I love 'Bullet Hell' shooters. I crave them. They're the ultimate expression of raw gameplay in its purest and most concentrated form... and Cave are arguably the masters of their domain. DoDonPachi is a reskinned and optimised version of an arcade classic, and as such, is one of the best examples on the iPhone.
You see, Cave know that you need three key ingredients to make a shooter great. Responsive controls. A clear hitbox. And overwhelming firepower.
Just in case you don't know, the term 'bullet hell' refers to a shooter that routinely blankets over fifty percent of the play area in enemy projectiles - and DoDonPachi Resurrection does exactly that. You'll need to guide your badass spaceship (from which you have a choice of three with different primary weapons) through the tiniest gaps whilst destroying enemy fleet formations, and luckily, the fingertip control is pixel-perfect.
Your ship only takes damage when its hitbox - the clearly defined central portion - connects with a projectile, letting you slip through even the most obscene situations.
During your assault, you'll encounter enemy ground units, planes, turrets and massive transforming mecha-girl bosses. Thankfully your arsenal is only a quick tap away, providing you with standard firepower, a focused laser and a ridiculous hyper-beam mode that lets you rotate your ship around using on-screen prompts. Your ship may be fragile, but it's a glass cannon that makes players feel powerful rather than vulnerable. Pour it on like you're watering your garden.
Visually, DoDonPachi Resurrection looks absolutely outstanding. Cave's trademark art design is best described as "unique" (or "crazy Japanese" to use the vernacular), meaning that sprites, ships and bosses look eye-catching and memorable despite the fact that literally thousands of shooters have hit the market. Enemy projectiles are distinct and easy to pick out amidst the detailed backgrounds and hectic chaos.
DoDonPachi Resurrection also looks great on the iPad. Whilst there's a fair amount of pixelation - as you'd expect - the luscious, responsive screen makes dealing with the tougher bosses much easier.
Note the compatibility requirements very carefully before buying.
- It's a brilliant shooter
- Perfect controls and mechanics
- Sweet graphics
- £5.99 may simply be too much for casual consumers
Summary: DoDonPachi Resurrection is a perfectly-formed shooter that uses the iPhone's feature set to full advantage. It fully warrants the premium price tag, and I'd urge all shooter fans to give it a go.
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.
Price: £5.99 - App Store