DoDonPachi (Arcade) review
"Do Don Pachi is packed with ecstasy, not the brain rotting drug but the mixed feelings of apprehension, excitement and anger. The three combined create an unknown emotion that seems to be locked inside the human system, until one plays Do Don Pachi. Once you have experienced the ride that is Do Don Pachi you will never forget it, the firing of the ships cannon, the array of tanks and planes as they surround the one solitary ship floating over the wrecked world. There is no going back, itís ..."
Do Don Pachi is packed with ecstasy, not the brain rotting drug but the mixed feelings of apprehension, excitement and anger. The three combined create an unknown emotion that seems to be locked inside the human system, until one plays Do Don Pachi. Once you have experienced the ride that is Do Don Pachi you will never forget it, the firing of the ships cannon, the array of tanks and planes as they surround the one solitary ship floating over the wrecked world. There is no going back, itís you against the world, and pansies need not apply.
Do Don Pachi throws you into an all out war with you as Earthís only weapon against a huge alien fleet. At first it may seem a little unfair that one small spaceship as this to deal with and youíll be wondering that as you begin to play the game. As you press fire you are silenced completely as a laser, as large as a skyscraper, bursts forth from your cannon and slices through the enemy vehicles that soon begin to wish that they hadnít underestimated you. This may seem extremely simple at first but then youíll realise that itís just to the beginning.
With one upgrade the beam of your ship expands like a throbbing muscle wrapped in Spandex. The damage is more devastating as once again the masses and masses of tanks and helicopters leap upon you. Then with one swift blast the bean comes forward and sweeps away the machines, leaving only a trail of burning metal and swirling flame. A swift maneuver into another upgrade, floating in the battle field cause you laser to grow yet again into a pulsating force that will sweep anything that it skims across. This isnít your only method of offense as your ship can also carry a host of bombs, that either sweep the area clean of any hostile life or give your already stunning fire power a little boost by creating an even bigger laser. Woe are the ones who foolishly attack you.
Before all this occurs you are able to select one of three fighters and one of two modes of firing. The first ship is the most agile of the three, an important asset to have when you have to dodge millions of shots coming from choppers and tanks in almost every direction imaginable. The second craft is a helicopter, a slower vehicle no doubt but with almost equal fighting power. Last, but of no means least is plane, lacking somewhat in the speed department but is almost unrivalled when it comes to sheer force and ferocity. Each ship has two smaller ships hovering alongside and each has their own weapon attached which will help you burn enemies to a crisp, itís the combination of the three guns that create the big gun that was afore mentioned. After picking you vessel you can the choose the ability to power either your shot or your laser, both to a lot of damage and the differences are relatively small as they both produce the goods to sweep away the array of attacking adversaries.
There are plenty of these guys to keep you entertained and they keep coming and coming at you. Firstly you will fly over a rocky canyon; helicopters with guns blazing will appear charge down towards you, bigger crafts with superior firepower will appear out of thin air, a huge army of tanks will roll along cliff sides turning their turrets towards you, ready to fire. Yet with one sweeping blast you strike them all away. Bigger tanks and airships may prove trickier, throwing hundreds of missiles at you, if you want to stay alive youíll have to dodge them all rapidly with perfect accuracy, or you can save time and annihilate them with a bomb. When the laser is fully powered up then most enemies will melt as if they were butter and a hot knige swiftly stroked them. Enemies will have strength in numbers and will always stack in very large groups, therefore the more projectiles you have to avoid the bigger the chances you have of losing a life so despite the fact you have a weapon that could rip the earth apart without even being switched on you can still die.
Bosses are screen fillers and by that I mean that they are absolutely gigantic. Each metal Goliath has a few tricks up itís sleeve in order to stop your mission. Whether they are over sized tanks or monstrous warships they still pack a hard punch. They fire bullets intensely and continuously and almost instantly the screen is a mesh of colour as his turrets burn and your laser screams, clashing into one another. Most bosses have a strong defence and a crazy amount of firepower. Even with a laser charged to the max it wonít do an amazing amount of damage and it will only chip health of the boss. Dropping bombs is the key your success as not only do they do excellent damage but they purge all loose shots form the boss almost instantly. If you have no bombs then prepare yourself for a long hard slug out with the boss where, I can safely guarantee one of you will not leave alive.
Do Don Pachi will remain in my heart as the greatest shooter I have played. After completing the game countless times the feeling of ecstasy remains as vibrant as it was on my first try. The thrill, the excitement does not seem to die and the atmospheric feeling seems to increase without a ceiling in sight every time you start up. Atlus/Cave may not be the most prolific gaming companies but when their games are of this quality then they donít need to. DDP will always be game to look back on when you are in a bad mood because the feeling that accompanies destroying countless foes with a Heaven ripping laser cannot be beat, with a friend the feeling can multiply. If you havenít played Do Don Pachi then you are seriously missing out on something special and also that feeling of ecstasy will never be experienced and will remain wasted inside you. Do Don Pachi, possibly the most stimulating game of all time is out there just waiting for the rest of the world to find it and give it the praise it deserves.
Community review by goldenvortex (September 26, 2004)
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