Time paradoxes, they’re always fun. Some people don’t want to understand them; others understand them only too well and point out the flaws in every paradox ever seen. Whilst Futurama might get it right by killing everyone off who ends up being in a paradox, the creators of DoDonPachi Resurrection don’t care about such things. After all, what can a paradox do to someone with a space ship that can shoot at the speed of light, piloted by a cyborg and flies over earth and time?
DoDonPachi Resurrection is just one instalment out of many from Cave and whilst it echoes back to a time where you didn’t necessarily have to think to play a game. It manages to capture the imagination of gamers not just in the increasingly challenging environments it presents but also in the colourful and arguably beautiful display of missiles that fire around the screen.
It’s a sight to see in the Western world and moreso a sight to see at all as where many Japanese and Western developers are struggling to keep up with the pace of the ever changing gaming market, Cave, have managed to become more successful from this transition into the digital and mobile world. Originally released in the arcades of Tokyo, the DoDonPachi style games were literally a hidden world where gamers would add hundreds of yen to arcade machines to continue being destroyed by what some would argue to be impossibly challenging games.
In more recent times they’ve started to move over to the mobile gaming world, the downloadable world and a more traditional release with the game. DoDonPachi Resurrection isn’t a title for everyone, it’s very repetitive and whilst it does have challenge, it requires a degree of experience and skill before the challenge becomes obvious. It really thrives on the need for gamers to want to get Achievements and complete the title to its full. It’s very easy simply to fly though the various levels, try not to get killed too many times and kill the flying enemies around you.
Playing DoDonPachi Resurrection in this style kills the game. It’s all about trying to navigate a ship around a world that’s trying to be changed by evil robots. Set in the future, after many battles, the culture of the time have become so advanced that they decide to go back in time to try and correct mankind’s mistakes and it’s the team’s job to stop this. History should stay as that – history. So as the defender of the past, it’s time to fly through the past and frankly destroy a large part of it.
In what could easily be described as a kaleidoscope of bullets, a cornucopia of colour and an art to not be murdered. For those who are new to this style of game, it’s as much about storyline, plot and graphics as it is about creating beautiful and interesting bullets. There will literally be hundreds of bullets on the screen, in various colours and will explode like fifty types of fireworks at the same time. While you’re trying to shoot down the creatures creating these attacks, you’re equally as unusual attack patterns and trying to navigate the core of the ship around this.
Whilst at first it might appear that it’s impossible not to die, all it really takes is a keen eye and a steady thumb on the joypad. The key to success is to ensure that the centre of the ship avoids any direct damage and to keep an eye on the sceneary below as it will often lead to unknown paths and unlock achievements and in some cases, different endings.
The game is presented with stunning visual displays, but the textures and graphic packs outside of the bullet storm really isn’t overwhelming. Whilst it’s not appalling, it’s certainly nothing to shout home about. It’s clear that the effort in the game has gone in the background wallpaper around the game screen and the stunning effects of shots.
Yet the soundtrack is great, simply brilliant. Whilst there’s no voice acting, singing or anything in the way of a lyric, it plays to the strength of this retro style title and has plenty of synth and futuristic, sci-fi effects. For a classic gamer, it feels like home, but with more than what a simple MIDI track could produce in the 90s.
Unfortunately, a fair chunk of the game is missing as it has to be downloaded for an extra fee via the Xbox Live. This isn’t clearly mentioned at any stage in the manual, the back of the game or even whilst playing. Now, not downloading the extra content won’t prohibit any part of this title, but it does make the game a lot shorter than it otherwise would be. Fortunately DoDonPachi Resurrection is a budget title, and even with the additional cost of the downloadable content, it’s still a very good buy.
DoDonPachi Resurrection isn’t a throwback to a by-gone era, it’s taken what was once the height of subversive cool and reinvented it for a modern audience. With a great soundtrack, visual displays of bullets that look like fireworks and easy controls, it’s a gem. Especially at the budget price.