#337 DoDonPachi

Posted: 21st September 2011 by Jeroen in Games
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86th game played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Arcade/Saturn/Playstation
Year of Release: 1997
Developer: Cave
Publisher: Atlus

Right, here’s the thing. We are incredibly behind in our coverage of shoot ’em ups. This marks the fifth game out of over 150… so we are really REALLY behind.

DoDonPachi stands as the first game we have covered for this list that was released for the Sega Saturn and it is a manic shooter from the makers of… yea I’m not really sure who this developer is and they have not exactly done a major release. Still, it’s always fun to shoot mechanised insects.

Our Thoughts

I wonder how many epileptic seizures have been triggered by this game. I mean it is a manic shooter but I don’t know if I have ever played one that is this manic. I think the general strategy I used was ‘shoot everything and bomb when it’s too much’. Boring, maybe, but quite effective at times. The stratagem may be boring but the game was definitely not. It doesn’t take much to describe the premise of this game: shoot the enemies, avoid the bullets, oh my god is that a giant mechanised bee. In the world of gaming what could be simpler? We didn’t get to the main enemy bee, as the conditions for that are, quite simply, insane, but there’s lots of other enemies that you feel overwhelmed soon enough.

Still, despite its simplicity in gameplay in a way, the game is enjoyable. There’s three ships, with their own weapons, both a normal shooter and a bomb type, which can be combined into a large attack if you want. And they do play differently. There are also two different modes for each vehicle: laser, which is immune to small enemies, and shoot, which has two times the attack power of laser. We had a go at all vehicle types and I can say that my favourite was the laser blue one. There’s something nice about the fiery red ship too, although the green one seemed to have its own cool powerful attacks. I don’t know about it though… I just enjoyed playing the green one. The bombs are great fun too since you can either fire them by themselves to turn the enemies bullets into tokens or combine it with the regular gun to make a gigantic uber laser. The former has the more visual appeal, as defeating the enemies turns them into stars. The bomb do this to all lower HP enemies on the screen, as well as to all the bullets, causing a shower of stars to come to you. These stars are just worth points, but it creates an amazing effect. This adds to the feeling of power and such, making the whole thing a lot of fun to play that way. The sheer number of bullets fired at you makes this game really difficult to get through. In fact you can only meet the final boss if you get through the whole thing without using more than one credit. There are also plenty of other criterion needed to get there which does promote repeated plays and the use of many quarters in an arcade machine.

All in all, this is a manic shooter, bright graphics and fast paced, that you won’t be playing for hours at a time, but is brilliant to play for an hour here and there, racing after all the enemies to kill them while avoiding the many boulders fired at you.

Final Thoughts

When you discover that DoDonPachi is in fact Japanese for ‘Angry Leader Bee’ then you become thankful that they kept the Japanese name. It’s a short game but it’s a surprisingly good game which warrants a replay or two. Nice one.

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