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on 8 November 2011
In 1995 a little company called Cave released 'Donpachi' (literally `Leader Bee' in Japanese), one of the first of the newly coined `bullet hell/ manic shooters', and was surprisingly so successful in native Japan's arcades it became synominous with the sub genre, rejuvenating 2D shooters as a whole, and bringing the flailing genre back into mainstream attention.

13 years later we get Dodonpachi Resurrection, the fifth instalment of Cave's flagship series, with no hesitation in living up to its legendary cult status.

Typically, you guide a single, minuet spaceship, overhead, as it blasts wave upon wave of other spaceships that come into its path. The game's not original by any stretch, but takes everything you've ever loved about 2D shmups, overdosed it on steroids, and embraces carnage like a drunk man in kebab factory.

To those new to these games, the sheer number of bullets thrown at you is near overwhelming and you could be easily detracted after first playthrough where you seem to be shot down every half a second from impossible-to-miss storms of enemy fire.

But stick with it. Upon getting accustomed to the speed of gameplay, Resurrection becomes more intense and exciting than any first person shooter you've played in recent times. The immense satisfaction from outmanoeuvring 100 bullets is incomparable to any other gaming experience.

This, along with the beautiful scenery and enemy ships, and the thumping Japanese techno music, makes Resurrection truly unique amongst the typical outings we see on game shelves these days.

As mentioned earlier, the original started something of a renaissance in the 2D shooting world, but over the last few years this has died down as Cave's outings have become increasingly more difficult, sidelining anyone other than the most dedicated of fans.

Cave took this on board and have taken the necessary steps to make Resurrection more compatible to newcomers. Firstly, unlike say Deathsmiles (another Cave shooter released by Rising Star (thank you)), if you get hit by a bullet, instead of dying automatically, you release a bomb which pretty much eliminates all but the strongest of enemies and bullets, giving you a quick breather before taking on the storm once again. And Dodonpachi is quite generous with bombs giving you plenty of get out of jail cards before you die, and a chance to warm up before its all over.

There're also novice modes, arrange modes and other tweaks to ease newcomers into the experience. Despite these extras, I'd still recommend Deathsmiles for newcomers. It's slower paced, has more variety of levels, and just seems more visually appealing.

For those accustomed to bullet hells and wandering what's new, there's the standard normal fire and heavy fire (laser). Two differences though. Laser rays from enemies cannot be dodged, but can be repelled by firing your own laser back at them, requiring you to skilfully switch between the weapons in a way very reminiscent to the switching in colours in Treasure Co's cult favourite Ikaruga (worth checking out if you haven't already).

There's also the hyper attack, where upon filling the bar up, you're able to shoot a more powerful black version of your attacks, where the normal attack eliminates enemy bullets upon touch, making your ship almost impervious to any attack (almost)

Are there downsides? Why yes! Most crucially, Cave are so keen to please with highly detailed 2D eye candy that the game becomes so hectic you lose track of what's going on. Enemy bullets have the mistake of being too small and neutral to colours of debris or background objects, meaning at times you'll be hit by bullets you simply could not see.

It's almost impossible to play 2 players seriously. There are so many bullets fired to and fro you can barely tell what's friend or foe. It goes without saying, if you suffer from epilepsy, this game is best left alone. And don't even think of playing this on a small television.

Personally I didn't find levels as interesting as those in other Cave shooters. But I've played a fair few now, and I'll always have my favourites.

One final thing worth mentioning is that Dodonpachi Resurrection is the kind of game played to complete using the minimum amount of continues and racking up the best score possible. There are 5 (technically 6) levels, and if you're the kind of person to complete games once then never play again, chances are you won't stick around Resurrection for long.

But should you enjoy this enough to crave another Cave shooter, I would highly recommend `Mushimesama Futari' and `Espgaluda 2', also for the Xbox 360. They can only be imported from Japan, but they're both region free, with the former being an outstanding shooter, with the latter including a very fun `bullet time' mechanic.

A fan of bullet hell or not, Dodonpachi Resurrection is worth a try.
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on 17 November 2011
If your a fan of old school shooters or(shmups) and you've never played a dodonpachi game then you're missing something special, known as"bullet hell" this game is an andrenalin fuelled eye melting blastathon, it maybe a bit hardcore for the casual gamer but compensates with a plethora of different game modes, styles and difficulties to ease in the newbies, but the true fans will not regret a moment of their hard earned cash spent on a game like this. you could finish the game in less than half an hour but its not about that. its about replay value and its infinite,5 levels of ridiculous firepower,dodging hundreds of bullets simultaneously,a soul destroying boss midway and at the end of levels, screen filling pyrotechnics and all doing this while listening to the bouncing japanese electric techno soundtrack(especially black label modes available for game add ons, XBL marketplace, which is a must!) this game is HARD and isnt for everyone but if you put the time in you will reap the rewards, and in turn fine tune your own gamer skills no doubt, its THAT crazy, ive played every game of this genre out there and if theres a better modern day vertical shmup than this..ive yet to play it.
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on 30 January 2012
Being a rookie at the tap tap dance (hopefully you know what i mean) means i kept dying a lot. but that didn't stop me from enjoying this game.
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on 27 November 2011
The 2D vertical shmup doesn't get a lot of love these days, but Dodonpachi Resurrection should. :) It's hectic, fast-paced and about qualities you don't find in gaming a lot anymore these days, the most obvious being that it demands skill and determination. Also, it gives you a sense of accomplishment quite unlike the one you get after finishing a 100 hour RPG.
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on 15 December 2012
Dodonpachi is considered as one of the better shmups out there and with decent reason. The chaos on you're television is always engaging and the game has been perfectly ported to the Xbox 360.

It is not the shiniest or the graphical best one of the genre out there, but if you like these kind of games, look no further and get it.
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on 9 March 2013
Yes! I know! I was prepared for the challenge - I'd played other Cave shooters before so I new what I was getting myself into. But quite often with this game it feels like a punishment that seems impossible to endure. Less of a score attack and more a case of how many seconds you can last per life.

A decent enough game but there are more "pleasant" shooters to play.
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on 23 May 2013
If you like shooter games look no further than Dodonpachi this game has it all from hidden levels to big bosses plus an endless amount spaceships to shoot at.
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on 8 March 2016
if you like SHMUPS then buy this. This is a vertical shooter, not everybody like that style.
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on 3 December 2011
If you love raiden-type games don't miss this one, it's got good colourful graphics, tons of game modes (both on disc and downloadable), adjustable difficulty levels and branching paths with alternate bosses depending on your skill, the replay value is really high, the game itself is difficult but once you master the various gameplay mechanics it becomes really rewarding and addictive.
A welcome addition to the "bullet hell" shooter genre
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on 7 November 2011
Any fan of shoot em ups should purchase this game immediately, Hours of fun and competitive play to be had.
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