DoDonPachi II - IGS

DoDonPachi II - Bee Storm
Arcade - IGS - 2001

Reviewed by Undamned

If you're not familiar with Cave's line of shmups, you're missing out on a chunk of the modern manic shmup scene as it should be experienced, with your heart pounding your chest and your fist pounding something near you when you die. Donpachi and DoDonpachi are both Cave titles and somehow IGS attained the rights for DoDonPachi II (I'm led to believe it was blackmail or a corporate poker game gone bad).

IGS did some quality graphics and sound, but as far as play mechanics, they didn't even match DDP let alone best it as I had so hoped. It was like they took some employee (maybe the janitor) and sat them down with a copy of DDP and said, "ok, play this game through once and scratch down a few notes on the gameplay." Then they took that, made some nice graphics and sound and that became what we now call DDPII. For face value it is a fairly legit sequel, but to someone who has actually put some sweat and tears (no blood yet) into DDP, DDPII is missing some key elements.

I picked up DoDonpachi and DoDonpachi II at the same time. After playing a bit of DDPII I decided to learn something about the heritage of this game by diving recklessly into it's "modern classic" prequel. Well, needless to say I have been hooked on DDP since. Upon my return to DDPII I was dissapointed because as much as it is a cool shmup, it's just not DDP.

Let me share some of the key cool points of the game and then the key things that truly dissapointed me:

Top 5 Cool Things About DDP II:

5: High score login feature. Encodes your initials and score into something you can submit to the IGS high score website.

4: Some of the music. IGS went with more of a techno type score for DDPII and I think it is quite fitting.

3: Last three bosses. Those last few bosses are cool.

2: Artwork. A bit different finish than DDP, but nice nevertheless.

1: Challenge. Great challenge to be had in this game.

Top 5 (ok, 6) Things that Ruin DDP II:

6: Cannot use both laser bomb and regular bomb. You don't go changing things that were one way in TWO prequels.

5: No "popcorn" enemies. Even the weakest of enemies take many hits to destroy creating a very un-DDP feel.

4: Combo slop. Instead of losing your combo when your HIT meter is nill, it just decreases rapidly until you pick it up again (like boss battles in DDP).

3: Recycled graphics. Way too much for a sequel. You couldn't even justify it as DDP 1.5 because you've already lost so much play mechanics.

2: Score is not reset when you continue. "What's wrong, Bobby? Oh, you want your name on the high score list? Here you go, just put in some more credits. That's right, there you go."

1: No bomb multiplier. DDP players are well aware that the bomb multiplier is key to serious scoring (not to mention a test of one's skills). Yep, it's gone. Bye, bye.

Side notes: Combos are frozen at the end of the level and continue into the boss battle.

Choose your battle fighter! >>

Preliminary Stage:

Level One:

Level Two:


Level Three:

Level Four:

Level Five:

Secret Level:

3 Different modes are available: Combat, I.R. and... something I can not read. As far as I can tell, the one I can't read is kindof a practice mode which only has like 3 levels or so. Oh, and you choose between Bomber and Energy mode too. In Energy mode you must scrape bullets and enemies to build up enough energy for a laser blast. Bomber let's you bomb away, pick up more bombs, and repeat.

Thanks undamned!! From IGS website:

  • Magnificent visual sense and lively rhythm, you will feel completely refreshed.
  • Strong fire power and the excitement of beating the numbers by few to totally satisfy your heroism.
  • The intensity bomb screen attack of the enemy to create an exciting, thrilling live war feel at scene.

Yes. Should I consider my heroism satisfied with this lively rhythm? I bought this cart (which can be had pretty cheaply if you hunt around) and felt pretty much the same as undamned too. So did mikeb, have a look at his overview here.

If I had an opinion, which I do - it's that DDP2 is quite a lot of fun, very colourful, but with some amateurish graphics and a fairly broken game system. Depends how much of a nut you are about gameplay mechanics, and how much you've played the brilliant DDP. Personally, I couldn't stand the flaws, and sold it after a week and went back to playing DDP and lusting after DDP3 - malc


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie