Bullet hell shoot ‘em ups are exactly what they sound like…hell, with lots of bullets. When I got the chance to review DoDonPachi Resurrection, I did so reminiscing about the past shoot ‘em ups like Xenon 2, and R-Type and thought that it would be something like that. I was slightly wrong.
If like me you aren’t really up on what a bullet hell game like DoDonPachi actually is, then you’ll feel lost quickly. Give yourself sometime to take in what the game is though and it soon becomes fun. You’ll die a lot as you try to dodge the attacks that come from every direction, but you soon get the idea of what you are expected to do.
The idea (or my strategy at least) is to dodge as many bullets as possible, build up specials and then set them off to at least suppress fire. There are plenty of enemies to shoot, and a good feel of progression and weird bosses to fight. The weirdness of the bosses is that you are fighting against anime girl robots (this is my best way to describe them). Based on the level of hell you go through to get to the battle featuring them, you can guess how hard the boss battles are. There is a point though, and this is in the story that features in the game.
One of the weaknesses of DoDonPachi Resurrection is that the story does take somewhat of a backseat to the action on the screen. If you are looking for some lore you do have to specifically take the challenge to do this, and the user interface for the game can be a hindrance here which can be annoying. What we have to remember though is that this is an arcade game and it isn’t exactly designed to give a mind-bending story to the player.
What we are given with DoDonPachi Resurrection though is plenty of variety in gameplay. There are 8 different difficult modes, with a combination of the original 1.5 game and Black Label releases. There is also a two player mode for co-op play. The best way to play DoDonPachi Resurrection is to zone yourself out, concentrate on dodging and progress through the game. I’m sure there are people who have specific strategies that they can put into use, but with this being my first venture into this style of game, I’m still building one up.
For some people it is fair to say they will be overwhelmed by the bullet hell style. It took me some time to get used to how it works, and I think I’m doing it right. The more I play though, the better I expect to be at the game, and more importantly to be able to take in the storyline of the game.
DoDonPachi Resurrection is an interesting experience but one that is well worth trying out. It is a game that is easy to get lost in, in the user interface and the gameplay itself but in many ways that feels the point. It overwhelms, it makes you feel like you have no control of the situation, but that battle to make it through the impossible odds is what makes DoDonPachi Resurrection so fun.
DoDonPachi Resurrection is (finally) available on PC now. For those with an Xbox 360, you may still be able to track down a second-hand copy of the game!