Review #1 by Jotaru
Based on an arcade coin-op with the same name, DoDonPachi; it is a sequel to 1997's sleeper hit, DonPachi.
DoDonPachi is basically a traditional shoot-em-up game from years ago. The screen can set up as the arcade mode, Yoko which is a vertical and narrow screen. You can also choose Tate which the screen rotates 180 degree, so you can play the game horizontally in full screen size. I personally like the original setup since it plays like the arcade; however, the screen size only uses half of the full screen, so some of the gamers may not enjoy this screen setup.
Like the prequel, there are three different types of planes to choose from, red, blue and green. All three planes are pretty much the same, except their weapons and looks. The red plane represents fire with flame-liked weapons. The blue plane represents water with wave-liked weapons. The green plane represents lightning with laser-liked weapons. Each plane also features two different shots and special weapons. By pressing the rectangle button, your normal gun shooting like a beam. The beam weapon is powerful, but it makes your ship moving slower and vulnerable. If you press the special weapon at this time, it will boost up the beam several times more powerful. By pressing the circle button, your normal gun shooting like a wide-spread machine gun and your ship moves more faster and smoother than using the beam weapon. If you press the special weapon at this time, a big bomb will activiate and destroy anything on screen. For my strategy, I normally use the wide-spread weapon for the regular enemies; but when it comes to fighting with the boss, I use the beam weapon since it's a more effective weapon against one enemy.
Graphically, DoDonPachi is a pretty but simplistic looking game with old-school 2D graphics. However, it uses a lot of different colors on screen, some gamers may find it quite appealing than some other 2D shooters. The enemies and backgrounds are finely drawn, but they are somewhat pixelized. And it often makes the text harder to read, especially in the option menu. As for the audio, the music and sound effects are average, nothing really impressed me.
The control of this game is excellent, very responsive. And you can adjust the ship's speed to your preference. The screen is constantly filled with tons of enemies shooting bullets everywhere, and there is no slowdown. Plus you can also play two players at the same time, so it's fun to blast through the stages with your friend together.
There is no FMV intro like the other shooters, such as Thunder Force V and Einhander. After you insert the game, all you see is the company logos, then it goes to the game screen directly. I guess they don't want to spend extra bucks to impress the gamers or they may be lazy.
DoDonPachi is definitely for the hard-core shooting fan, it's a very straight forward shooter which you can pick it up and play right away. The gameplay is very exciting with enemies and bullets covering the screen throughout the stages. If you just want to play a pure-fun shooter, DoDonPachi will suit your need; however, if you prefer to play a shooter that requires a bit more brain-power, Einhander is a better choice.
I personally feel DoDonPachi is a good game to rent, but it's not worth to buy. It is a great game to play through the first time, but after you beat the game, you don't feel like to play it anytime soon. Overall score, I give it a 6.