The highly anticipated Dead or Alive 3 for Xbox is finally available. This game is not a huge step up from the previous series incarnations, but it is still one to try out, especially if you have never played any previous DOA games. With nine game modes available (story, time-attack, survival, tag-team, team battle, versus, watch mode, and sparring), this game has the normal modes you would expect from a fighting game, though not much more. Luckily for DOA fans, all the characters from Dead or Alive 2 return, along with a couple of additions. The total character count is 16.
When you first jump into the game, you’ll find the combat system very similar to the previous games. Sparring mode is extremely handy as it lets you practice your moves list and get the hang of the controls. The game’s combo system remains largely unchanged. Also, in sparring mode you can practice the counters that DOA is known for.
The setup for Dead or Alive 3 also remains the same. Kick, punch, and block are the main three commands. Good ‘ol tag mode also returns nearly untouched. Executing double teaming moves during tags are fairly simple to accomplish. Combos are easy to set up and execute as well. Basically, if you have played the previous version, you’ll instantly grab the mechanics in this one.
So what has changed? Well, the graphics have improved much from DOA2. Visual effects are well done in this new version. The Xbox’s power can be seen in this game as the lifelike characters move with extreme fluidity. Tecmo have included an incredible amount of attention to detail, ranging from muscle bulges to the ‘bouncy bouncy’ girls. The environments are well lit, casting real time shadows. Interaction with the environment is a nice feature too, such as hitting someone into a wall and having electricity zapping them. Very nice eye candy.
Fans of the Dead or Alive series will not be disappointed by this game, but to the casual gamer, it might seem a little so-so. Graphics wise, the improvement is noticeable. The fighting system, though, remains the same. This one is a renter, because some people might just feel that it’s the same old game with hot graphics.