Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

DoDonPachi Blissful Death

Review: DoDonPachi Blissful Death

12:00 PM on 02.17.2012 // Allistair Pinsof

Touch controls will never be able to replace the accuracy and fluidity that can be achieved with a joystick, but of course, any CAVE fan knows this by now. The actual concern when approaching an iOS CAVE game is if the controls will get in the way of having fun.

If you are seeking to burn through the leaderboards or 1CC the game on Hell mode, you are approaching an uphill battle, but that's only part of the problem with DoDonPachi Blissful Death. Even with the port's flaws, there is still no denying it's still one of CAVE's strongest shmups.

DoDonPachi Blissful Death (iOS)
Developer: CAVE
Publisher: CAVE
Released: February 9, 2012
MSRP: $4.99

Despite the awkward (but understandable) name change, this is DoDonPachi Dai Ou Jou. Originally released to arcades and PlayStation 2 in the early '00s, it is thought of by CAVE fans as being one of the developer's best efforts. If nothing else, it certainly set the tone and pace for what was to come from the then still-young Japanese developer. So, just because you are taking a chronological step back from recent iOS CAVE releases, including DoDonPachi Resurrection and Bug Princess, don't fear that you will be shorthanded.

For those who have never played a DoDonPachi game, you are in for a treat as well as a steep learning curve. That learning curve doesn't come from understanding the mechanics -- which are very basic -- but from adjusting to the series' signature speed and imaginative enemy bullet patterns. More than any other CAVE title, there is an art to the way the enemies attack in this game. You'll remember stages not from their backdrops but because of their memorable enemies and boss fights. Rarely are stages and enemy formations as thoughtfully composed in a shmup as in this one.

You may be getting only half the resolution of the arcade experience, but the frame rate is solid, unlike the rather shoddy PS2 port. The frame rate comes with a serious price, however: the game will not run on iPad 1, iPod Touch 3rd gen, or iPhone 3GS. Also, and here's a bit of irony, several CAVE fans noticed that some intentional slowdown from the original isn't present in this port (even though the Japan-only Xbox 360 port had it). Like past CAVE iOS releases, you can change button placement, screen size, and other options. There is a five-stage campaign, a practice mode, and four difficulty levels -- the hardest (Hell) is pretty close to the arcade original.

DoDonPachi's futuristic sci-fi setting isn't inspired in itself, but everything from the portraits of the cyber-dolls (uh?) that control your ship to the the elaborate bosses look fantastic. No one does sprite work like CAVE which makes it a shame you aren't getting the full resolution. I can't comment on how it scales to iPad, but please leave a comment below if you have experience with it. Despite the drop in video quality, the bullets and backgrounds are as bright as ever which is essential for a game this fast and populated with enemies.

You control your ship by guiding it with a finger and hitting side buttons to switch from laser to machine gun or to drop a bomb. More than any previous iOS shmups, I found that these controls became increasingly problematic the longer my session lasted. When played in brief bursts (one stage), the controls are adequate. However, playing from beginning to end is a difficult task, mostly because sliding your finger wildly across the screen isn't easy.

CAVE's first iOS release, Espgaluda II, remains their best work on the platform because of two factors: the narrower playing range and the ship's high sensitivity. In contrast, Blissful Death features a wide playing field and two ships that are very slow by comparison. I understand the reasoning behind this -- I mean, which do you sacrifice? Precision to dodge bullets in boss fights or the ability to fly around the screen with ease?

As a CAVE fanatic who strives for 1CC playthroughs at arcades, I think precision is more important. However, on iOS I want speed because that makes the game more fun and approachable. As a result of the game's low sensitivity, my finger grew increasingly uncomfortable until I decided to stop playing. It speaks volumes of the game's quality that I return to it at all. It'd be nice if future CAVE releases would include sensitivity options.

As CAVE continues to port its games to iOS, it should be more cautious about how it adapts certain titles and whether some should be adapted at all. On one side is Espgaluda II, and on the other is the nightmare of porting the complex Guwange (available on Xbox Live Arcade and totally worth the money). Blissful Death falls somewhere between the two. Between the wide playing field, constant use of buttons (you need to switch to laser for large ships and bosses), and need to move across the screen frequently in later stages, iOS isn't the ideal platform for Blissful Death. It works and is even fun at times, but only until the frustration sets in.

But I'm preaching to the choir here. Either you are on board with having a gimped, portable version of CAVE's classics or you have no interest emulating an inferior experience. So, yes, the game can be fun in short bursts, but CAVE's failure to re-tune the game for the platform keeps it from reaching the early heights of its Espgaluda II port, which, let's be honest, was only so good because the original game was a better fit for the platform.

I don't think you'd regret purchasing DoDonPachi Blissful Death, but I doubt it will feed your hunger for a proper arcade experience. If nothing else, CAVE has given Westerners a legitimate way to buy the game so they don't feel so bad about emulating it on MAME, where this classic shines with a joystick and full resolution.



DoDonPachi Blissful Death - Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
Amicable - A presentable but unmemorable time. Focusing on the bright spots helps, and I appreciate the effort, but I won't be playing this repeatedly.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
DoDonPachi Blissful Death

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 1

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Flegma avatarFlegma
Memo to self: spend your time cleaning before wasting ten or so hours on a cblog you'll end up just scrapping because you're incompetent and incapable of writing on the subject.
Is there an occupation out there for people who want to give up and not worry about shit for a while until they can recompose themselves before going back into society?
Parismio avatarParismio
That test was pretty raw. Some decisions cut deep, some I didnt care for at all. But im satisified with the end result.
Lawman avatarLawman
Torchman avatarTorchman
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
People are having serious anthropological discussions about video games and here I am reminding people that they have one more day to get a dumb card I painted:
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
I just finished this thing here: I'm mostly happy with my results, altough it lacks some stuff like Skyward Sword or Sonic & Knuckles [img][/img]
techsupport avatartechsupport
While I am glad I only paid $15 for it, I bought J-STARS VS+ for one specific reason: to drink some beer and kick ass as Yusuke and Hiei. And in that regard, it delivers. Beer not included.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
We can be so weird sometimes. You can easily move on from some of the stuff you might want to remember forever, but then sometimes you just can't let go of trivial things. What's up with that?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I'm in the mood for some feel-good music. Hit me with your best feel-good VGM, people! [youtube][/youtube]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
My "Thankful it's over" post is done. Editing it tonight, posting tomorrow. Will there be more last-minute entries? Will Pixie be merciful to Twilight Princess? Will Zetta add words to his entry? Why is bear driving? Who run Bartertown? Stay Tuned!
Parismio avatarParismio
Whelp since i got my ass kicked at snowboarding ive been issued a muscle relaxer today and slept the entire day. Time went by so fast. Is- is this what the phantom cigar is like?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What the hell is a Shantae?
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Ok you Monday morning motherfuckers, 3 favourite fictional universes you'd like to exist in (The initial iteration of the universe had to be in videogame form) Go.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just ran into my first 'suicide mole rat' in Fallout 4. I'm beginning to think this may not be a 100% accurate, meticulously researched recreation of life after the apocalypse.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well I just played Undertale. It's a really unique game, but the difficulty in the beginning is a tad intense. Got clobbered once they started throwing three monsters at me at a time and lost a lot of progress... where's Toriel when I need her?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What should I do guys?
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
[img][/img] The Freedom Planet Indie Box, for those that were interested. And it looks like a "wild cat" is there too!
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just 1200 words left to go on my essays. Do I deserve a day off to play Just Cause 3 once I'm done? Yes.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Elite: Dangerous has some glaring issues, and can occasionally feel kinda bare bones, but I'll be damned if it isn't one of my favorite games in recent memory. Ships are fun to fly, trading is rewarding, and the sound design is absolutely brilliant.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -