reviews\ Sep 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm

DoDonpachi Resurrection (iPhone/iPod Touch) review


I’ve been a long time fan of the “bullet hell” shooters that have emerged from Japan. I’ve gone to great lengths to import them for my consoles of choice, like the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. There’s just something about facing overwhelming odds amidst a hail of bullets to prevail over a boss that’s five to ten times your size. And wouldn’t you know it, this is the kind of territory that the Japanese development team at Cave consistently covers.

The team released a solid port of its hit arcade game Espgaluda II for the iPhone (later models) and iPad earlier this year, and despite its $9 cost, it was worth every penny, watching these solo angels fly out in a stream of bullets and show these jerks who’s boss. DoDonpachi Resurrection, the company’s latest release for iPad and iPhone (again, later models) follows suit. In it, you’re flying a well-armed ship against an armada of enemies that hold nothing back when it comes to trying to obliterate you.

Along with super bombs (some of which go off as protection whenever you’re hit), you also have the ability to switch between two types of gunfire: spread and concentrated laser. Touch a button and your bullets fly across the screen in a weaker formation. Touch it again and it solidifies into a streaming beam of light, laying waste to anything ending up in its path. There are advantages to both, but the fun comes in trying to decide which one works best for you.

You control your ship by dragging it across the screen, and we’re quite pleased with this gameplay option. Cave used something similar with Espgaluda II, and it works so well, as you drag your ship around to avoid the firework-like displays of lethal bullets. You can make adjustments should you feel like it’s not responding well enough, but we haven’t run into that problem yet. Sticking with the default option should work best for you.

Along with the traditional Arcade mode, DoDonpachi also comes with a more specific iPhone mode, complete with new bosses and an arranged music soundtrack. In addition, there’s also a Practice mode, should you want to memorize boss bullet patterns. For the later ones you’ll face in the game, this is good to try out.

DoDonpachi looks and sounds great. Bullet displays explode onto the screen with very little slowdown (although it does pop up on occasion) and the artwork that Cave pours into the game is dazzling, particularly the anime-styled ladies appearing as bosses. The music is fantastic, particularly if you’re listening through a set of headphones. We’re also pleased with the original Japanese dialogue, which thankfully hasn’t been translated in the least. Sometimes it’s best to just let things be.

Although more modes would’ve been nice and the price could’ve been a little cheaper (the game was initially introduced at $4.99) Dodonpachi Resurrection is a must-have for shooter fans everywhere. It’s every bit as good as Espgaluda II was, and buying it will assure Cave’s continued interest in the iPhone and iPad, with more shooters to come. We’d kill to see Death Smiles II make the rounds.


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