Bullet hell shooter and CAVE fans rejoice, as one of the most recognizable names in the genre has made a return to coin-op with the release of DODONPACHI TRUE DEATH EXA LABEL on the exA-Arcadia platform. There is also a special Limited Edition version of the EXA board that comes with the game and some other DDP goodies, although I hear that pre-orders are just about closed on that one.
If you aren’t familiar with CAVE or the DoDonPachi series, then I’ll do the lazy thing and send you to the Wikipedia entry on the company. Otherwise, you probably already know who they are.
It’s been a long time since the CAVE name graced the arcade scene, with Akai Katana and DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou being the last titles released in the coin-op format. This new DDP game is essentially the final director’s cut of the latter, offering up four game modes in one: the original title (the 2012 SDOJ release), a new EXA Mode(with adaptive difficulty), the 2013 Xbox 360 release of the game and Inbachi Mode, where you showdown against the boss known as In-Bachi. There have also been various other changes, including the addition of a new fighter craft and voice acting for that character. This also only has 2 frames of lag, which is the same as the original arcade version. Here’s a trailer:
From what I’ve heard, this game has done exceptionally well on location tests in Japan, easily landing in the top earnings slots, or near the top. I’m not sure if anywhere open in the US or Europe has grabbed this yet, but unfortunately, a bullet hell style shooter is a taller order for success outside of Japan, since most arcade-goers these days prefer casualized content. That said, this particular game is perhaps the most successful and popular such STG out there, so what better way to give the genre a boost than with a unique version of it to enjoy. The adaptive difficulty in EXA mode is also a nice touch and might help newbies get into the game; That was integrated into Vritra Hexa, and it was interesting how that felt as I played through the game yesterday (the end of that game also has a declaration “Shmups will never die!” – video on that one coming later tonight or tomorrow). The steep difficulty curve behind most shmups is what I think hinders the acceptance of the genre out there, so it seems that exA has been doing what they can to address that.
H/T to Arcade Belgium for finding this unboxing video of this new addition as well:
Anyways, what do you think about this new release? Would you press your local arcade to grab it if they were open to such games?