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Dead Or Alive 3

Team Ninja



1 - 4


Does the third game in the series really deserve three seperate reviews? Why not. Here's the third.

Tecmo loves you. Really, they do. After playing through the story mode in DOA3 with all of the characters and witnessing some of the most mind numbing awe-inspiring CG cut scenes it becomes obvious that Dead Or alive 3 has raised the bar for all future videogames. As godly as Tekken 4 and Virtual Fighter 4 look for the PS2 neither one of them even comes close to capturing the graphical magic that DOA3 has.

"there are so many nice touches that stand out in this game..."

The fine folks of the Team Ninja (the magicians who developed this stunning bit of gaming heaven) did a remarkable job of capturing the various fighting styles from around the world. Pro Wrestling, kung fu, the Bruce Lee type style of fighting and more all make a appearance in this game. You choose from the motley crew (no, not the 80s heavy metal band) of 16 fighters. Besides, can you name any other game that allows you to fight a hulk hogan look-alike with the ninja who looks like he was in Ninja Gaiden? I think not.

DOA 3 uses a rock, paper, scissors type of game play. The real key to victory is the reversals. Almost any one can pick up DOA3 and proceed to lay the smackdown by mashing the buttons. But the masters realize that reversals will ultimately win the match. The best part of DOA 3 (besides the graphics) is the controls. Each fighter has a huge assortment of bone crushing moves, throws and reversals. The standard control setup is this: Y performs a punch, B a kick, X allows you to block. To some the block button may be a problem, especially those who prefer the Street fighter series. It's really a matter of preference but the block button becomes necessary because of the layout of the stages. The white button is Y+B, which unleashes a powerful striking attack. A is the throw button, and the black button is used to tag your opponent in the tag team mode. The option to customize the controls is much appreciated, since the standard default control setup is not the most intuitive seen for a fighting game. Another small gripe is not really with the game but with the controller. If there is a game that made buying a third party controller a necessity then DOA 3 would be it. The standard Xbox controller unfortunately was not made for these types of games. After only a short time playing my fingers were begging for mercy and when I stopped playing they hurt for a few minutes afterwards.

"...witness some of the best double team moves ever seen in a video game."

Sound wise, DOA 3 does every thing very well. From the opening track by Aerosmith to the satisfying thud of your opponent being thrown against a brick wall. DOA3 really gives the Xbox sound chip a work out. All of the voices are spoken in Japanese and they're also done well. The in-game music offers a nice variety of tunage. Its mostly heavy guitar riffs but its not distracting enough to take away from the over all experience.

Graphically, your going to be hard pressed to find a better looking title on any system. DOA3 features some of the best looking fire, snow, water and ice effects ever seen in a videogame. The fighters are also well put together and look solid. You wont find any missing seams here. They look real and they look like they could kick your but without breaking a sweat. There are so many nice touches that stand out in this game, for example, when you're fighting in the snow level the snow forms around the fighters feet and you can see your foot prints as you fight. When you kick you can see snow lift off and drift back down to earth. On the beach stage when you throw your opponent to the tree coconuts drop from it and litter the stage through out the fight. The boss stage is also very impressive. Have I mentioned how good this game looks?

DOA3 has a nice variety of modes to keep you busy. You have the meat and potatoes of the game in the story mode, where you can pick the fighter of your choice and fight through to the end as the story unfolds in several cinematics featuring the game engine. You have the time attack mode where you attempt to beat as many opponents as you can in a set time limit. You have the survival mode, a tag team battle mode that gives you a chance to team up with another player. This is the mode that allows up to 4 players to play at the same time. This also gives you the chance to witness some of the best double team moves ever seen in a video game. THQ seriously needs to take note about some of the creative damage you can do when you double team. You also have the versus mode (which I personally have spent a considerable amount of time with) and a sparing mode where you can learn and perfect your fighting techniques. Also included is a theater mode where you can watch the ending movies.

A problem with this game however is that once the initial wow factor resides you are left with a game that you already played on the Playstation 2 in DOA2 hardcore. The addition of a few moves and a few secret costumes really does very little in lengthening the game time. This may not be the game you play two years from now, but while you do, it will satisfy your fight crave.

Mike Regan
Likes the game because of the per pixel shading bump mapping.

Dead Or Alive 3: The Scores













The Final Word:  Tecmo and developer Team Ninja have really outdone themselves. Dead or Alive 3 really takes advantage of the Xbox hardware with producing one of the most graphically satisfying titles released for the big black box. Everything is very polished, and if you are in the market for a game to showcase what your new console can do then you can look no further then Dead or Alive 3.

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