Thursday, 26 January 2012

DoDonPachi (Arcade)

Another request. I'm not sure what I'll be able to say about a bullet hell shooter, but I'll put three credits in and play it anyway.

I get three choices of ship, which seems to really be three choices of bullet spread. Blue has three way shot, red fires only forward, and green's weapon pods tilt.

I'll go with the blue ship, mostly because I like the look of it.

Oh damn! I've changed my mind, I want to fly that thing.

That pixel art is amazing, there's so much detail on it. The music's good too, I wasn't expecting a rock soundtrack.

Damn, look the firepower I'm putting out right now. That'd be the max level uber-weapon in a classic shoot 'em up, and it's only my starting gun. Not that I'm complaining, I like a bit of overkill.

I also like how I can see each element clearly. The colourful vehicles stand out against the dull rock bridge they're driving on, which in turn stands out against the dark background, and the bullets are vivid enough to be seen against everything.

I got caught inside one of those pink bullet swarms, took a single hit and lost a life, but it seems to have actually done me some good. I continued straight from where I left off and now I can carry four screen clearing bombs instead of three.

I think it'd probably be better to hold the fire button down and use my focused beam on this guy instead. I haven't got a clue if it's doing any extra damage, but it makes me move slower so I can weave through his bullets with more precision.

Yeah, I think those pink bullet swarms are definitely my weak point. Also I'm struggling to pay attention to the game to be honest. It's not grabbing me.

My ship's got such a wide arc of fire I can hit anything without trying, which is good because I need to put all my focus on weaving through the tiny gaps between enemy bullets. I just don't find dodging pink dots to be very interesting.

Son of a bitch. Just when I though I'd get a good look at that background, they flash up a giant warning sign over it.

And now I can't see shit.

They like to overlap waves of bullets, so I have to make sure I'm in the right place when they intersect. Or else I explode. And then they give me more bombs and better power ups.

The good thing about the bombs though, is that they blow up enemy bullets. So I can use them as an emergency escape if I'm about to get hit. Which is all the time.

Level one is completed and all it cost me was a continue and all my points. On the plus side I've got a full set of bombs now, and maxed out firepower. I've never done so well by fucking up before.

To be honest, I can't really find anything to legitimately complain about in the game. It's slick, looks fantastic, there's no doubt about what's happening on screen, it sounds great, the gameplay seems fine.

I guess I just like nice game graphics more than I like bullet hell shooters. I feel like it's shame I'm obscuring the art with my gunfire.

Aww crap. Well there ain't no way I'm ever dodging through that. Life lost!

Fortunately my power ups stay on screen for me to recollect, so I'm never left trying to kill a boss with my starting weapon. I've never liked that in classic shooters, how one death could really screw you over.

He's nearly dead. All I have to do is now watch out for blue bullets.

To be fair, the enemy bullets always overlap mine, so even when it's blue against blue I still have a fighting chance.

I actually killed the boss, but it didn't take me long to throw away my final credit on the next level.

But I think I'll give the game a second go. Only this time I'll try a slightly different approach...

The rarest type of DoDonPachi screenshot, one without a single bullet. Now I've stopped all that gunfire I can get a clear look at what's down there in the background. Like this beautifully drawn battleship, laying wrecked against the rocks.

I love the consistency in design. Every ship, fighter and tank looks like they belong to this world. If only we could all just coexist and get along!

I have to wonder... does that thing have a moving turret, or was it designed to only ever fire sideways. Because I bet my little helicopter could easily just swoop over it and attack it from behind.

I'm joking! First thing they teach you in flight school is to never EVER turn your vehicle, not even a little. Only a dumb rookie would try something as reckless and stupid as to change direction in a combat situation.

And then the tank puts a swift end to my non-violent approach with a scattering of pretty pink pellets of plasma. Or whatever.


I didn't really enjoy playing the game much to be honest, but that's my own problem. I'm just not a huge fan of the genre in general. Though I can't imagine I won't end up trying it again at some point anyway, as the game's like an art gallery with explosions. So it gets my Gold Star.


  1. I gotta agree that the pixel art is pretty nice, though the relatively low-res projectiles look really weird coming out of the incredibly high detailed bosses. I've never understood the appeal of bullet hell shooters though, and this one hasn't changed my mind at all.

  2. DoDonpachi is one of my favorite shooters. It's a great way to make your performance on lesser shooters increase rapidly.


Semi-Random Game Box