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DoDonPachi Blissful Death Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on February 9, 2012


DoDonPachi Blissful Death
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Slick, responsive controls and customizable interface.
  • Challenging 'hyper' system to master.
  • Six ship configurations alter the gameplay subtly.
  • Insane requirements for full completion.

CONS

  • As always, high device requirements (fourth gen or higher); limits available player base.
  • Noticeable vacant smartphone specific mode; 'practice' available though.

VERDICT

DoDonPachi Blissful Death takes you a few years in to the past before the events of Resurrection and puts you in control of the 'dolls' you'll eventually need to destroy; as such it's just as frantic and energetic as the series ever gets and a solid release from bullet-hell developer CAVE.


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While DoDonpachi Blissful Death (or Dai Ou Jou) was the fourth title in the DonPachi series, it was also considered the first true sequel to DoDonPachi. For those on iOS devices, it's CAVE's second release of the series for the platform, and for those following the story of the series this makes it an interesting release as it puts you in control of the very ships and dolls that went on to become your enemies in 'Resurrection'.

The tangled, weaving storyline of the DonPachi series is not an easy one to tease apart if you've not paid attention, but I'll try to summarize. The DonPachi Corps (of which you are apart of) originally recruited its members by having them slaughter masses of their comrades to prove they were the 'best' pilots available to stop a machine-invasion. The commander eventually goes mad, attempting to destroy Earth and is eventually thwarted, with the remaining crew locked away to rot in caves on the moon. This is where Blissful Death kicks off as they've rebuilt and you must defend the colonies on the moon using your piloting skills, boosted by 'dolls' (or slave AI's).

Cue a solid and subtly complex bullet-hell shooter that provides you with several ship configuration variations, including two base types (fast ship, narrow fire range, or slow ship, wide fire range) and three 'dolls' that provide perks to either your ships bullets or lasers.

As usual you're thrown up against hideously ridiculous odds, albeit with a lot of firepower at your disposal. Chain-kills provide you with more points, while a 'hyper' bar can be built up, resulting in the ability to collect up to five tokens that act as a form of ultimate weapon. Subtle touches such as bullets actually becoming *faster* after activating the mode offset any reduction in difficulty this weapon provides, though players can reset things with a bomb or two.

So basically, it's everything you've come to expect of a CAVE release, albeit without the iPhone specific tweaks that made earlier releases so much more fun to delve in to. Almost nothing is lost in this translation of the title - the game is as smooth and beautiful as ever - though as always the price for this is a fourth-gen or higher iDevice requirement.

If you love the DonPachi series, or CAVE games in general, there's definitely no reason to miss this release - it's not as nuanced as Resurrection, but it's no less complex or insanely fun for being the older title.

Screenshots

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