When the girls from the Dead or Alive tournament are lured to a paradise island under false pretenses, they endeavor to make the most of their stay. Their host, DOA3 winner Zack, has purchased an island with his winnings. He tells the girls that the next tourney will be held on this island–aptly named after him. Upon arrival, the girls learn the cold hard truth: there is no DOA4 tournament, only a luxurious hotel in a paradise setting. So they make the most of their two-week stay on Zack’s Island and live it up by playing volleyball, shopping and gambling.
You begin the game by choosing which girl you would like to play. Your choices are: Kasumi, Leifang, Helena, Tina, Christie, Hitomi, and Ayane. Once you’ve chosen your character, your first partner will be Lisa, a new DOA character. Now that the party has begun you can choose what you want to do. You can either play volleyball, go shopping, or lay by the pool. Each volleyball game that you and your teammate win earns you money. Use that money to buy all sorts of goodies including new swimsuits, food, and gifts. Make sure to buy gifts for the other half of your team. This will keep her happy with being your partner; if she leaves you it may be hard to replace her. Not all of the girls get along, so it may be difficult to team up with someone else. I was playing one of the more difficult girls that nobody really liked. Lisa left as my partner, and I spent the rest of my vacation looking for a new teammate with no luck. Thank goodness for the hopping game by the pool. You earn money by basically playing a hopscotch-like game across the swimming pool. At least I earned some gambling money.
This game itself is easy to complete. Your gameplay lasts as long as your vacation, which is two weeks. You can finish the game within a few hours depending upon how many matches you play. You can play matches at nearly any time of day, but when night falls your only activity choice lies in returning to the sanctuary of the hotel. The real fun comes from winning money and buying new swimsuits and accessories, which you can either wear yourself or give away to the other girls as gifts. I bought Lisa pair of shades and noticed that she wore them during our next game. You’ll know it if you mistakenly give a gift to someone who doesn’t like you. You’ll be informed they have discarded it. Try not to take it personally.
The graphics are beautifully done with rich and luscious background settings. The women are very realistic as well, fluid and authentic with movements that are very natural. They are so good looking that it’s ?almost’ enough motivation to get into true physical shape. Then I remember they are pixilated and, like Barbie, their digits are probably unattainable for most ?real’ women.
One thing I do really enjoy about this game is the music. The soundtrack of DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball is really incredible. The music is upbeat and just makes you want to play volleyball. Well maybe that is stretching things a little bit, but it is lively. If you’re not satisfied with the jukebox choices, you can easily add your own music to the mix via your Xbox hard drive.
Control is the game’s biggest disappointment. With basically only four options of spike or pass, soft spike and soft pass, the game moves are sadly limited. While playing, I also got the feeling that these strong-headed women do not like being told what to do on the volleyball court. Sometimes I would execute a hard spike maneuver only to have my character do the complete opposite. This is a little frustrating as opportunities for scoring are often missed because your player does her own moves instead.
It’s also fun to explore gambling at the casino, shopping at the stores, and giving gifts. Also, each night when you return to your hotel room you’ll find a gift from Zack. The gifts from Zack range from swimsuits to DOA video trailers; it’s the least he can do for luring you to a beautiful paradise island right?
After your two-week stint on the island, the party is over and it’s time to return home. The ending of the game does have a little video for your enjoyment. Don’t expect too much from it, though, or you’ll be disappointed.
If you buy this game, just don’t have high hopes for a great volleyball game; try playing it with mediocre expectations instead. Overall, DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball can be a fun way to pass a few hours–especially playing with friends. If you’re a fan of the series then you’ll probably get more enjoyment out of it than others. Either way DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball can provide a good amount of entertainment.