Recently there has emerged a sub-genre
of shooters refered to as "manic shooters". These are the games
whose bullet count rivals that of the NRA. They have so many on
screen that they probably slow down the game by themselves! I'm
not sure what game started all this (probably Batsugun,
although I could be wrong) but what you have here is one of, if
not the, best examples of the genre, DonPachi.
Whenever you see this game the first time your reaction will probably
be "So? I've seen harder." The first level is nowhere NEAR as difficult
as the later levels. This is one game where you'll have to smack
continue a few times, believe me.
The graphics are some of the most colorful I've ever seen in this
genre, perhaps rivalled only by Mystic Riders. The weird thing is,
they don't overpower and become cartoonish. This is a problem with
a lot of games of this type, but not here. Everything fits into
it's surroundings very well and don't look out of place.
You have three ships to control, each with their own weapon. The
green helicopter has two side pods that move when you do, in addition
to the forward facing machine gun. The blue ship has the ubiquitous
three-way shot, but it's spread out so far it's tough to use efficiently.
The orange ship has a forward-firing gun that simply shoots wave
after wave of destruction. All of these are powered up by collecting
little "P" icons. Innovative, huh? If you hold the fire button,
you get a never-ending stream of blasting goodness, but your ship
slows down a bit. Don't think this means to a crawl. Nowhere near
it. This is one of the fastest moving shooters I've played. Maybe
one level in Sengoku Ace
is as fast, but only for a while. This game is like that all the
The enemies range from your standard shooter cannon fodder to freaky
huge bosses. They, quite frankly, scare the poop out of me. The
freakiest is the one that shoots these huge red orbs while firing
off a never-ending machine gun blast.
GAAAAHHHHH! Sometimes the
waves of enemies cover the entire screen and you'll find yourself
trying in vain to eke out any kind of non-self-destructive room
you can. This game is nuts. The bosses probably aren't the biggest
or baddest ever seen, but they are WAY up there. In addition to
the aforementioned red-orb spewing beast you also have things like
a mine-hurling blue thing that likes to fly around everywhere. Then
you have the guy that just kind of sits there. Then he chucks out
about a hundred missiles which promptly turn into you-seeking bullets.
GAAAAHHHHH again! If you
haven't figured it out already, this game is HARD. But, strangely
enough, not the "I'm gonna chuck my controller at the next thing
that moves" hard. For some reason whenever you bite it you feel
it's your fault. It's not every game that can pull off being this
difficult and make you feel like you could beat it on one life.
The sound also helps the mood out. Large explosions sound like large
explosions. Machine lasers sound like machine lasers. The music
is pretty good, as far as I can tell. I can't remember much of it,
but I was trying to avoid like nine gajillion bullets while taking
screenshots, go easy on me. There's also the weird voice-over guy.
He yells things like "Go for it rookie!" and "Just
a few more shots!" during boss encounters. This is really
not as bad and annoying as you may think. The guy actually sounds
like he is interested in you blowing everything up. He only pops
up once or twice a level, so it's hard to be annoyed by him.
As you may have deduced by now, I love this game. The graphics are
great, the sound is great, the gameplay is great. That adds up to
a great game, if not an absolute classic. I think it is.