can swing through the air using little insects called Wirebugs in Monster Hunter Rise. | © CAPCOM CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Fly high: Players can swing through the air using little insects called Wirebugs in Monster Hunter Rise. | © CAPCOM CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Rise up for Monster Hunter

New Monster Hunter games are always a big deal in Japan. Monster Hunter Rise is no exception. The newest release is the follow-up to the massively popular Monster Hunter: World, which isn’t only the most successful game in the series to date but the bestselling Capcom game ever. That’s a huge act to follow. No pressure, Monster Hunter Rise.

Once again, players set about slaying enormous creatures. This time, however, you don’t just run around on the ground. Instead, you can swing through the air using little insects called “Wirebugs” to shoot out ziplines a la Spider-Man. This can be helpful in reaching higher places on the map or even to avoid an enemy. The new emphasis on vertical gameplay is where the title’s “rise” comes from, but the Wirebugs can be used in terrestrial attacks as well, bringing another dimension to Monster Hunter.

The game pays homage to Japanese culture through its monsters, soundtrack, architecture and in-game clothing. This isn’t a first for the series — the 2010 PSP game Monster Hunter Portable 3rd also had a strong Japanese influence — but it definitely gives Rise a different look from other recent Monster Hunter releases.

To mark the game’s launch, Nintendo is also releasing a special edition Monster Hunter Rise-emblazoned Nintendo Switch.

Priced at ¥8,789, Monster Hunter Rise will be released on the Nintendo Switch on March 26.

www.capcom.co.jp/monsterhunter/rise

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