Saturday, April 24, 2010

New PCB: DoDonpachi Dai Ou Jou, Cave 2002

Dave and Andi both came by for our regular/semi-regular gaming night and toward the end, we plugged in the DOJ pcb I have been borrowing from Dave for about 6-8 months. We played a handful of credits and I got stoked to play some more, excited for the week to come.

Dave, on the other hand, decided he really didn't like the game enough to keep it, so we worked out a trade and viola! New pcb.

There's so much about this game that I love - the music by Manabu Namiki is one of his top three best OST's (the other two being Garegga and Ketsui), the graphics and feel of the stages is vintage Cave and the play control and system are just brilliant. The chaining is a bit tedious at times to get a big score, but I'm nowhere near working on the harder stuff.

I remember the first time I saw footage of this game and was actually scared to play it - it looked so hard and punishing that I thought my anger toward not being able to play it well would override my enjoyment of just playing it and it would be a dud. It turns out to be quite the opposite. I love playing it and I love the difficulty. Games stay short and just making it to stage four feels like quite an accomplishment. I'm very glad I now have this in the pcb line up.

I haven't yet set a high score of sorts, even a crappy one, but I have been working on chaining the first level and think I will post something once I get that down fairly well.

Monday, April 19, 2010

DoDonpachi 1CC + high score #5

Oh yeah! 1CC! Been working on it for three days and finaly took down the last boss for the 1CC. Holy crap, that feels good.

I ran out to get Chipotle right after and, man, the air smelled cleaner, the block looked nicer, I just wanted to tell people I was passing that I 1CC'd DDP!

The score isn't too troubling at 41,587,830 for the scoreboards and I really haven't worked on chaining the stages like I should, concentrating on the 1CC more than anything, but damn - this feels good.

I'm interested to try the game at the Missouri meet over at gunbird18's place on a cab. Hopefully someone will bring it.

For now, I'm gonna eat my well-earned dinner and smile for probably most of the night.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

DoDonpachi high score #4

Working for the clear today and haven't made it yet, but did manage to set a new high score at 34,595,940 toward the end of stage 6.

Got to the last boss of stage 6 four times this morning on 6 credits and failed to take him out. Most every time, I had an early death or wasted lots of bombs trying to learn some of the tougher patterns and ended up getting to him with only two or three bombs, but no lives. On this run, I actually didn't make it to him, but I did chain all of stage 1 with the chain breaker at the midboss and chained a good portion of stage 2, which I still have trouble with.

Each run I've been taking starts as a distance run and as soon as I make a mistake (read: die) I starting playing more aggressive to learn how to best work stages 5 and 6. I can usually do fairly well on the later stages, but consistency is my problem. I usually make a few mistakes in each run and I just need to keep practicing those later stages to make the 1CC.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Donpachi (ARC) review, high score #1

I have honestly never clicked with this game until recently. I was always dissapointed in it, what essentially was right after the masterpiese of Batsugun. Donpachi is slow, plodding, and chaining more than 40+ is really, really hard, so don't get your hopes up of stage long chains like in DDP, DOJ and DFK.

But it's not all about chaining - it's about memorization and skill and for some reason, after Andi mentioned he passed the first loop, I was intrigued to try myself and I have been switching off from this to DFK - the first and last in the series of five DP games.

I still maintain it's not one of the greatest of Cave's efforts, but it does have its bright points. Being able to make it just halfway through stage 4 feels like quite an acomplishment and the powered-up type-3 ship is a lot of fun to play with.

It does have a lot of tough, enemy-coming-up-from-behind moments where you will end up using bombs - luckily for the player, there are plenty of them in the game.

The announcer is terrible, but in a good, laughable kind of way. The OST is awful, but the sound effects are excellent, especially when you are tearing through popcorn enemies.

It also drops the rank when you bomb, which is pretty awesome. I try and bomb at least twice in each level and it makes the game much more managable.

Set this first high score at 4,393,710 at stage 4 when Dave was over Tuesday for some STG goodness.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu high score #2

I played about 50 credits last night, working on getting consistent in activating the Ura bosses, which is not easy to do! I'm also working on chaining the stages once driving up the counter, which is not nearly as hard as previous DP titles.

It's a pretty easy technique to scoring, which follows this basic pattern: 1) Use a hyper at the beginning of the stage to drive up the hit counter. 2) Kill stuff the second half of the stage to get crazy points. Your multiplier from your hit counter will only kick in if your hyper meter is full, so you need to fill that as soon as possible after that counter gets jacked up. Bees give you big boosts to your hyper gauge and it also charges while cancelling bullets in Boost mode, but not Normal mode, which just increases your hit counter more rapidly. You end up flicking back and forth from Normal to Boost to Hyper, to laser to rapid fire pretty often, making it inperative to learn and get comfortable with the button layout. More than once I have dropped an awesome hit counter from hitting the wrong button. Mostly when I get excited - like heading into the second stage Ura boss and needing to hyper right off the bat to continue the chain.

The game is pretty forgiving and amazingly awesome. I haven't been into a game this much in a long time. I really hope to lay down an actual good score (5x what I have here) soon and I'm using this high score post as more of an update on my progress more than anything.