Gaming History 101

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DoDonPachi Resurrection Review

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For whatever reason, the West gave up on the scrolling shooter genre back in the 90s.  Sure, games came and went after the 32-bit generation, but for the most part series that had existed for decades like GradiusDarius, and even R-Type ceased development.  In Japan, however, the shooter – sometimes called shoot-em-up or the divisive shorthand of shmup – has evolved along with new franchises and coveted developers.  Otaku, weeaboo (foreigners obsessed with Japanese culture), and shoot-em-up fans like myself remain aware and hungry for the new and challenging titles that come from the East.  Of those modern franchises, there are few developers more notable than Cave and there are few franchises more recognizable than DoDonPachi.  The name is a pun on both the literal meaning, angry leader bee, and the fact that “don” is onomatopoeia with bullet fire in Japanese.  The story is somewhat irrelevant at this point, mostly because we never saw a release of any of the DoDonPachi series outside of limited release in arcades, but suffice to say it revolves around fighting various human fighters under the control of a large bee set on world domination.  The “don” is fitting as well because your ship will be putting out literally hundreds of bullets every second and a sea of bright pink and blue bullet-fire will be coming back at you in retort.  This sub-genre is known as danmaku (“bullet hell”), which is a fitting name given the minute-by-minute gameplay.  Why does any of this matter?  Because we’re finally getting a Western release of DoDonPachi DaiFakkatsu (aka Resurrection) on Steam that is part of an impressive resurgence of the genre for this region.  DoDonPachi Resurrection is gorgeous, brutal, and feature packed to the point that both the veteran shooter fan and newcomers can find plenty to do and enjoy every potentially frustrating second.

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

DoDonPachi Resurrection Quick Look

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DoDonPachi Resurrection will premiere on Steam October 14, a title previously exclusive to Japan.  Here Fred takes a look at the initial stages and describes basic gameplay.  This footage was captured at 4K/UHD resolution (3840×2160) and then downsampled to 1080p.

This quick look was originally posted on The B-Team Podcast ( and have partial co-ownership with this site.  This is re-posted with permission.

Written by Fred Rojas

October 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Back in 1995 Review

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This review originally appeared on The B-Team Podcast site but given the fact that the author of that review owns Gaming History 101, it was also posted over here with permission.  All of the content remains identical.


If you grew up in the mid-late 90s as a gamer, you have a certain affinity to the awkward early polygonal styles of games that graced consoles like the Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and Nintendo 64.  Given the fact that most people born around the time to start gaming on these consoles are nearing their mid-late 20s, not to mention those in their 30s like myself, the time was right to have an indie era piece.  More importantly was the fact that these consoles ushered in the more refined years of the survival horror genre that would become the template for that genre even today.  Back in 1995 is acutely aware of this and developer Throw The Warped Code Out, which is mostly a single developer by the name of Takaaki Ichijo, has gone out of its way to recreate that time period.  This will surely get many nostalgic gamers excited, as I was, with visions of Resident Evil and Silent Hill in their heads, but those games are a couple of years off from the era in this game.  Back in 1995 is from an earlier era that is even more archaic and hearkens to Alone in the Dark 2 or for obscure Japanese fans, Dr. Hauzer on the Panasonic 3DO.  It’s a technical marvel to me that the look and feel of those games is so perfectly crafted, but it all falls apart when you get down to the actual playing of the game.  It turns out Back in 1995 is little more than a tech demo in a game’s clothing.

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Written by Fred Rojas

April 28, 2016 at 11:00 am