Dariusburst Second Prologue

App of the Day: Dariusburst Second Prologue

Go to Goodge Street's Casino Arcade right now and you'll be met with the most wonderful of dinosaurs. Dariusburst Another Chronicle, released in Japan towards the end of 2010 and currently on location test in Central London, is all about excess - it's a side-on shooter for six players, its angelic soundtrack pumped through the bench that sits in front of its eccentric 32:9 screen.

Go to the App Store right now and you'll find a smaller but no less impressive example of Taito's long-running yet under-praised series. Dariusburst Second Prologue, a pimped-up port of a two-year old PSP game, is another excellent addition to what's fast becoming a comprehensive 2D shooter collection.

Like Cave's swathe of iOS outings, Darius manages to partner the reflex mechanics of its genre with a touch-screen and a single finger input. It's not quite as effective as the likes of DoDonPachi - Cave wisely leaves a little space at the bottom of the screen for your finger to run riot, while in its eagerness to fill the iPhone's screen Darius allows you to too often obscure the action. It's a minor nuisance, though, and control's sharp and snappy enough for it never really to detract from the experience. And what a brilliantly surreal, taut experience at that.

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