| paleface [sys=PCB; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=JPN] |
|Reference added: 433|
"Cave's recent shooters ddpDOJ and Ketsui are quite similar."
Ketsui comes after dodonpachi DAI-OU-JOU (entry 433) in Cave's gameography, I think--and the gameplay would certainly seem to reflect that, as it takes the manic bullet swarms of DOJ and notches up the action with a scoring mechanic that rewards you with a larger score multiplier the closer you are to the enemy when you kill them. In order to get a high score, in other words, you have to get right up in their face--and to do that and live you must have both quick reflexes and a good memory/anticipation for where and when their next shot is going to appear.
The game also adds beefy sub-bosses to the game, so substantial that they rate their own life meters, and could stand for end bosses in pretty much any other company's games.
The graphics look quite a bit like DOJ, and being on the same hardware with presumably the same Cave artists doing the work must certainly account for that similarity, only this time around they go with a semi-modern mechanical theme as opposed to DOJ's more futuristic biomechanical stylings. The menus are a good deal jazzier than DOJ's. Sound and music overall are quite similar to that other game, although I didn't hear a track quite as cool as DOJ's semi-vocal wailings.
The game seems at least as hard as DOJ (ie, really freakin' hard), not on the first level of course but by stage three or four you're getting things like bullets that go down to the bottom of the screen, then reverse and come back up, or ships that fly down the sides of the screen and shoot inward while their big mama ship stays at the top and sprays thick bursts of the bullets down between them. The greater variety of bullet shapes and colors in this game, unlike the fairly uniformly large and round bullets in DOJ, have taken some getting used to for me.
In fact I'm still getting used to them, and it's quite an enjoyable schooling. Motivating the player to stick their head right down the enemy's gun barrel is a brilliant innovation, a gameplay hook even more risky and thrilling than bullet buzzing in games like Psyvariar 2 (entry 427) and Shikigami no Shiro (entry 249). I can't yet claim that I've quite found the massive laser beam and siren wailing personality of a DoDonPachi here, but there's somewhat more meat to the basic gameplay itself that will stand you in good stead.