Dodonpachi Saidaioujou is a vertical bullet hell shoot 'em up developed by Cave, and the latest game in the Donpachi series. The game was released in Japanese arcades on April 20, 2012 and is scheduled for a region-free Xbox 360 release on May 30, 2013. It features music by Manabu Namiki and character designs by Nagi Ryou.
At the start of the game, the player is given a choice between three "elemental doll" characters, which determines the player's ship type:
- Shuri (Type A) - Red, fast ship with a narrow shot.
- Hikari (Type B) - Green, medium-speed helicopter with a shot that angles with the player's movement.
- Maria (Type C) - Blue, slow ship with a wide shot.
The player must also choose between three styles: Shot, Laser and Expert. Roughly speaking, Shot style is the easiest mode, while Laser is more difficult and Expert is the most challenging.
When the Shot style is chosen, the ship's shot attack is powered up; the player starts out with three bombs and can hold up to six. When the Laser style is chosen, the ship's laser attack is powered up; the player starts out with two bombs and can hold up to four. When the Expert style is chosen, both the ship's shot and laser attacks are powered up and the player hitbox is smaller, but enemy bullet patterns become fiercer. The player starts out with one bomb and can hold up to two.
The player's style selection also affects what clothing his or her chosen elemental doll will wear: standard outfits ("military clothing") for Shot style, casual clothing for Laser style, and swimsuits for Expert style. This effect is purely cosmetic.
The auto-bomb feature introduced in Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu returns, but has been modified: it now consumes all of the player's stored bombs instead of just one. As in Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label the player can choose whether or not auto-bombing should be used. With auto-bomb turned off the player gets an extra bomb upon respawning after death. Hypers also return, and work similarly to in Dodonpachi Daioujou: that is to say, a hyper only cancels enemy bullets the moment it is activated.
Xbox 360 Version
The Xbox 360 port was released in Japan on May 30, 2013. The port features HD visuals, online leaderboards and replays, a Novice mode, a tweaked "Version 1.5" mode, and an arranged story-based mode featuring a new playable character named Saya.
The port includes a few gameplay systems that have never before appeared in a Cave game, such as an in-game "shop" that offers up gameplay modifiers that can be purchased with points earned by playing the game.
The Xbox 360 port is region-free, playable on Xbox 360 consoles from any region.
Limited Edition Releases
The Xbox 360 port was released in three flavors: Standard Edition, Limited Edition, and Super Limited Edition.
The Limited Edition includes a steelbook case, an arranged soundtrack CD, and an art book.
The Super Limited Edition includes the same steelbook case and arranged soundtrack CD featured in the Limited Edition package, in addition to a larger-sized art book, an arcade version soundtrack CD (which is otherwise out of print), a CD single of the new opening theme song, three sheets of stickers, and a set of the toresetsu (instruction sheets) only included with the arcade version of the game.
The game's official soundtrack was released on April 25, 2012 as a part of a 2-disc compilation that also contains DoDonPachi Maximum's soundtrack.