It’s difficult to leap in to this review without making it first obvious that I am a massive, near-on obsessive fan of the Darius series of video games. From posters to Laserdiscs, to tote bags to model kits, to soundtracks to VHS tapes to the games themselves. You name it, if it’s Darius-related, I’ve either owned it or it’s currently in my collection. So when Darius Burst Chronicle Saviours was announced for the PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, you could say I was mildly excited upon reading said news.
I’d like to thank Yusaku Yamamoto and all the staff at Shooting Gameside for kindly agreeing to an interview. Especially with a no-name person like me.
Ageing gamers the world over may recall with fondness scouring the pages of their favourite gaming or anime magazines only to be left gazing in awe at the wealth of fine publications available to our friends in Japan. The birthplace of said subject matter plays host to everything the mind could possibly conjure up to feed the insatiable masses. From simple, photocopied ‘doujin’ fanzines to pulp monthlies the size of telephone directories and elaborate coffee table centerpieces laden in gold, frankincense and quite possibly myrrh. There is simply no area left uncovered by both the professionals and otaku alike.
At the same time it was with some sadness that these pages we gazed at longingly in our favourite reads were simply pipe dreams that were left on those pages. For many this was (and still is) a stumbling block due to two main reasons. The language barrier and the sheer cost of importing such items to our respective countries. And so it remains, even to this day, that 99.9% of the product we long for that is so readily available in Japan remains out of our grasp. On a personal note I recall the black and white classifieds that graced the pages of Manga Mania in the early 1990′s would showcase the Masmaune Shirow masterpiece Intron Depot 1. Last week, and some 19 years later, I purchased a copy of Intron Depot 1 from Japan which traveled so many miles across the globe and floated down on my desk like the most beautiful feather. I was reduced to near-tears. At last I owned a copy of the legendary art book I saw nearly two decades earlier and dreamed of owning.
The photos I have taken specifically for this article are possibly historic. For it is possibly the first time ever that these 4 (not so) little Laserdiscs have ever been photographed together. As a group. As a full set.
It has taken me just over 2 years to complete this small set of Laserdiscs. The first title, Darius Gaiden, I acquired merely by stumbling upon it from a ‘typical online research’ session (definition: entering a search term and an hour later realising you have about 90 browser tabs open as you delve further and further to the outer boundaries of the vacuous Internet).
“I became curious as to whether other Darius titles had appeared on Laserdisc or other formats. My obsession started right there and has not waned.”
Initially I thought Darius Gaiden would be the easiest of the four to acquire. It is certainly, in my opinion, the most desirable of the four titles as it is the only disc to feature a live action Darius movie. I believe I have been proven wrong. At the time of writing, I have not seen this title appear for sale on Laserdisc since. A VHS release appeared for sale once but that is it. In fact the only photos I can find of it are photos I have posted online myself! In my opinion I believe Darius Gaiden to be the most difficult of the four titles to track down.