The Dead or Alive series has enjoyed an interesting and successful career. Tecmo’s first (and only) attempt at the 3D fighting genre has evolved from a B-grade title with a B-movie reputation into a well-polished franchise boasting far more brains than bounce.
Since its inception in the arcades circa 1996, DOA has moved steadily uphill and now proudly butts heads with the likes of Virtua Fighter, Tekken, and Soul Calibur, and is now gearing up for its next installment: Dead or Alive Ultimate, which until about a month ago was known simply as Dead or Alive Online.
That name, Tecmo has decided, underplays the scope and impact of their newest offering, currently set to ship on March 23rd. Tecmo Marketing Manager Tony Tarpey waxes explanatory:
“We feel that Dead or Alive Online has evolved into something bigger than what it started out as and with these additions and advancements came a need for us to change the name to represent this progression. Dead or Alive Online only signifies a portion of this game while the new name, Dead or Alive Ultimate, describes more accurately what fans will experience when they buy this game.”
Ultimate, while not an entirely new game in its own right, will boast enough new features and original content, the developers from Team Ninja assure us, to constitute a very worthy addition to the series nonetheless. Shipping in a two-disc collector’s package, Dead or Alive Ultimate contains a port of the original Dead or Alive (Sega Saturn’s version, never before released in the U.S.), a souped-up remake of Dead or Alive 2 built from the ground up using the impressive graphics engine from DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball, and last but not least, the ability to play both titles in the Dead or Alive Online community