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Dead or Alive 3 (Xbox) artwork

Dead or Alive 3 (Xbox) review


"Gorgeous environments and wonderful lighting effects that glisten on leather and lace making almost every character all the better looking, graceful and plentiful moves, and a handful of game play options, each appealing in their own way. First impressions can sometimes be wrong. "



Dead or Alive 3 misled me. After playing the game for the first few days, I was under-whelmed and began feeling it was nothing more than a graphical upgrade to Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore. Finding all the costumes in the game did not pique my interest, so after I unlocked all the endings and the one secret character, I put the game away for a month.

Then, for whatever reason, I picked the game up again and finally - I was impressed. Not just with the graphics this time, no, with the actual game. With gorgeous character designs, flawless framerates, and high resolution backgrounds few can argue the technological superiority of the game. It's easily the best looking fighting game I have ever played. But...

Somewhere along the way I began to feel the visual element of the game was more than just eye candy. Admittedly, quite a few of the characters look more like supermodels than fighters - bare chested men, scantily clad women. Yet, these good-looking characters each have their own set of distinctive moves. Each of these moves are presented with such realism and variety they keep the fights fresh. The graphics are what make this game what it is - appealing characters dancing around each other immersed in the art of fighting. To these characters it's not only about winning; it's about winning in style.

This game isn't defined simply by what you can do in the game - though there are a number of (predictable) choices. The game gave each character a story and capped it all off with amazing looking (if not always coherent) endings. The options to fight alone, in a duo, or as a team are there. Typical fighting choices, if you ask me. So there's really nothing new in this department.

But let's get back to what makes this game what it is: the fighting. Combinations are easy to learn, but there are numerous combos for each characters: kicks, punches, holds, counters, throws. Even while playing as a tag team each team has a number of special attacks they can perform together. The game may not seem deep in terms of options, but with seventeen characters and so many moves per character, it takes a while to exhaust all the possible button combinations. It's probably important to also note different styles of fighting are represented in this game - wrestling, boxing, and various martial arts.

The environment interaction was one of the things that made the other Dead or Alive games interesting for me. That same sort of involvement with the surroundings is present in this game as well. There's something entertaining about throwing a lady out the window, then jumping down onto the street to finish the job; fighting high upon a cliff, knocking your opponent to a lower ridge, and gliding down after to seal his doom. Or simply kicking him into a wall, hearing the loud thud, then pummeling my way to victory against the cornered foe without skipping a beat.

Typical options lets you customize control options, difficulty settings, game length, etc. The voices in the game are done all in Japanese, even the non-Japanese characters, but subtitles are available in English if you just HAVE to know Tina is saying ''I'm going to open a can of whoopass on you''. This game does not use the Xbox feature that allows you to rip your own songs to the hard drive, make your own soundtracks from those songs, and play them during the game. Too bad. Instead the game uses a mostly rock-oriented soundtrack; nothing notable to me.

Gorgeous environments and wonderful lighting effects that glisten on leather and lace making almost every character all the better looking, graceful and plentiful moves, and a handful of game play options, each appealing in their own way. First impressions can sometimes be wrong.

Rating: 8/10

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Community review by oblivion (Date unavailable)

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Masters posted October 30, 2008:

Um, what's this all about? Date unavailable? 0/10?

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