February 9, 2012 | Andy Boxall
The latest from bullet hell shooter specialists Cave has arrived today, DonDonPachi Blissful Death. The game is an iOS port of the arcade version, and comes with four levels of difficulty, Game Center and OpenFeint compatibility, massive weaponry and three different characters to choose between.
Cave are the masters of bullet hell on iOS, but have recently complained of falling profits and ‘tough market conditions’, resulting in many of their game projects being put on hold. Instead, they will be concentrating on what they call ‘social games.’
To me, social gaming means FarmVille and all its imitators, and warns of the presence of in-app purchases; something that’s a far cry from the majesty of titles such as Espgaluda II. I don’t equate social gaming with gamers, unlike the majority of Cave’s existing iOS catalog.
If Cave has been seeing low sales in the App Store, it’s not because of the games, but their often insane pricing. Espgaluda II is still $7.99 for the iPhone and an eye-watering $13.99 for the HD iPad version, so fans must spend more than $20 on a single game to play across two devices.
Compare this to the equally impressive Damaku Unlimited on the iPhone, which costs $1.99, or universal games like Super Crossfire HD and Space Invaders Infinity Gene at $2.99 and $4.99 respectively, and it’s not difficult to see why they’re having trouble.
Thankfully Cave has seen some sense with DoDonPachi Blissful Death, deciding to price it at a more reasonable $4.99, however it’s still not a universal app, and also doesn’t contain the ‘smartphone’ version of the game seen in the full editions of previous DoDonPachi games, as well as Esgpaluda II.
They’ve also tried an alternative option of breaking up these ‘arcade’ and ‘smartphone’ versions into two apps, and charging less for them. However, for the average iOS gamer, the difference between them isn’t clear, and the thought of buying one edition only to discover they should have gone with the other is equally as off-putting as a high price.
You can see the trailer for DoDonPachi Blissful Death below, and please download the game so we may be able to get more great games like it, instead of yet another ‘social’ game.