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Product: Dead Or Alive 3
Company: Tecmo/Team Ninja
Website: http://www.xbox.com
Estimated Street Price: $49.95
Online Manual:
Review By: Byron Hinson

The Features

It seems like Dead Or Alive 3 has become one of the most hyped fighting games ever thanks not only it it being an Xbox exclusive launch title but also because of the amazing graphics engine. I guess what we need to know is - do graphics make a game?

Multi-Faceted Environments

  • Dead or Alive 3 boasts the most expansive fighting environments ever created.
  • Multi-tiered settings enable challengers to move throughout multiple areas within a specific level.
  • Interactive environments feature destructible scenery that adds to the action.
  • Varying terrain such as mountains, slopes, and sand dramatically affect gameplay.

Realistic Physics and Graphical Detail

  • A realistic physics engine and life-like character models provide a stunning degree of realism.
  • State-of-the-art clothing and muscle animation bring vivid detail to each encounter.
  • Dramatic lighting, shadows and reflections work together to create a compellingly realistic experience.
  • Revolutionary water effects seen in puddles, ponds and oceans enhance already jaw-dropping gameplay environments.

Character Enhancements

  • New characters such as Hitomi and Christie square up against old favorites like Kasumi, Lei-Fang and more.
  • New costumes, moves and reversals take the deep fighting engine to the next level.

In-depth Game Features

  • Improved story mode immerses players in a compelling story told through enhanced cinematic movie sequences.
  • Up to four players can battle it out in an intense multi-player mode. Intriguing multiple game endings present a powerful game finale that changes with each character.

Installation and Settings

Review Quotes

 

"If there is one thing in Dead Or Alive 3 that can't be beaten then its multiplayer games. Playing Dead Or Alive against friends or family is great fun"

 

Dead Or Alive 3 takes a very short amount of time to start up on the Xbox, infact after hearing rumors that the game would install various files onto the Xbox hard-drive I have to say that I didn't notice any difference in loading times with Dead Or Alive 3 compared to any other Xbox release so far. Once the game loads you are greeted with the in-game menu presented against some great looking animated backgrounds.

 

  • Story Mode: This mode allows you to follow a story involving the character you decide to select.

  • Time Attack Mode: This mode your score represents the time it takes to clear the game of computer opponents.

  • Versus Mode: This mode lets you choose who to fight against.

  • Survival Mode: In this mode you face a succession of computer opponents until your health takes a dive.

  • Tag Battle Mode: Two on Two tag team modes.

  • Team Battle Mode: Pick five characters to battle team against team.

  • Sparring Mode: Free practice mode.

  • Watch Mode: Watch computer against computer matches.

  • Options Menu: Change your name, game, audio, language, controller and video settings from here.

As you can see - there are loads and loads of game types and options for you to choose from and all of them load fast.

Gameplay & Controls

If you're a single player and want decide to purchase Dead Or Alive 3 It is safe to say that you will start the game in Story Mode. This mode lets you pick from any of the 16 characters in the game and then fight various opponents, beating each opponent means that you will follow your characters story from beginning to end. If you are looking for depth to the stories - make sure you look elsewhere because Dead Or Alive 3 will most certainly disappoint you in that respect.

Review Quotes

 

"One big minus point though must go to the fact that punches and kicks tend to look as if they have gone through the characters instead of actually hitting them, and for a fighting game, this is very disappointing."

 

As poor as the storylines are, you can't help but be impressed with the way the game can switch from one location to another by throwing an opponent off a cliff or through a window down onto the ground outside. This helps give the game a more strategic edge when compared to other fighting games. You can't help but laugh as you smash a friend through a glass window 100 feet onto the floor below. The problem I have with the Single player game most is probably the fact that it doesn't take much skill, I have managed to complete it a few times without concentrating on the moves I am making and just pushing the controller buttons in random order.

So how does the game fair in fighting terms? Well Dead Or Alive 3 is one of the few fighting games I have played that you are able to just pick up and play easily right from the start, I have to commend the manual for helping though as the moves for each player are well laid out in there. There are absolutely loads of moves in the game and they differ for each character which gives a bit of depth to the fighting.

Credit must go to both Temco and Microsoft because Dead Or Alive 3's controls are very easy to get to grips with thanks to both the controller and the simple controls that Temco have come up with to perform both basic and special moves.

Multiplayer

If there is one thing in Dead Or Alive 3 that can't be beaten then its multiplayer games. Playing Dead Or Alive against friends or family is great fun and helps eliminate the quick boredom of the single player game. The great thing about multiplayer fighting games on the television is that there won't be any split screen modes it can be either one on one or now via the Tag team option, two on two all on the one full size television screen. Another plus point is that you can connect up four controllers to the Xbox without having to buy a link up cable thanks to the way Microsoft designed the Xbox.

I can't praise these multiplayer games enough as they really do kick the ass of the poor single player mode. The tag team, team and one on one games are genuine fun and can lead to all sort of arguments around the house.

Graphics & Sound

Wow - you can't fault many of Microsoft first launch titles in terms of graphical ability and DOA3 is no exception. The colors, animation, effects and just overall shine is wonderful. There is no doubt that Dead Or Alive 3 is the best looking beat-em up on any machine, it really looks so good. Each character looks wonderful with loads of detail on their faces and some superb detailed textures for their clothes. Kicking players around the screen on the ice of snow levels can be a joy to behold, especially smacking a friend into a snow covered tree and then have some of the snow fall down. There are just so many little details in the games graphics that it is very hard to point out them all.

One big minus point though must go to the fact that punches and kicks tend to look as if they have gone through the characters instead of actually hitting them, and for a fighting game, this is very disappointing.

On the audio side we have both good and bad. I like the way that Dead Or Alive 3 can feel like a badly dubbed martial arts movie thanks to the Japanese voice overs, it really helps give the game a feeling of Japanese fighting and could have been spoiled if they had over dubbed them with American voices. I don't like the fact that Aerosmith do the soundtrack. I have nothing against them, I just don't like their music and really wish they had retired 10 years ago, sorry about that Aerosmith. Sound effects are again very good and the crunching, kicking and punching effects are done well.

Final Comments

How It Grades

 

Controls: 87%
Gameplay: 80%
Graphics: 95%
Multiplayer: 92%
Sound: 85%
Manual: 90%
Interface: 88%
Price: 80%
Overall: 85%

 

I have marked Dead Or Alive 3 down a little not only due to the poor stories, but also due to what I feel is very poor single player game. Thankfully though the multiplayer side knocks the single player one flying, and really that's what you want with a fighting game that is meant to be played against other human players. If you want a game to show off the power of the Xbox and the great multiplayer gaming that can be had with 2 or more controllers then get Dead Or Alive 3, but if you are looking for a great single player experience - look elsewhere.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 85%
Version Reviewed Dead Or Alive 3
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Dead Or Alive 3 DVD
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Great Graphics
Great Multiplayer
The Bad Points Dull Single Player
Poor Stories


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