Another day, another prestigious arcade shmup finds a happy new home for itself on the Switch. This may sound like we’ve skipped straight to the end of this review a few paragraphs early but as it’s been a full decade since DoDonPachi Resurrection’s English Xbox 360 release, more than that since it debuted in Japanese arcades, and several years since its Steam port, there’s no point keeping anyone in suspense: this hypnotic mixture of bullets, lasers, and shiny collectibles is without a doubt one of the best of its type.

It’s also one of the most flexible of its type too, with eight very different ways to play and seven of those featuring extensive training options, allowing anyone to practise all levels, bosses, and even mid-bosses under any conditions imaginable. The options available go so far that, as with Espgaluda II, anyone who has a burning desire to display the main screen slightly off to the left at 107% magnification with the background image auto-changing every 38 seconds in one specific mode can do so if they wish.

Sadly this laboratory-like testing is often necessary as all of Resurrection’s play modes have an incredible depth to them that is completely hidden by unhelpful names like ‘1.51’, ‘Version L’, and ‘Arrange’, or described — in full — as ‘Play Black Label with aircraft from Ketsui’; that's a sentence requiring a high level of familiarity with one specific Resurrection play type as well as knowledge of a shmup only available on the Switch in Japan as a port of an old mobile phone game.

This lack of information is not a new problem nor one unique to Resurrection, but it is frustrating to see what is an otherwise excellent title refuse to proudly show off all it has to offer or explain why it’s so special — especially as many of the ‘secret’ tricks and techniques aren’t meant for high scoring super fans but basic features designed to help players of all levels simply survive the onslaught of pre-rendered ships headed their way. With a little guidance Resurrection can be an exciting bullet cancelling extravaganza where you are invited to build up and then maintain a hit combo that can run into the thousands, a game where you can (and should) engage in thrilling laser-on-laser battles against gigantic bosses, a game that in certain modes visibly adjusts the challenge in real-time as you play. Yet you won’t be aware of that unless you already know or care enough to look for that information anywhere except the one place it should be — in the game.

Resurrection is arguably one of the best of its genre even after all these years and a lot of competition (plenty of it coming from developer Cave themselves). It’s relentlessly challenging, breathlessly inventive and exhilarating to play; an essential purchase for confirmed shmup fans. But it’s also one that needs you to do a lot of homework to get anything meaningful out of it.