Review by CChan
"The only reason to get an Xbox will be this game...only."
Everything in Dead or Alive 3 is simply unspeakable. It’s a major improvement in many aspects, compared to Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore for the PlayStation2. Yes, if there are any reasons to buy an Xbox, the sole one would be because of the existence of this game only for Xbox, and no other consoles (which is, in my opinion, a tad too sad). After I had been amazed by this game by one of my friend, I decided to type up a review for this.
Graphics – 9.8
Perfectly beautiful. In other words, the graphics are completely stunning that it’ll make you drop your jaw. The environments around are fully and totally 3D, which means that you’ll be able to move around freely as you wish, although it’s basically the same with Dead or Alive 2. The scenery – everything – is so amazing that I’m totally lost in the choice of better words. Colourful blasting colours fill the extremely vast world of Dead or Alive 3, that you’ll be immersed with it.
Better yet, the FMVs in the game are so brilliantly real and so smooth that you’ll simply weep. The character modelling is nice, just exactly the same like DOA2 except with a slight improvement that is obvious, if you have been playing DOA2 for a long time (like me). The only drawback is that the faces, the familiar faces of Dead or Alive 2 look different. Oh yes, your standard Lei-Fang look a bit weird now, the same goes to Helena and the rest. Sigh.
Music, Sound Effects and Voice Actors – 9.6
Yeah, the background music is different but at the same time, good. Have that ‘Dead or Alive’ feel to it, and the same goes to almost every fighting game. The sound effects are brilliantly sharp and clear (is it perhaps due to my friend’s amplifier?), all those blasting sounds when you smash someone into a wall that will cause an explosive effect. The voices, well... are definitely different than those used in Dead or Alive 2, but then, still sounds OK. Oh, and they’re in Japanese too.
Gameplay – 10
When you play in one of the stages (which you have a ton to choose from), they are free-roaming (which means, that you’ll be able to move freely as you choose) as well as multiple. A bit hard for me to describe but if you had played DOA2 before, you’ll get what I mean. You knock a person off a cliff, he falls down – not to death though – and your character will jump after him or her, safely and unhurt. Or you smash a person against a wooden fence that is easily collapsible and falls down to the land below. And while you’re doing this jumping-down sequence, you’ll be able to see momentarily the ultimate brilliance of the graphics around. The places you choose too, will be much more different than DOA2; examples include like a castle, in a forest and in a place where there are modernized aquariums around you – something like Sea World.
The Story Mode might be slightly thin, because it obviously lack of exciting story but now, there are more interesting story added to each of the character you choose. I won’t reveal too much but now, you’ll know who had tried to kill Helena but succeeded in killing Helena’s mother in turn. And the story about Lei-Fang trying to successfully defeat Jann-Lee still goes on.
The moves are now easier to execute, depending on which control mode you have set, or which buttons you have assign to a particular move. All those difficult moves to perform in Dead or Alive 2 are now easier, with just repeatedly tapping the punch button. And just a side note, the Control Mode 2 is based on the Dreamcast controls of Dead or Alive 2, which I had gotten used to and continue to use the same type of controls in PlayStation2 – and now.
And if you had chosen Tag Team mode, there is no need to use the Forward-Forward R1 move (or Back-R1) to perform a Tag Team combo - which is a superb move with the combination of two characters of your choice attacking the same person in a beautiful manner – but now, you could just press the Throw button to execute it. Oh, and speaking of Tag Team mode, your characters now have new compatible partners (I’m talking about the characters being above or below one another, which is where you can see who is the official compatible partner, although there are a few others) compared to DOA2 (again). Instead of Gen-Fu’s original partner which is Helena, now it would be the new character Brad Wong (which is equally old, if you ask me, by the looks of it).
Speaking of new characters, there are three new ones (if I’m not mistaken), Christie, Hitomi and Brad Wong. Other modes still keep almost the same features, like Sparring and Versus.
Replay Value – 10
There are simply tons of reasons to keep playing the game. About 14 characters now appear for your own choice to play as, and their rather interesting storyline to follow. Add in three more controllers to a total of four, and bring in three more of your friends/siblings/parents/relatives, you’ll have a lot of fun playing Tag Team, which seems to last eternally. Plus, as the norm of the Dead or Alive series, you’ll have a lot of costumes to unlock, and I could tell you, they are not easy.
Overall – 10
Dead or Alive 3... if there are any reasons to get an Xbox, it would be this (I know I’m repeating myself). Yes, only this and nothing else. (On an off-topic note, Xbox’s lack of interesting games (except this) and its ugly huge humongous size put me off of getting one.) If you already had an Xbox though, you must simply get this game, although there are several perverse scenes that are more extreme than DOA2 (hint: ending). Your library of games or your gaming life would not be complete without this game, so go and get it. Buy it. Don’t rent. Or even borrow. You’ll be thanking me on your knees for giving you the perfect choice of all.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/28/02, Updated 08/28/02
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