DoDonPachi Resurrection Switch Review – Classic Resurrected

    Title: DoDonPachi Resurrection
    Developer: CAVE
    Release Date: November 24, 2021
    Reviewed On: Switch
    Publisher: Live Wire
    Genre: Shmup

If Mushihimesama is the best introduction to the bullet-hell shmup design of developer CAVE, then DoDonPachi Resurrection is the game that represents the developer’s signature style to the fullest. While one may debate which is the best, there’s no denying that Resurrection encompasses the fine-tune systems in the genre. Thankfully, this latest Switch release provides the base game and so much more.

Although not every Switch release from developer LiveWire is of note, they’ve gone back and done an excellent job with DoDonPachi, and this time there are no typos in the menus. Here we have version 1.5 of the main game and Version 1.51. They’re completely different games, too, with unique scoring conventions and mechanical nuances. Things get even crazier as we get the Black Label mode and its arranged variation, featuring crossover content and gameplay from another CAVE shooter classic called Ketsui.

This release feels like a collection of games, even if they share the same enemy types and bosses. These are challenging games, so the novice variations can help players ease into the experience. If that wasn’t enough, the release also comes with special arranged modes Version B and Version L. Version B almost feels like a debug mode as players can freely customize the rules and parameters of the core gameplay and witness absolute chaos unfold. On the other hand, Version L features crossover content and gameplay from another game in the same series called DoDonPachi DaiOuJou.

DoDonPachi Resurrection 2

Each variation could have been released as a separate game on Switch or as DLC, especially when some features crossover content and mechanics from other CAVE games. Yet, here, we have the most comprehensive release possible right out of the box, and all of it is expertly presented and ported. In addition, it has all the modes, options, and features you could want, including online leaderboards.

The games look and sound fantastic, and this is indeed representative of the signature style of the developer, in terms of the character artwork and especially the energetic soundtrack. On Nintendo Switch, these games feel great to play, as they represent the absolute chaos of bullet hell and yet still feature sound-level design and logical difficulty progression as you go from boss to boss. So even if you’ve already picked up Resurrection for PC or even Xbox 360, the work done here is worth another look for fans.

DoDonPachi Resurrection 3

There’s a lot to unpack here between all the different versions, but at its core DoDonPachi Resurrection has you choose between three different ships which vary in their shot style, and then you can choose between three special move styles. The core shooting has a spread shot and a concentrated beam attack, along with a special attack depending on the selected style.

The scoring system has you chaining different attacks as you take down enemies to increase your score multiplier. Although the systems vary depending on which game you’re playing, the core fundamentals feel straightforward because it’s really all about destroying enemies in succession without slowing down. Still, if you want to master the intricacies, you can use a training mode for each of the games present.

DoDonPachi Resurrection 1

DoDonPachi Resurrection is the kind of experience that fully represents what the series and its developer are all about. This Switch release is complete as it contains an excellent port of the main game and several other variations that feel like entirely different games. In short, you are given a lot of choice and customization. If you own a Switch, then you cannot go wrong with adding this game to your collection.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Jahanzeb Khan

Old SEGA games will go up in value... you'll see!