Cave has been wonderful to the iOS platform over the past couple of years, showering it with ports of some of their best games from their back catalog. Surprisingly, their brand of manic shooters have translated extremely well to the touch screen, arguably as-good-as or better than playing them with physical controls.

Then earlier this year something strange happened: Cave released an original shooter designed from the ground-up for smartphones, something fans had been wanting them to do for a long time, but released it exclusively as an Xbox Live game on the Windows Phone 7 platform.

What's up, Cave? I thought we had a pretty good thing going on here on iOS. Now, I happen to like the Windows phones just fine, but they lag well behind both iOS and Android in amount of users, and mostly I was just jealous that a new Cave game was coming and I wouldn't be able to play it on my precious iPhone. Today, Cave is finally making my wish come true as they have announced that their original smartphone shooter Dodonpachi Maximum is heading to the iOS platform this week.

The premise behind Maximum is that you're playing inside a bullet-hell simulator, and the game is comprised of levels and ships culled from previous releases Dodonpachi Resurrection [$13.99 / Free] and Dodonpachi Blissful Death [$4.99 / Free]. Being built specifically for smartphones, Dodonpachi Maximum has a much cleaner look compared to its brethren whose sprit from arcade years past could look a bit pixelated on modern screens. Also it forgoes the whole virtual button thing and allows you to pull off certain attacks with simple tap or double-tap gestures. Check out the trailer below from the Windows Phone version.

As with all Cave titles, you'll need to be sporting newer hardware to run the game. It's listed as compatible with iPhone 4 and up and the 2nd and 3rd generation iPads, though apparently it may not run at full speed even on an iPhone 4 and mention of iPod touch compatibility is nowhere to be found. Also, it'll be "optimized" for the iPhone 5 screen, though that appears to be just a border added to the extra space rather than a larger play area.

I'm cool with that, though. I just want this game on my device asap. Which is good that Dodonpachi Maximum is set for release this coming Thursday, which should mean it'll be available in the US late Wednesday night, so not long to wait now. It'll be on sale for a limited time for $6.99 before shooting up to its normal price of $11.99, so be sure to keep your eye out for it with this week's new releases.

  • DeInit

    Just no. I'm tired of Cave, save for Panic and the bidirectional one, all its works are the same and, for premium prices, I'd rather have diversity.

    • MrAlbum

      I hear what you are saying, and I understand the idea behind it, but I personally cannot get behind it myself.

      You see, there are two ways one can find diversity for a premium price on the App Store: by looking at games from multiple developers, or by developers making multiple types of games. The App Store supports both ideals, which allows devs to specialize in one genre of gaming and perfect it. This is what Cave has been doing from the start of their dalliance with iOS, and personally I support them in that endeavor. If you want variety, then look at a different dev; don't bash Cave for what they are good at. On their own merits, each of these games is awesome. So what if each game has the same kind of awesomeness? Either way you look at it, it's still awesomeness!

      Tomayto, Tomahto, I guess; one person's quality consistency is another person's sucky bullcrappy "same poop over and over again". This exaggeration does show how I see our viewpoints disagreeing. After all, if a developer does one particular genre über well, then why should they move to a different genre, unless they want to, which I doubt Cave wants to do? I could be proven wrong on that, since I don't know the folks at Cave, but the point still stands.

      As for the game in the article... I have mixed feelings. A "shmup simulator"? Playing through the same levels from the other games in their catalog? Unless I'm proven wrong, I do believe this could be a "filler" game to shoot some funding into Cave's financial arm so that they can make an awesome game later. Then again, I can be proven wrong on that suspicion. I guess we will see once Thursday rolls around.

      • DeInit

        Right back at you: Cave got into the AppStore long after getting quite adept at scroller shooters...and at making them quite repetitive and self-similar. Look at it as specialization if you will, but a degree of variety broader than what they have put in each of them is, in my opinion, necessary to keep buying them without feeling like I'm redoing everything all the time. It's not the 'same kind of awesomeness', it's exactly the same thing over and over. I cannot remember having to put variety into the gameplay myself, be it in strategy or tactics, to get through any of their games and I've purchased all of them so far. Furthermore, most of it isn't stuff bred for the store, it's rehashes of older products. That's two levels of rehashing right there.
        You're also mistaken if you think I suggest that they move to different genres (which at any rate they did with Bug Panic), but R-Type doesn't play like Gradius or Xenon 2, and I am aware those are shooters and not bullet hell shooters, I'm just making the case for variety within the genre. All their games try to do this with those modes of attack that either turn enemy attacks into coin or increase your power the more you graze enemy bullets, but by now it's a haze of indistinct hyped-up pap, to me.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        The thing with Cave games is that they might look similar on the surface, but they are all VERY different from each other on a deeper level. If you're playing their games just to "get through them" then you're kind of missing the point.

        These shooters are a very niche genre, and are designed to be played over and over and over again, using different strategies and tactics, finding hidden paths, and going for high scores. That might not be your thing, which is totally fine, but for real fans of Cave I don't think anyone would ever wish them to stop releasing their classics.

        This release in particular is a bit different as it's an original mobile release, not a port, so we'll have to wait and see if it holds true for this game as well. But my point still stands about Cave in general.

      • DeInit

        As does mine, because each is subjective.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Yeah, totally! Wasn't trying to imply your opinion is wrong or anything. Just that Cave games are much deeper than they appear on the surface, but I understand if they're not your cup of tea. Personally I'm bad at the high scoring and discovering secrets stuff in them, but I still enjoy the hell out of them and welcome more. I'll buy them without question :)

  • ducksFANjason

    I've bought a lot of the Cave games and haven't even gotten around to playing them yet, so barring a sale, I think I'll be skipping this one as well.

    • MrAlbum

      It will be on sale when it releases. I doubt it will be cheaper than that in the future, although I could be wrong on that.

      When you start playing them, prepare for visual insanity.

  • Benegesserit

    I really like how they did a side-by-side on difficulty.

  • Remote_

    I was really annoyed when this came out for Windows phones and not iOS.

    I can absolutely cope with more of the same from Cave, although they almost lost me with the Bug Princess 2 Black Label shenanigans. Very naughty.

    As long as this is releasing at a decent price, which it appears to be, then I'm there.

    Nice.

  • Zaraf

    Does the player ship in this game look bigger? Seems almost as big as that Pheonix bullet hell game. Any word if this will have retina display? Thats the one thing I hate about all Cave games. How they do not support retina.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

    So this is a bunch of levels from games I already own, but with most of the graphics taken out, and which won't run at full speed on my iPhone 4 (even though Dodonpachi Resurrection manages just fine on my old 3rd-gen iPod Touch), for just 7 bucks? Wow, where do I sign? Not.

  • Sebastian Gomez

    Can't seem to find anything on Cave Co.'s Official Web Site or Youtube Channel about this game =/

    Anyway, Cave's shmups are awesome and I don't thinnk this one will disappoint me.

  • ImJPaul

    Why isn't this out yet?!?! Oi! I want it!!! NOW!!!

  • duckee75

    Very excited about this! Of all the Cave games the dodonpachi ones have been my favorites. The graphics in the video make me think of Danmaku:unlimited or Storm Strikers by Sunny Tam.