This is the reason we've been living off noodles for the past week. Priced at a whopping £7.49 on the App Store, Dariusburst SP is considerably more expensive than the average. That said, it's also a side-scrolling shooter with interstellar production values and a brilliant soundtrack.
Like its first outing on the PlayStation Portable, players navigate a spacecraft through waves of enemy ships, asteroids, and end of level bosses that look like giant metal fish. The action is fast and furious, and quick reflexes are needed to dodge the chaotic confetti of bullets and lasers. Power-ups provide an advantage, together with a smart bomb that can be deployed when the meter is fully charged.
The entire game is structured like a pyramid, with a branching pathway from one level to the next, so a single playthrough is experiencing only a fraction of the game. There're also tonnes of unlockable goodies, like extra spacecraft, game modes, and production artwork and videos. In the process of migrating from PSP to iOS, the developers haven't just implemented a new control scheme, they've considerably enhanced the original software.
But the best part of Dariusburst SP is the music. Performed by Zuntata, Taito's legendary in-house band of developers and amateur musicians, it's an atmospheric fusion of J-Pop, guitar rawk, drum and bass, and a ghostly choir. The price tag is steep, but rationalise it by saying you paid for the soundtrack, and it came bundled with a top-notch arcade schmup to sweeten the deal.
Dariusburst Second Prologue is available now on App Store (£7.49)