When it comes to arcade style, overhead or side scrolling, shooters the console market is the clear cut winner. The PC world simply does not get many of this style of game. In the past we have seen a few though, some of the Raiden games have been ported (though in extremely low resolution) and we have also seen Ikaruga hit via Steam. Those are “mainstream” releases and as you can see, not many hit PC. Head over to the homebrew world though and you will find many such titles, such as Dokingan which is an overhead scrolling bullet hell shooter (Mars Matrix anyone?).
While I am partly tired of seeing scrolling shooters (they have been going downhill since Thunder Force III on Genesis) I am not so jaded that I am incapably of seeing the merit of newer releases. Dokingan is one such interesting title, just look at the accompanying video above.
The enemies in Dokingan are a mix of, seemingly, cell shaded sprites, flat shaded polygons and some gouraud shaded polygons for good measure. Interestingly, your main weapon in Dokingan is quite limited in its reach, barely going ahead of your farther than it is long. That puts you in the position of constantly having to get in close, well within range of your enemy, to cause any kind of damage. That is a harrowing situation to face on a regular basis, especially considering shooters are known for their overwhelmingly large amounts of graphical fury. Dokingan kind of says “no” to that and goes the other route. The question is, how will fans react?
Fans of bullet hell style shooters will probably find a lot to like in Dokingan. For those of us that are more in tune with Raiden or Thunder Force III then we need to look elsewhere.