I’ve always thought shmups were awesome, and Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours is no exception. From tight controls to some of the best fish robots I’ve ever seen in my life, there’s a lot I like about the game. The problem is that I’ve never been great at these kinds of games. There’s good news, though, and it’s that Chronicle Saviours has a mode that I found ideal for improving at the game.
When you first boot up Chronicle Saviours you have two ways to play the game: the original arcade mode or the new CS mode. Unlike Arcade mode where you choose a set stage then go down a branching path of two more stages, CS mode lets you select individual missions. While there’s still a branching path, only certain missions have to be completed to open up news, making some of them optional.
One of the biggest ways CS mode helped me learn was by simply making everything more visible. In CS mode, everything is zoomed in and much easier to see, from your ship and enemy bullets, to simple things like the UI. It’s so much easier to check the status of your power-ups and laser power in the middle of a heated section when they’re not miniscule. By that same token, it’s so much easier to dodge through barrages of bullets when you can clearly see the openings you need to squeeze through.
I really noticed the difference while fighting the bosses. Some of my favorite missions in CS mode are basically just boss rushes where you know what you’re fighting ahead of time, which makes it perfect for practice. The “Castle” family of bosses in particular was giving me a lot of trouble in the normal arcade mode because I couldn’t dodge their bullets effectively. Getting a close-up view of all the bullet patterns and laser dramatically improved my sense of reflexes and also helped me figure out the best spots to place my ship in. I probably didn’t need CS mode for it, but I also discovered that I could blow off all the boss’s shields before it sends them flying away automatically.
CS mode also helps with figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of each ship. In Arcade mode, I tended to stick to the default ship because I didn’t know any better, but CS mode regularly forces you out of your comfort zone by giving you preset ships and conditions for each mission. I had become very accustomed to using the laser power of ships like the Legend, but I actually found myself drawn to other ships like the Gaiden, which summons a blackhole that clears the entire screen instead.
There’s room for a great deal of customization here, too, but unfortunately it’s a bit of a grind to get to a point where it can be helpful. As you play missions you get rewarded with points, and these points can be exchanged for the ability to use ships in every mission. It will take some time to be able to buy any, however, as they’re all super expensive and get even pricier as you upgrade them. I didn’t get as much use out of the feature as I wanted due to the cost of entry, but it might have been for the best since I felt more compelled to use the pre-sets.
After all my practice, I genuinely felt myself beginning to improve. The first time I received a “No Damage” bonus at the end of a CS mission I couldn’t help but feel proud. When I got the same bonus at the end of a long boss rush stage, I was beaming. While I’m far from a pro, maybe someday I can even try tackling the arcade mode for 1CC run, and frankly I’ve never felt like I could do something like that in my life.