Tecmo’s Dead or Alive has the ability to separate itself from the fighting genre in a way never seen before.
It first generated attention for its affection for the female form (T A) in fighting glory. Choosing to eschew more mainstream consoles like the PS2 or Gamecube, DOA was released on the Dreamcast and Microsoft’s Xbox. For these reasons Dead or Alive has drawn quite a cult following among fans of the genre. The fans have waited with bated breath for the game to appear on a next generation console. Well, the wait is over as Team Ninja’s Dead or Alive 4 appears on the Xbox 360 this winter. Let’s take a closer look at the game to see if it lives up to it roots as the black sheep in the fighting family.
The cast is slightly smaller for this game as you’ll notice favorites like Helena and Ein are absent when you first load the game.
Please don’t be dismayed, the initial offering has plenty of cuties, bullies, and newcomers to feed your fighting appetite. Be aware there is a Bungie made female counterpart to Master Chief, that may give some inclining of how Halo 3 will look on the 360.
Be prepared to fight for ridiculous reasons in story mode. Whether it’s defending the honor of a bruised up dino or a dispute over some vegetables, be ready to fight. The bosses in story mode cheat like its going out of style. The AI seems to be able to hit and run at their whim. Those with anger problems may want to play this one in a padded room, so as not to damage your 360 (or yourself) while playing DOA 4.
There is more depth in the other modes of DOA 4, which lend to its replay ability. The game offers survival and time attack modes, both these mode have online leaderboards. Tag battles will get crazy; make sure to call buddies over for that one. The photo mode could have been interesting, if it weren’t for most of the pictures coming out blurry. Can we get a higher shutter-rate?
The gameplay of DOA 4 is a smooth as ever, as it shows its fighting game pedigree. There is fairly a steep learning curve, especially when it comes to counters, so be sure to practice, practice, practice. There is greater smoothness in the combos than in previous DOA’s, which allows the gameplay to flow more naturally.
In the graphics department the game will satisfy the shrewdest critic of the 360. From the fighter’s highly detailed animation, to the highly interactive levels, the detail found in DOA 4 is worth the price of admission.
Online play shines on Dead or Alive 4. On Xbox live you’ll be able to purchase extras with play earned points. Up to eight players will be able to compete, all the while conversing on headsets. However, like in DOA Ultimate, there will be some lag. In most situations you can play through it, if you can’t go to different lobby where the traffic is not as high. All in all, with leaderboards and the ability to save fights for posterity, online mode offers something for everyone. You can also find funny gaming memes on TheMockingMemes websites.
This is not a radical step for the genre; it’s more of the same. In this case it's more of the same scantily clad fighting action that made us love the previous games in the series. So run to shelves and pick up Dead or Alive 4 for your Xbox 360, available now.