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Darxide

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Released: 1996

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Sega 32X

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Frontier Developments

Submitted by: Scott Reed

The very last game to be released for the 32X was a PAL-only (chuckles) shoot 'em up called Darxide. Retrospectively for me, the sad little Segaphile, Darxide's release and total lack of sales marked the end of the era. The Sonic Boom was over. Soon telly manufacturers and Bill Gates would trample all underfoot and Sega's case of the stupids would become terminal.

With people paying triple figures for a 32X shooter (chuckles), the question must be asked – is it any good?

It's alright.

Imagine if Asteroids was made in mid-nineties polygons instead early eighties vectors. Then have your imaginary game mate with Star Fox. Throw in a few enemies from Xevious. Got a good mental image now? Good. that's Darxide.

There are two things in video games I like less than reversed controls. Quick Time Events and Online Xbox Gamers. It's OK for Joysticks on big dedicated cabinets but when it's on a game meant for a D-pad it just seems pointless and irritating.

Something else to complain about is that the asteroids don’t really pose much of a threat to you. They're just drifting along most of the time. Making me wonder why is should destroy them in the first place. So unlike the menacing meteors that bedevilled you in Asteroids, shooting Darxide space debris feels a little cruel. I mean the it wasn't doing any harm. And if it does you'll not notice until it flashes up on screen because they seem to have skipped including a being hit animation.

Other than these, and the feeling that the game is running a little too fast, Darxide isn’t so bad. There was another 3D space shooter released for the system called Shadow Squadron, which I'd advise you play first but there's no need to avoid this here collector's item. There's no need to pay nearly a grand for it either but that should go without saying.

Should.