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Oct. 25, 2001

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


Dead or Alive 3




Fall 2001

Red Hot

Our massive DOA3 preview has all the details, tons of screens, and a ridiculous 25 movies, including exclusive in-game fight sequences. Can you say "killer app"?

As far as the impending 'console wars' go, Dead or Alive 3 may be the most important card in Microsoft's hand. The brainchild of Team Ninja leader, Tomonobu Itagaki, DOA3 is a 'Billy Gates exclusive' and one of the best reasons to pre-order an Xbox to date. A series renowned for its intricate gameplay (and let's face it, girls), DOA has always had a place in the hearts and dreams of gamers across the globe. While the original DOA received little more than mediocre reviews, the game's super-sequel left many with their jaws glued to the floor. Sporting a refined gameplay engine, interactive environments, and visuals that put even Namco's best to shame, DOA2 was the 'cat's meow' in every way imaginable.

So what makes Dead or Alive 3 so special anyways? According to Itagaki, Dead or Alive 3 will retain and enhance all of the elements that made the first two games popular in the first place. Whereas other fighting games offer an over-whelming number of characters to choose from, Team Ninja has done the opposite. Consequently, DOA3 will feature somewhere around twelve fighters -- a number which should allow gamers to 'get to know' the cast of characters quite well. Some may disapprove of the decision to include a relatively small number of fighters, but this approach has been used with great success in Sega's Virtua Fighter series. Heck, considering how deep DOA's gameplay is (moves from Karate, Snake and Drunken style martial arts are included), gamers will have more than their fill if they want to see everything the game has to offer.

While details regarding DOA3's gameplay have been sparse, the information that has been released is telling. For instance, one of the stages in the game takes place in a penthouse suite, high above a city street. As players duke it out beside an absolutely huge floor-to-ceiling window, they can actually knock each other through the pane of glass! Although these types of environments were found in DOA2, Team Ninja's latest brings the whole 'interactive stage' idea to a new level. As the fighter smashes through the window, unbelievably, shards of glass can be seen scattered on the street below!

Make no mistake: DOA3 will be the biggest launch title on Xbox.

Team Ninja has also hinted at the inclusion of 'special energy attacks' in DOA3. Sure, Ayane may have had the ability to use an energy attack in DOA2, but Itagaki is apparently thinking about including these moves for every character. Martial arts fans shouldn't be scared off, though, as DOA3 will (for the most part) remain a hand-to-hand combat title. Moreover, gamers can expect the game to control easier and include more insane combos and techniques for players to master. As a direct result of these additions, DOA3 should prove to be a much deeper experience than its predecessors.

Aside from the obvious 'financial incentives', according to Tecmo, DOA3 is exclusive to the Xbox because no other console could handle it. This may seem like a bold statement to make, but once you have seen the game in action you'll become a believer. To date, the most impressive scene from DOA3 has to be the 'forest stage'. In a hilly landscape cloaked with moss-covered trees and over 5,000 floating leaves (no, that isn't a typo), players are encouraged to flip, kick, and punch their way to victory. Sure to spark the interest of even the most jaded gamers, the absolutely stunning lighting effects and textures in the forest stage look incredibly life-like.

Even in light of the game's awe-inspiring, sprawling environments, DOA3's fighters look great. The character models are extremely well drawn and their animations are simply incredible. Hair and clothing flows realistically with the player's movement, and many of your favorites from the past have returned for a third time -- including Ryu Hayabusa, Bass, Tina, and Ayane.

With DOA3, Team Ninja is hoping to create the greatest fighting game of all-time. While this is a challenging task indeed, Itagaki and Co.'s efforts have to be applauded and encouraged. DOA3 is going to be an absolutely huge game, and definitely one that all Xbox fans are going to want to keep an eye on. While the game is still far from complete, DOA3 is scheduled for release shortly after the Xbox launches this November. Offering a refined gameplay engine and some of the most impressive eye-candy to date, DOA3 is looking like a winner. Stay tuned to XboxWeb, though, as we will keep you up-to-date with all the latest details surrounding this absolutely scorching title.

Justin Boisvert
Sadly, after witnessing DOA3 in action, November seems like a lifetime away.

Dead or Alive 3 Xbox Movies
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Dead or Alive 3 Screenshots

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