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The bullet hell wizards over at Cave have ported yet another game from their vast library to the AppStore. DoDonPachi Blissful Death was actually the second game in the series, released in 2002. DoDonPachi Resurrection came later in 2008. This is why it's a far simpler and more streamlined title, but it still offers that same special Cave brand of chaos. Great visual and audio, and an all around great shooter.
Blissful Death is really more similar to Cave's other recent port, Bug Princess, which was originally released in '04. Because of that close release window, you can really see how Blissful Death is virtually the same as Bug Princess in many ways, from the interface to the level progression to the shooting mechanics. There is no special smart-phone mode with complex new additions here. The Hyper Gauge works a bit differently and there's no Slaughter/Menace Gauge to be found. All we get is a simple arcade mode with four difficulties and a practice mode. I don't mean to sell the game short though. Simpler does not always mean inferior. It's really based on your preference.
Only two ship types are available, and you can also choose between three different pilots who strengthen various aspects of their ship. Controls are the same as ever, with smooth touch controls that don't obscure your view and easy to reach virtual buttons. You can switch between the wider spread shot and the more focused laser depending on your situation, and bombs can still automatically be deployed when you are hit. Lasers are no longer required to deflect enemy lasers, simply because enemies don't have lasers yet.
The visuals are a bit more muted than Resurrection, once again virtually the same quality as Bug Princess, although with a completely different aesthetic. Still colorful and appealing, but slightly less vivid. The soundtrack is excellent, as they always are, and there are plenty of minor options to tweak to your liking. Both Game Center and OpenFeint achievements and leaderboards are supported for all you competitive types. You can download this quality shooter for a mere five dollars (yet another similarity to Bug Princess). Cave seems to be working backwards through its catalog of carnage filled titles, so maybe we'll finally get the original 1997 DoDonPachi next, but who knows? You probably already know if you're a fan of Cave shooters by now, so you probably already know if you'll be downloading this. As usual, there's a Lite version to try if you remain unsure.