DoDonPachi Resurrection on Steam
So lets start with the plot…
The past is being altered. An android, known as Next EXY, has traveled one thousand years back in time. Your task is to stop NEXY and the other Elemental Daughters who were built in the image of the Elemental Dolls who once protected humanity. What is NEXY’s intent? Should you attack what you shouldn’t understand? Orders are orders, and Col. Godwin Longhener is not to be ignored.
Er, OK, great…lets start shooting stuff then.
The classic bullet-hell vertical shooter arcade game DoDonPachi Resurrection from CAVE has been brought to Steam by Degica Games, who have a great track record with bringing Japanese shmups and other games to a Western audience through Steam.
CAVE is a Japanese developer formed by former Toaplan members that have been making arcade games since 1995. They are mostly known for their bullet-hell shooters like Mushihimesama, Deathsmiles and the DonPachi series.
DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu (DoDonPachi Resurrection or 怒首領蜂 大復活 in Japanese) is the 5th in the DonPachi series and was originally an arcade game, but has also been released on XBox360 and now, through Degica Games, on Steam.
The game is a manic bullet hell shooter and, like most of the CAVE games, is beautiful to look at!
At it’s most manic the screen is just awash with vibrant colours, thousands of bullets, enemies and effects.
For a beginner bullet-hell games can be very daunting, but you just need to remember that the hitbox on your ship is a LOT smaller than the size of your ship.
If you look at the screenshot you can see a bright circle roughly in the middle of your ship. That’s the hit-box. If it wasn’t that small, it would be impossible to veer your way through the curtain of bullets heading your way!
Also the bullets are fired at you in a pattern so a lot of the gameplay is all about remembering the patterns and finding a way through them (or often finding the safe position on the screen that all the bullets fly past).
That’s not to say it’s easy, but it’s less daunting than it first looks.
The Steam version has many different versions ( 8 ) of the game, including a very handy “Novice” level for newbies.
You also get to choose from 3 ships which have 3 different fighting styles (Bomb, Power & Strong), so you have a possible 9 combinations to find the style that suits your gameplay.
Here’s a list of the features from their press-release:
- Choose between three ships and three styles in the standard modes.
- Cancel bullets and increase your score with the Hyper Counter system.
- Turn the tides and clash lasers with the Counter Laser system.
- Master numerous different intricate scoring systems for which CAVE has become famous.
- Explore the complete DDPR experience with 8 different modes: Normal 1.5, Normal 1.51, Arrange B, Arrange A, Novice (Great for beginners!), Black Label, Black Label Novice (Great for beginners!), and Black Label Arrange (Ketsui Mode with unique ship).
- Bring in devastating backup with two-player local cooperative play.
- 100 achievements, Steam Trading Cards, Cloud Saves, and Leaderboard support
Another gameplay feature that is a god-send is the Bomb/Shield as I like to call it (don’t know the official term).
Your ship can carry a certain number of bombs which when triggered will wipe out most of the bullets on the screen and do a lot of damage to the enemies, but what it also does is if you get hit while carrying a bomb, it acts as a kind of shield, triggering automatically and wiping out the bullets on the screen and you don’t lose the life.
It obviously doesn’t do as much damage as if you’d deliberately fired it but it does act as an effective shield giving you some breathing space.
This also adds to the gameplay tactics…do you fire your bombs or hang on to them as a last-ditch defence?
Bullet-hell games tend to have very deep and complex scoring systems (the features list above talks about cancelling bullets and a hyper counter system), which I won’t even pretend to understand.
Personally I just enjoy blasting everything on screen and hoping to get to the next level.
But if you want to aim for the high scores then you’ll need to do a bit of research. (I would start on the Steam forums, I expect someone’s already posted a tutorial on there, or if not just ask, from my experience the shmup community seems to be very friendly).
There is also a Training Mode where you can play any of the areas from the different game modes and customize the settings of you ship, weapons, combos, etc, etc. This helps you get each level down perfect before you go for the big score.
Also, there’s a Score Attack mode where you try to rack up the highest scores, and of course online Leaderboards and Achievements that you’d expect from a game on Steam.
You can also record your gameplay and watch the replay back, useful for learning patterns or showing off your skills.
The port from Degica Games is very well done, with a great UI and goregous artwork framing the playing field.
It’s obviously been translated into English, although the voices have been left in Japanese (as they should be).
All told this is a great bullet-hell game and one of the classic series in the genre. Definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of shmups or just fancy giving one a try.
The Training and Novice modes means it great for beginners to take their first steps into the genre too.
Check out the trailer here:
Disclaimer : I received a review key code from Degica Games for DoDonPachi Resurrection on Steam, but all the views etc above are my own. I really like this game!