Darius II review - Sega Megadrive

Read Original Review PDF for Darius II

Darius II box artThe alien hordes have once again risen from the murky depths of their galactic hideaways and taken to the stars in order to conquer some more planets. This time they've arrived at our solar system, and using their advanced weaponary and cunning tactics, they've conquered every single planet - including Earth! As the owner of a fine, Darius-class attack space vehicle, you decide to take on the might of this hostile alien empire, using all your laser-powered weapons to blast the xenomorphs into oblivion. This involves traversing a number of horizontally scrolling worlds blasting all-and-sundry with your guns and bombs, collecting power-ups on the way (sounds familiar?).

You'll need all your shoot 'em up skills to survive the epic confrontations with each level's end-of'level boss. Their zap guns and missles have been fully primed for maximum destruction - and only a real hero can send them packing!

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" Argghhhhhh! ANOTHER Megadrive shoot 'em up arrives in the MEAN MACHINES office - obviously someone at Sega likes playing shoot 'em ups a lot. Personally, I'm getting rather bored with them, but there's no denying that Darius 2 is quite a decent offering. Although the blasting action isn't as good as Gynoug or Hellfire, this game is designed for lastability. With a massive 26 levels to wade through and all the different endings, it'll be a long time before you get bored with this game. It's only really this aspect that makes the game worth a look, because the graphics and sound are nowhere near as good as Gynoug, and some of the levels are quite samey. Also, some better power-ups would've made Darius a more appealing game. The best thing about it is that it offers a challenge - something definitely lacking in the majority of Megadrive games out at the moment. "

" I can't believe how many horizontally scrolling shoot 'em ups are being released on the Megadrive at the moment - it's getting a bit much. Still, if you haven't already tired of them, Darius 2 will get your trigger finger twitching with excitement. The action is fast and furious from the outset, with a myriad of small, but perfectly formed sprites to blast into oblivion. It's a pretty challenging game, and its lastability is boosted considerably thanks to the fact that there are 26 levels to fight through and seven different endings to see. Darius 2 isn't exactly heavy on the originality, but if you're after a slick and playable blaster which won't lose its appeal overnight, have a crack at this. "


Overall Score83%

Retrospective comments


The MM team were a little harsh on this game if you ask me. Ok, so the Darius series is often a little dull, but this conversion is one of the better entries. The sheer number of levels is amazing and some of the enemy design is brilliantly inventive (the battleship that turns into a crab is my personal fave). The action is very much 'no frills' but it gets the job done perfectly. I love the different endings too - not only are they a cut above the norm, there's several of them so you have a fair bit of incentive to see them all.

Not the greatest shooter on the Megadrive by any means, but it's still more than worthy of a look if you're interested in this classic shooter franchise.

asad - 05 Feb 2008, 16:54 GMT

I agree with Damo. Okay, so it was always going to be hard to convert the double/triple screen from the coin-op, but this is a good conversion of a decent arcade shooter. The power ups aren't as good as in other shooters of this ilk, but it was always a no-frills blaster.
The music remains pretty much faithful to the coin-op, although sampled speech effects are missing.

If your a fan of the arcade original, then you shouldn't be disappointed by this, however the Megadrive has a long tradition of good shoot-em-ups and Thunderforce III, Gynoug, Hellfire and Aero Blasters are all better examples of this genre

hoolak - 02 Dec 2008, 13:00 GMT

This game had a beautiful sounding angel howling a few high notes when you pressed start :D That was my favourite bit.

Not a bad game, but defo out done elsewhere on MD.

Dan - 24 Feb 2009, 16:45 GMT

The chicken for sure

Mean Machines Issue 8 - May 1991
Shoot 'Em Up Sega Megadrive
Buy today!

Darius II

Darius II

Darius II

Darius II

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