Review – Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+

Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ might sound like a brand new entry (albeit with a dumb name) on Taito’s Darius franchise, but this is an anomaly of a game. It’s the fifth version (and fourth revision) of Dariusburst, a title originally released for the PSP back in 2009. This is Street Fighter levels of revisiting and re-releasing a game with a handful of new elements thrown into the mix every single time. With the ever increasing number of bullet hell shooters in the market, does this re-re-re-re-release of the 2009 cult hit have what it takes not only to catch the attention of the genre’s fans, but also justify its relatively steep price tag?

Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ Aspect Ratio

Really not a fan of this bizarre aspect ratio.

The main difference between Dariusburst and other Darius games, which are usually your standard Japanese bullet hell shooters, is, well, the inclusion of a “burst”. By collecting enough resources after defeating enemies, you can fill up a meter that allows you to unleash a horizontal burst of energy across the screen for a significant amount of time. It feels broken at times, considering how powerful and lengthy this attack is, but in no moment did I dislike its inclusion. The sensation of finally being able to overcome enemies with ridiculous force is half of the fun in a bullet hell shooter.

The rest of the gameplay follows the same premise as other Darius games and bullet hell shooters, albeit with a few twists every now and then. There’s even a short arcade mode that allows you to choose your path between a handful of levels per story chapter, depending on the difficulty setting you’re playing on. I get that this was included in order to improve the game’s replayability and lasting appeal, but no matter which path you take, your campaigns will always be very short. With that being said, Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ features a ton of other modes which also improve its lasting appeal, at least on theory.

Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ Bosses

No matter which Darius game you play, you’ll always fight one of these fish bosses.

The other modes besides the Original arcade mode are as follows: “Original EX” is a revision of its namesake, with a few more paths to take, and a handful of new enemies (and by “new” I mean “with a new color palette”). “Chronicle” features a handful of new levels with specific completion conditions, a challenge mode of sorts. Then there’s “Event” mode, which is also a brand new challenge mode with even more hindrances and completions in each event, a good chunk of them coming straight from the arcade version of Dariusburst. These modes have their own ups and downs, but all in all, the gameplay stays the same. They give players a bit more to do, but aren’t, in any way, the best parts of Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+. I do know its weakest bit, though.

That would be its visual presentation, and I have to clarify this. Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ is not an ugly. Not by any means. Considering this was initially released for the PSP, a console a bit weaker than a PlayStation 2, this is fairly impressive, but the problem lies in its aspect ratio, of all things. This is the first game I have ever played which featues a 32:9 aspect ratio as standard, resulting in only half of the screen being used for gameplay purposes. The other half of the screen is just covered in black lines and a ton of numbers. This makes the game look quite ugly as a result. It looks wrong and is extremely off-putting.


The burst mechanic is so overpowered it feels borderline broken. And it’s great.

All in all, Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ is a good bullet hell shooter, but one that doesn’t reinvent the wheel nor justify its pretty steep price tag. It’s yet another remaster/make/boot/vision of a PSP game which might be entertaining for fans of the genre, but suffers from a few glaring issues such as tons of recycled enemies with a different color palette and really bizarre 32:9 aspect ratio. If you really want to give this franchise a shot, the various Cozmic Collections released by ININ Games are a much better alternative, both in terms of polish and bang for your buck.


Graphics: 6.5

It is pretty good looking for what’s actually a PSP game, but its bizarre aspect ratio is really off-putting.

Gameplay: 8.0

Simple and responsive as you would expect from your typical bullet hell shooter. There are one or two different mechanics added in here when compared to other Darius games, but they’re nothing overly complex.

Sound: 7.0

Just like in previously mentioned Darius games, Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ has a pretty decent soundtrack, even if a bit forgettable, especially when compared to the competition.

Fun Factor: 7.0

It does feature a lot of content, even if a good chunk of it is actually comprised of reused levels with one or two new tweaks in each one of them in order to extend its lasting appeal. All in all, a good bullet hell shooter, if you haven’t bought any of the other countless iterations of Dariusburst.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ is available now on PS4 and Switch.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ was provided by the publisher.