Cave has basically cornered the market on iOS bullet hell shooters with a slew of solid ports from their vast library of beloved titles. As fantastic as the gameplay is in Cave’s shooters, the fact that they’re ports of arcade titles has typically meant that features like Retina Display graphics and iPad support have required to much additional work to implement into the iOS releases.

Last October, Cave bucked this trend by releasing Espgaluda II HD [$10.99/Lite] for the iPad 2. The game featured a selection of graphics that were redone in high resolution and native support for the iPad’s larger screen. Not everything was HD’d out, though, but it still made a pretty big difference in the visual quality of Espgaluda II, and the nice big screen of the iPad proved phenomenal for navigating a hail of onscreen bullets.

This week, Cave once again is dipping their toes into native iPad support. This time, however, they’re going full stop and have released Dodonpachi Resurrection HD [$10.99/Lite] as a Universal app so that it works with the iPad as well as compatible iPhone and iPod touch models. Not only that, but they’ve gone and updated Espgaluda II HD with the same Universal support, giving both titles new life in high resolution on the smaller iOS device screens.

Example of original screen (left) and updated HD screen with redrawn ship sprite (right) from Dodonpachi Resurrection HD (click to enlarge):

I won’t go into too much detail about either title – you can read our full review of Dodonpachi Resurrection or the review for Espgaluda II if you’re curious to learn more about the game mechanics – but what I will say is that the partial high definition treatment given to each game makes an even bigger difference on the small screen than it does on the iPad.

Both games look gorgeous on an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, and you can see that Cave has actually gone and redrawn many of the sprites in the game, as well as given the menus a visual overhaul. Some elements, like backgrounds and other hand-drawn artwork, aren’t technically as high resolution as they could be, but everything in the game has a much cleaner, crisper look than it did previously.

I imagine many of you have already bought either Dodonpachi Resurrection or Espgaluda II before the HD versions hit, so really it’s going to be up to you whether or not some increased graphical fidelity is worth the additional purchase price. To help you decide, there are lite versions of each, and in the case of Espgaluda II HD you can even buy each of the game’s modes as separate apps, Arcade Mode [$6.99] and Smartphone Mode [$6.99], which have also been updated to be Universal.

  • Sergio Valor Martínez

    PLEASE CAVE, BRING US A PS VITA PORT! We need controllers to excel at thesegames!

    • Matt Boblett

      Seriously? I find these games much easier with the touch controls than they ever were with traditional, physical controllers…and I played the major classic SHMUPS from the Genesis, TurboGrafx, SNES, Saturn, Playstation, and Dreamcast. I've never experienced finer control of the ship than I have with touch screens.

      • Cat Astrophy

        the irony that the vita has touch controls should help Jail understand that it's an evolution of control for some games (like these)

  • nonstickron

    Maybe it's just me but I think the non HD ship looks cooler.

    • LeeDot

      I was thinking the same thing - it's like they removed some of the depth / details details from the ship when they increased the resolution. I'd guess that they were done by different artists.

      • Cat Astrophy

        the burners for sure look no different at all

      • nonstickron

        It looks like their solution was to model the ship in 3d so they can just continue to scale the resolution of the output indefinitely. Theres no doubt that they left some of the detail out of the model/textures that the original illustration had. 

    • shane holman

       I completely agree. That was my first thought exactly. The HD version looks less detailed...and loses that retro quality. I'm all about HD, but this looks terrible.

  • Jannic rekcewtraH

    Thanks CAVE I'll never buy anything from you again. This should'nt be an extra APP. It should be available as a ~99c In-App purchase for all your existing customers.


  • Zach Reiland

    Cave needs to support its core fanbase and provide these HD updates to owners of the original versions for free in an update...  Why does Cave get a pass for this kind of business model??  Sure they make great games, but if any other developer pulled this they would be crucified.