DoDonPachi Resurrection Review thumbnail

DoDonPachi Resurrection Review

Challenging shoot 'em up greatness

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on

DoDonPachi Resurrection is rated Teen by the ESRB

It's absolutely awesome that CAVE's library of shmups is being ported to Switch and genre fans can now enjoy DoDonPachi Resurrection.

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DoDonPachi Resurrection screenshot 1
Is anything cooler than bosses that transform?

I love CAVE shoot 'em ups and have enjoyed a couple previous entries in the DonPachi franchise as I own both DonPachi and DoDonPachi for PS1 but I've never played DoDonPachi Resurrection and it's quite a modern marvel. However, I will admit right off the bat that I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I did Espgaluda II with its intricate difficulty and scoring mechanics as DoDonPachi Resurrection mostly opts to play it safe with tried and true core gameplay and of course, thrilling action-packed stages that provide a hearty challenge. v1d30chumz 100-24-118-144

Now, that should be more than enough on its own for any serious shmup player, especially considering just how tight and responsive the controls are. On a basic level, you alternate between a turbo shot and a steady laser shot which each have their own advantages. For example, the latter is slower and can halt enemy lasers mid-stream while the former can cancel projectiles whenever you're in hyper mode. Speaking of which, your hyper gauge gradually fills and once it's full, you can enter hyper mode to become more powerful and have the ability to cancel any enemy attack by alternating between the 2 shot types. Meanwhile, you get a stock of bombs that you can automatically deploy whenever you're about to get hit which is great for genre newcomers because this can be one tough shmup.

DoDonPachi Resurrection screenshot 2
Time to cancel some bullets so I can catch my breath

Before discussing more about its gameplay, I must say that DoDonPachi Resurrection is one great-looking and sounding shmup. I love it when shoot 'em ups feature such detailed visuals that you want to just reach into the screen and pick up the ships and such to get a closer look of them. The Raiden franchise is great at this yet DoDonPachi Resurrection is similar in its approach with superbly animated bosses, detailed stages, and distinctly-coloured projectiles. Oh, the music is excellent as well with plenty of upbeat and memorable tunes and I swear; one boss even goes to the music which made my jaw drop. I wish more shmups had this level of finesse. 😊

When it comes to modes, DoDonPachi Resurrection features 8 iterations that vary in difficulty and complexity. The most notable iteration is the original Black Label version where you can combine both shot types by holding 2 buttons down and while doing so, a gauge will increase that will eventually make the gameplay enter a super-difficult mode. Black Label also has an arrange mode that has you pilot the helicopter from Ketsui; another CAVE shmup. This is probably the most action-packed mode as you get a ton of firepower via option satellites and you can lock-on to enemies, too. There's also an iteration that lets you always fight the secret mid-bosses, a couple of novice modes, a sort of customizable VR training mode, and a basic arrange mode that resembles the previous DonPachi game.

With all of these modes in mind, you can further change up the gameplay to suit your play style by choosing from a few distinct ships and styles. For example, you can have a more focused or wider shot as well as choose to use bombs or sacrifice them for a potentially more powerful shot. Some options are trickier than others so as you adapt to the gameplay, it's rewarding to experiment with a higher degree of challenge. With all of that being said, there are no substantial power-ups which makes progress feel less satisfying as your capabilities remain flat from start to finish. It's still a ton of fun, though, and changing up the modes and options adds variety.

DoDonPachi Resurrection screenshot 3
Well, things sure have escalated quickly!

When it comes to great shoot 'em ups, DoDonPachi Resurrection is one of the best with challenging yet easily digestible gameplay and stylish eye-popping visuals. Plus, the fact that it's jam-packed with modes and content makes it one complete package.

  • + Tight and action-packed arcade action that's rewarding and challenging
  • + Loads of iterations and options
  • + Excellent visuals and music
  • - Mostly standard shoot 'em up gameplay with few truly stand-out mechanics
  • - Lacks satisfying power-ups
8.2 out of 10
Gameplay video for DoDonPachi Resurrection thumbnail
Watch A.J. play DoDonPachi Resurrection
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