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DoDonPachi Resurrection

The don.

But boy does it feel good. It's best used to finish off a boss, in the face of millions of bullets and thousands of lasers, and you'll damn near shred your phone to pieces with your fingernail. There's just something about the absurd physicality of the gesture, and the immense, orgasmic pay-off of the screen-filling destruction, that really works.

You also get Arcade Mode, ostensibly squeezing the famous DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu Japanese cabinet - rules, weapons, scoring system and all - onto your iPhone. There's no S/M gauge, no scraping close to bullets like a fearless bullfighter, no swinging between strategies like a boxer. A nice inclusion, sure, but not the main event.

The iPhone mode is where it's at, then. It also offers up a wholly remixed score, orchestrated by a fleet of Japanese composers you've never heard of. It's really the worst of music: pappy, fluffy, synthesized J-pop, better suited to anime montages and uber-Kawaii YouTube dance routines than the systematic destruction of beautifully placed pixels. Catchy though, I'll give it that.

Taking a screenshot of a bullet hell shooter is about as hard as you're imagining.

The game, much like Cave's previous mobile offering Espgaluda II, shrinks manic bullet-overloaded mayhem onto Apple's slabs with remarkably little compromise. Touch-screen control is effortless, pin-point accurate very responsive, for manoeuvring your space ship at least. Jabbing at the screen to switch weapon, on the other hand, can be a pain at best, a life-losing frustration at worst, without the tactility of a proper button.

The only real compromise is that DoDonPachi Resurrection shuns the odd handful of millions who don't have the latest Apple gadgets. With this many bullets, enemies, lasers and numbers on the screen, anything but the most recent and expensive devices will likely evaporate when the app tries to sync across. And yet it doesn't offer "retina" visuals (high-res graphics for the iPhone 4 and new iPod Touch) or even a native iPad app. Luckily, the iPhone edition plays beautifully when blown up for the tablet's ample screen real estate.

Assuming you've got the hardware to run it, DoDonPachi Resurrection is an absolute masterclass in mobile gaming. Not just because it manages to squish a manic arcade game onto your phone, creating an utterly faithful, 21-billion gun salute to a favourite franchise. And not just because it controls so superbly.

But most of all, because it's just so devastatingly addictive - and the fun doesn't even truly start until you've got some competitive friends on the in-game leaderboards. Once you're locked into point-grabbing competition, good luck tearing yourself away to eat or sleep.

DoDonPachi Resurrection is available now on iPhone.

9 / 10

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