second part of DonPachi could be best described as "more
of everything". There's more action, more details more playtime.
Even the medals are bigger. In the second stage you are able to
catch medals bigger than your own ship. Talking about medals:
Besides the power-ups 'P' and 'B' for enhancing the strength of
your weapons, there are bee medals hidden in the whole game. If
you shoot where a bee medal is hidden, it starts to blink. Then
you will need to use your laser to free it, before you can collect
the medal. Hidden bee medals can be found in DonPachi also. btw.
An interesting new feature in Do Donpachi is in the selection
screen at the beginning of the game. Now you can set the balance
between the shot and the laser weapon (see our review of 'DonPachi'
for more infos on the weaponary). So if you prefer playing it
old-skool (tapping the [A] button), you should choose the 'Shot'
option which gives you more power for the bullet salves. In case
you like more the "mowing" (holding the [A] button),
you might select the 'laser' option which makes the laser stronger
than the other gun.
Like in DonPachi, the [B] button drops a nice smartbomb that will
combine with the laser, if released while holding the [A] button.
Otherwise it explodes in a more classical way and erases the enemies
all over the screen.
CAVE reused the basics of DonPachi's scoring system where you
get combo scores for hits within a specific time range. If it
takes too long for your next hit, the chain breaks and counting
restarts. Speaking about time: The games has 6 levels instead
of 5 like the predecessor and a second round. The music score
is similar to DonPachi, but has more guitar sounds instead of
strings and trumpets, what makes the music sound harder.
People like Bernard Doria (you will find a link to his brilliant
conquest manual "bee preying" in the shmup portal of
World-of-Arcades) and Aichi-Ken's insane replay movie have proven,
that Do Donpachi has got a brilliant gameplay and it is really
possible to finish the whole game without losing a single life.
Needless to say, that this goal is almost impossible to reach,
unless you practice for a very long time.
Collecting CAVE games can be an expensive hobby and Do Donpachi
is not only one of the most successful titles, it is still one
of the expensive CAVE PCBs (depending on it's age). If you
can't find the arcade PCB for a decent price fitting to your budget,
you might consider a purchase of the Sega Saturn console port
of this game, which is also quite good; at least gameplay-wise.
[the sheep] in 2002