Reviews// DoDonPachi Resurrection

Posted 11 Nov 2011 16:01 by
Slowly but surely, Cave is starting to win itself the reputation it should have had in the West many years ago. And the studio?s flagship bullet hell shoot?em series, DonPachi, is finally getting some love on the Xbox 360 with the release of DoDonPachi Resurrection. As you?d expect, it?s a faithful conversion of the arcade original - massive laser beams and all.

You play as one of three unique DonPachi Corps fighter ships, flung into an instant war with an unstoppable army of androids and tanks. Each stage has a formidable boss battle in the form of the Element Daughters - essentially colossal robotic ladies in a variety of skimpy costumes that can transform into mighty battleships in a second. You need to destroy them to repair the space-time continuum and rid the past of this synthetic invasion.

Basically, it?s an excuse to brainlessly gun down millions of bad guys. But what an excuse it is - DoDonPachi Resurrection Deluxe?s presentation is fantastically colourful, and the framerate silky smooth. Torrents of blue and pink bullets fly at you, screen-filling orbs and waves of plasma illuminate the screen and survival becomes less about killing foes but micro-navigating yourself away from harm. It?s simply balls-to-the-wall mental.

You do have a variety of failsafes at your disposal however, should you want to try for a high score or in fact, survive. A choice of three ships are available to you, each with different firing types, speeds and special capabilities. Beyond that you can choose a firing style for that ship - Bomb and Strong types have varying levels of weapon attachments and can deploy bombs, while Power style can switch between slow or boosted shot speed.

If this doesn?t give you enough strategy to choose from while fighting for your life, you get a beam that can repel weak enemy lasers, and a Hyper Counter mode that allows you to cut through bullets at will and racking up tasty combos to boot. The madness is doubled when two players are involved - unlike the recent iPhone port, this Deluxe release allows for co-op with a buddy, but as you would expect it can be easy to lose yourself when there?s two of you on screen.

As a straightforward conversion, there?s absolutely nothing wrong with DoDonPachi Resurrection Deluxe. Shoot?em up fans will adore it and those looking for some quick arcade action to burst through inbetween sessions of Skyrim will be pleasantly satisfied. But a few niggles make this release fall down in some areas. Primarily in the controller department.

Yes, it?s that age-old groan at Microsoft?s Xbox 360 pad. Pixel-perfect navigation is the order of the day in DoDonPachi Resurrection, and it?s difficult to focus your movement in quite the same way as you can using your thumb on the iPhone edition. Of course, sitting further away from the screen and being a straight arcade port (where there has to be a steady requirement of 100Yen pieces entering the coin-op machine) also adds to the increased difficulty in accurately darting around the screen, but we all know the Xbox 360 D-Pad doesn?t really lend itself to the minute movements required of a game like this.

The second big drawback in this Deluxe release is longevity. As great as the arcade original is to play today, this isn?t going to be something that sucks you in until the very end, unless you?re a true schmupper. Even if you play from beginning to end, you can lick it in a mere hour or two - and if you?re not one to bother with difficulty modes and challenging yourself for high scores, this will come at a bit of a disappointment even at the budget price.

What Cave and Rising Star did previously with Deathsmiles? boxed release was pack in several new modes that tweaked the classic gameplay up to a degree. DoDonPachi Resurrection has received the same treatment - almost. The Arrange A game puts you as a new ship that can alter his Power shots at will, while Arrange B is more of a survival-style score attack, allowing you to pick any stage and destroy enemies until you die.

Along with Score Attack, Leaderboards and Replay Data, Cave has developed Black Label and Ver 1.51 modes for the game. These were the highlight of Deathsmiles? Deluxe release, but in DoDonPachi Resurrection they aren?t on the disc gratis. Instead, you have to pay for them as DLC for around 880 Microsoft Points. To this end, while the original game itself is buckets of fun while it lasts, DoDonPachi Resurrection feels like an incomplete package at best and a nickel-and-dime affair at worst.

SPOnG Score: 73%

A pretty perfect conversion of a brilliantly insane scrolling blaster, but unless you?re really into your shoot?em ups you won?t be playing this longer than 30 minutes to an hour at a time. Charging for Black Label and Ver. 1.51 DLC makes this one of the least generous Cave offerings on Xbox 360.

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tall 13 Nov 2011 00:26
I wonder why reviewers always concentrate on a shmups length, its a classic case of "not getting it" We dont see this crap with other arcade genres like fighters (or platformers & racers) which can also be spammed with continues for 30 minutes until the ending credits

Let me spell it out, the games are ment to be short where you replay it getting better each time. The difficulty and complexity of many arcade games mean that giving it a game length of hours will just make it a chore to play for anyone who wants more out of it than to credit feed and look at the pretty colours

Personally I partly blame CAVE for giving ppl unlimited continues because most folk dont understand the concept about 1 credit only or atleast limiting the continues so it still provides a challenge for their skill level
Svend Joscelyne 28 Nov 2011 17:57
@tall You're assuming 73% is a bad score. It isn't. That, and you're assuming I "don't do this crap with other arcade genres." I do.
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