Game Reviews

DoDonPachi Resurrection

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DoDonPachi Resurrection

When it comes to top-down shooters, you either like them or you don't.

There's little moderation when it comes to these types of games and a title like DoDonPachi Resurrection isn't about to change anybody's views on the matter. In fact, lauded Japanese developer Cave will only appease the shooter faithful with this well-to-do iPhone and iPod touch port.

For everyone else, DoDonPachi Resurrection is a mind-melting combination of excessive gunfire, neon-coloured graphics, and string of continues with the occasional moment of gameplay thrown in for good measure.

While it wisely opts for a reasonable level of difficulty, there's so much going on at any given time that you can't help but feel overwhelmed.

Float like a butterfly

Of course, that's somewhat expected when you're in control of a diminutive fighter pilot embarking on a suicide mission against an army of mechanical beasts across time.

Thankfully, the controls aren't anywhere near as convoluted as the story. Cave has done an admiral job adapting the game to iPhone and iPod touch with 1:1 touch control and a customisable virtual button interface.

Sliding a finger anywhere on the screen moves your ship, chosen from a range of three, each with a distinct weapons load out. By default, buttons on the left enable you to detonate screen-clearing bombs, switch to Laser mode to neutralise enemy laser attacks, and activate hyper mode for high-powered attacks.

Hyper mode, which is triggered when filling a special gauge via successful attacks, unloads a barrage of fire as your ship is held in position.

Sting like a bee

Further tactical consideration is provided through Slaughter and Menace modes, which are instigated when destroying enemies and scraping enemy weapons fire respectively. Depending on your style of play, you're able to opt for one over the other. It's a nice bit of variety in a genre that often substitutes smart gameplay with repetitive design and excessive difficulty.

Your fingers might be touching the screen, but it often feels like DoDonPachi Resurrection is playing you. So much goes on at any given moment that it's hard to figure out what's going on.

Explosions obscure much of the action, bullets and other weapons fire fill the screen - it can be a disorienting experience to the point that you stop caring about precision and just start sliding your ship with reckless abandon.

To be continued

Endless continues generously allow an unlimited number of deaths when tackling the five-mission campaign, which comes in both original Arcade and enhanced iPhone flavours.

It's a measure that thankfully reduces the game's difficulty, yet goes far enough to diminish the need to be cautious. With the knowledge that you can continue upon death, there's no need to be careful in avoiding enemy attacks or preserving bombs.

Only a lust for high scores will motivate a deliberate approach. Integration with OpenFeint ensures online leaderboards for tracking your personal best as it stacks up against the rest of the top-down shooter-playing world.

Attempting to nab a spot on the leaderboards will be exclusively the goal of ardent shooter fans, as DoDonPachi Resurrection won't alter the opinion of any genre non-believer.

The effort to tone down the difficulty and tune the controls for accessibility has paid off to some extent, but it's not enough to counter the hyper-stimulating, intimidating pace of this arcade re-release.

DoDonPachi Resurrection

A sensory overload awaits in DoDonPachi Resurrection, a well-to-do arcade port with good controls and variety in spite of its intimidating style
Tracy Erickson
Tracy Erickson
Manning our editorial outpost in America, Tracy comes with years of expertise at mashing a keyboard. When he's not out painting the town red, he jets across the home of the brave, covering press events under the Pocket Gamer banner.