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iPhone Game Review: DoDonPachi Blissful Death
      02/18/12 04:52 PM

iPhone Game Review: DoDonPachi Blissful Death

Reviewed by SpaZtrigger

DoDonPachi Blissful Death is back for the first time in 10 years allowing iPhone and iPod touch users to fully experience the DoDonPachi World. If you are a fan, you should already be hitting the "buy" button. But if you don't know what the series is about, read on.


Anybody who has been exposed to Japanese version of the shoot 'em up genre will tell you what they love is the bullet hell style of gameplay. This arcade genre has been popular for decades. DoDonPachi Blissful Death contains two game modes one being the famed arcade mode and the other is a practice mode so that the players can hone their skills.

In arcade mode the player goes through a series of stages, each ending with their own boss till you reach the final stage where you proceed to defeat the final boss. The player has the option to choose two different ships with one having a focused spray of bullets while the other having a wide spread spray of bullets. With a strong Japanese flair, the game lets the player choose one of three dolls to go with the ship, and each doll has its own perk. The doll Shotia doubles your main shot power and gives you 3 bombs to use during your flight. Leinyan allows your laser to cut through small enemies and gives you 2 bombs to use. Finally the doll EXY gives you a powered up laser and shot in exchange for most of your bombs do that your only left with one.

You can choose one of four difficulty levels starting from the easy Novice and ending with the hardest difficulty of "Hell". During the game you can pick up a variety of items that can either boost your score, power up your vehicle, give you hyper mode, or give more bombs. To increase you score you can start by defeating enemies in rapid succession so that your Combo Counter increases and the higher the number the more points you get. While your fighting and shooting down a bunch of enemies you might uncover a golden bee which will take your Combo counter and multiply it by a thousand and add it to your score.

During the game the player can find an item that gives the ship a hyper mode which is automatically activated when the player is hurt or the player can manually activate it. Hyper mode powers up the bullet and laser significantly, and makes the player impervious to bullets.

If this all seems to be too much to you, you can play in Practice mode. In practice mode the player can choose one of five stages to play in. Unlike arcade mode however, the player can customize the number of lives, bombs, power ups, and hypers. While there might only be 5 stages it can last a very long time since games of the Bullet Hell genre are meant to be very difficult to beat. I had difficulty playing the game since I felt that the screen was too small then I discovered that there was an option to change your screen size from small to medium to large. Playing with a large screen allowed me to see my ship and do more precise maneuvers allowing me to get better at the game and play it with a lot more precision.

DoDonPachi Blissful Death for the iPhone brings back the magic of the original with tons of fun and enjoyment to the point of becoming addictive. The game supports both GameCenter and OpenFeint.


DoDonPachi Blissful Death originally came out in 2002 so of course the graphics might seem dated compared to the new titles today. While graphics are important, most players though in this game will most likely be too occupied with dodging the bullets and trying to stay alive than noticing too much about the graphics. It was disappointing to find out that the graphics had not been optimized in any way since the newer iPhones and iPads can handle graphics of amazing quality. While the graphics might not be the best ones around the gameplay makes up for it.

The controls in DoDonPachi Blissful Death was very responsive and when coupled with the large screen, they make DoDonPachi Blissful Death gameplay feel smooth and without any hassle. Although the only problem I found (which was easily solved) was the button placement. In game there are 3 buttons the player can use one was the option to switch gun types from bullet to laser. Another was the button to use a bomb and the final button allowed the player to switch off their attack. Basically that meant it would allow the player to chose whether they wanted to shot enemies or not. During critical times I'd find my self sliding over the attack on/off button and turning it off so that I wouldn't be able to shoot the enemy. You can disable the shoot on/off to easily solve the problem. Overall the controls very simple and comfortable to use since it was highly customizable which allowed the player to choose the one that fit them the best.


The DoDonPachi Series are well known for their amazing soundtrack and DoDonPachi Blissful Death is no exception. From the main menu screen to the final stage there is no song in DoDonPachi Blissful Death that doesn't impress you. While an option to play your own music might have been good, the professionally mastered tracks in DoDonPachi Blissful Death will keep you entertained; or more likely the hellish gameplay will keep you so busy that you can hardly notice anything else. But when you do pay attention, you will enjoy the music tracks in DoDonPachi Blissful Death.


DoDonPachi Blissful Death brings back the fun days of playing a Bullet Hell shooter to the iPhone with as much fun as the original games. While $7.99 might be a lot to some people it's a small price to pay for a game as fun as this.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 4 - Same old graphics as the original. Not good or bad
Sound: - 5 - Amazing soundtrack that never gets repetitive
Controls: - 5 - simple and customizable controls
Gameplay: - 5 - ton of replayabilty and fun

Playing Hints and Tips:

-In every Bullet Hell game the enemy has a pattern if which found could let the player dodge the bullets with ease.
-Using the Laser shot is more powerful and makes it easier to get a combo counter allowing for higher scores

App Facts:

Developer: CAVE
Release Date: Feb 9th, 2012
Price: $7.99
Buy App: DoDonPachi Blissful Death


Check out our full list of iPhone/iPod touch game and app reviews:

Check out our other iPad game, app and book reviews:



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