=========================================================
= Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball: Volleyball FAQ =
=========================================================

Version 1.1
February 3, 2003
By Sharpsight
trevor_w_a@hotmail.com

=====================
= Table of Contents =
=====================

1. Version History
2. Introduction
3. Controls
4. The Moves (Basics)
   4.1 - Serving
      Underhand Serves
      Overhand Serves
      Jumping Serves
      Aiming Serves
   4.2 - Receiving/Setting
   4.3 - Spiking
      Spiking Basics
      Defeating Blocks
      Aiming Spikes
   4.4 - Blocking
5. Character specialties and how to use & beat them
   5.1 - Stats list
   5.2 - Character specialties
6. Your Partner
   6.1 - Choosing a Partner
   6.2 - Using your Partner
      Directing Movement
      Positioning your Setting
   6.3 - Maintaining your Partner
7. Nice Points
8. Conclusion

======================
= 1. Version History =
======================

1.1 - Minor corrections and updates.

1.0 - Original Launch

===================
= 2. Introduction =
===================

This is my second guide. I also wrote the character mood faq. I highly
recommend you read it as well.

My strategy in DOAX is to minimize risks. The theory is that if you don't give
your opponents a chance to score, then they can't score. All you need to do is
score a couple times yourself and you've just aced a game.

Final score : Cash won
7-0 : 150 000
7-1 :  90 000
7-2 :  80 000
7-3 :  70 000
7-4 :  60 000
7-5 :  50 000
8-6 :  40 000
9-7 :  40 000
10-8 : 40 000
10-9 : 40 000

As you can see, there's a substantial bonus for acing a game, so that's what
we're aiming for.

This guide puts minimal emphasis on your partner. This is because you never
know what your partner is going to do in a given situation, while you can react
to any situations exactly how you feel they need to be dealt with. Also, if
your partner is 'unwilling' or even just 'usual' they won't even be trying
their hardest, putting you at a tremendous disadvantage; especially if you're
aiming for a perfect game.

===============
= 3. Controls =
===============

The default controls in DOAX are:

A - Attack: Put the ball over the net.
B - Receive: Keep the ball in your court.

These controls are analog with two levels of control. From now on I'll call
these the soft attack, hard attack, soft receive and hard receive (or something
similar). This is what they're called in the game.

The first thing to consider is what you want to set your controls to. Do you
want to use analog or digital? And which buttons do you want to use for what?

Analog:
Pro's: Feels more "realistic".
Con's: Less accuracy in control. Some ambiguity as to what you are going to do.

Digital
Pro's: Accuracy. You know exactly what your character is going to do.
Con's: Need to keep track of twice the buttons.

I feel that digital gives you better control of your character. The added
"realism" due to analog seems ridiculous to me. As does the argument against
digital due to "so many buttons". To each their own, I guess. I recommend using
digital though.

Specifically I recommend:
Y - Receive soft
B - Receive strong
X - Attack soft
A - Attack strong

This is due to the order of actions in DOAX. First you send it to your partner,
then you set it, then you spike it. With that control set up that's Y-B-A.
Right around the controller. (It also happens to be default digital control)

================
= 4. The Moves =
================

I highly recommend practicing all these moves in exhibition mode. Decide what
works best for you and how to time them.

=================
= 4.1 – Serving =
=================

There are three types of serves in DOAX: The underhand serve, the overhand
serve and the jumping serve.

--------------------
- Underhand Serves -
--------------------

The underhand serve has the largest window of opportunity to hit the ball, but
has the least power. As such, I only recommend this serve for those who tend to
have difficulty timing the more difficult serves, or for the tail end of
marathon DOAX sessions ;) You can do an underhand serve by holding away from
the net on the left stick/DPad while serving.

-------------------
- Overhand Serves -
-------------------

The overhand serve is the standard serve. Just press the attack button to serve
this way. This serve also has a fairly large window for hitting the ball. The
advantage this serve has over the underhand serve lies with nice points. If you
time this serve perfectly and you’re on good terms with your partner then you
can potentially get 1000 nice points bonus per serve.

------------------
- Jumping Serves -
------------------

The jumping serve is where you’re going to get the nice points. Not only can
you get 2000 nice points from these serves, but you can also potentially score
with one. The timing for jumping serves is much more precise than either of the
other serves. It is, however, by far the best serve in my mind. Timing this
serve is a bit tricky, so I’ll explain how to do it here. Watch your character
jump into the air. You will notice your character sort of hovering at the top
of their jump for about a quarter second. As soon as you see your character
dropping from this, hit strong attack. In other words, hit the strong attack
button right after the peak of your jump as you begin to fall towards the
ground. You do a jumping serve by holding towards the net with the left
stick/DPad.

-----------------
- Aiming Serves -
-----------------

You can try to aim your serve with the left stick/direction pad. The only real
advantage to aiming your serves is deciding which of your opponents will get
the ball first. Press up to aim at the top side of the court or down to aim at
the bottom side of the court. Try to aim the ball at the less confident of the
two of your opponents for two reasons (check my mood faq for identification
tips.) First, they are more likely to miss the ball (resulting in your point.)
Second, the weak opponent is likely to be the one serving if she's the one who
received the ball. Obviously, it is to your advantage to have the weaker of the
two spiking. If they're both in the same mood, then give it to the girl with
less power. More on this in chapter 5.

Another possibility for aiming your serves is to aim the ball between your
opponents. This works especially well against two unwilling opponents. I have
aced up to 5 serves in the preliminary match with Lisa. Holding right on the
left DPad/stick does the trick for that. Also, it's funny watching the two
girls just stand there as the ball goes between them :D

===========================
= 4.2 - Receiving/Setting =
===========================

The key to a good defensive line is positioning on the court. I have found the
best position to be center court, about three steps back from the net. This
position puts the least emphasis on your partner. Being three steps back from
the net sends almost all of the opposing spikes right to you, while still
letting you dive for light taps over the net. I also recommend moving one step
to either side if your opponents are spiking from either the top or the bottom
of the court, putting yourself more in line for the coming spike. Make this
quick step as soon as you see them jumping up and you'll have plenty of time to
prepare for the spike.

There are two commands for receiving (soft and hard). Soft receiving will send
the ball to your partner where she is standing. Hard receiving will set the
ball up at the net for a spike. Alternately, pressing hard receive will let
your partner know you want to spike on the next hit if possible.

Typically, when the ball comes to your court, the first action will be a soft
receive to get control of the ball, then a hard receive to set it up at the net
for a spike. Alternately, you can do two soft receives in a row raising the
ball for a spike where the second member of your team is standing. This
typically isn't as effective a strategy as raising it in front of the net.

You can control where you raise the ball for your partner's spikes with the
left stick/DPad. Press up to raise it at the top of the court or press down to
raise it at the bottom of the court. This can be useful depending on the
position of the opposing players. Ex:

Where X are your opponents and U/D are potential locations for your spike.

      U| X
       |
       |
       |      X
      D|

In this situation you would want the ball raised at the bottom of the court to
take advantage of the obvious hole in their defenses. Simply press down while
you press strong receive to raise it there for your partner.

Your partner will raise the ball in front of where you're currently standing,
so position yourself on the court advantageously when you have time to. It also
gives you some time to consider possible outcomes of the upcoming spike based
on your position and the position of your opponents.

=================
= 4.3 - Spiking =
=================

------------------
- Spiking Basics -
------------------

Spiking is where you're going to get almost all of your points. As such, the
timing for this move is critical to your success at volleyball. To get a speed
trail you need to hit the ball at precisely the right moment. Balls propelled
this way will sometimes go so fast that your opponents can't react in time.
They even have enough momentum to knock your opponents over if they don't time
their defenses well.

Thankfully, the timing for spikes is exactly the same as for jumping serves.
Wait until right after your character starts to come down from their 'float'.
If you hit the ball right as they start to fall you will see a trail,
indicating a perfect spike.

On a perfect spike you can potentially get up to 2000 nice points (if your
partner likes you enough to cheer.) 1000 for knocking an opponent over, and
1000 for scoring directly from a perfect spike.

--------------------
- Defeating Blocks -
--------------------

When you're preparing to spike the ball and there's a person right across the
net from you, make sure they aren't going for a block. Actually, hope they're
going for a block. It's an easy point about a third to a half of the time they
do it.

If they go for the block then all you need to do is hit soft attack, soft
receive OR hard receive at the exact time you would usually spike. The timing
for a perfect 'tap' is the same as for a perfect spike. If you complete this
(as I'm sure you all know) you'll just tap the ball lightly over their head. I
believe it helps if you also hold left on the left stick/DPad (I'll confirm or
disprove this in a later version.)

If your opponent doesn't have their partner right behind them, then it will
almost always drop to the ground right behind them. The only problem with the
tap is the lack of nice points. Don't let that phase you, though. If the
opponent's block is successful then you'll lose a minimum of 10 000 for the
point, and that's much worse.

-----------------
- Aiming Spikes -
-----------------

If you master aiming your spikes then you will dramatically raise your scoring
opportunities. Aim with the left stick/DPad. Assuming you're in the left court:
Left aims closer to the net, Up aims towards the top of the court, Right aims
further away from the net, and Down aims towards the bottom of the court. If
you're playing in exhibition mode and are in the right court, the Right/Left
directions will be reversed.

Now the trick with aiming is you need to analyze your opponents' defenses
quickly, and react with an appropriate direction. Your first goal should be
aiming for holes in their defense where nobody is standing. Ex:

Where X are your opponents and 1/2/3 are potential locations for your spike.

      1|
       |X
      2|
       |      X
      3|

If you're at position 1 then you should aim Up/Right aiming for the hole in the
top right corner of their court. At position 2 you have a couple options:
Either aim Up/Right and go for the top right hole, or aim Down/Left to try to
get the ball in the bottom left hole. If you're spiking from spot #3 then
you'll want to aim Down/Left slamming it into the ground right in front of you.

Here's a more difficult situation:

      1|
       |
      2| X    X
       |
      3|

At position 1 you could aim Up, at position 3 you could aim Down, but what do
you do at position 2? Really, you don't have a scoring option in this situation
so consider who you want to be spiking against you. Whoever gets the ball first
is most likely to be the one spiking against you. Which of your opponents is
in a lower mood? If they're the same then you need to consider their stats.
More on each character's strengths and weaknesses in chapter 5.

==================
= 4.4 - Blocking =
==================

Don't block. It's hard to position, hard to time, and it's super easy to get
around it with a tap. As I explained in the defeating blocks section, blocking
is the easiest thing to work around. IF you time it perfectly and IF you
position it perfectly and IF you've got higher blocking than the person who's
spiking has power and IF they don't tap it over your head THEN it's to your
advantage to block. That's a lot of if's. Way too many to make this a viable
tactic in any situation.

Now there are some of you who disagree (MagnusCore offered a counterexample on
the forum at gamefaqs), but I still hold that by blocking you're just asking to
lose the point.

=======================================================
= 5. Character specialties and how to use & beat them =
=======================================================

====================
= 5.1 - Stats list =
====================

These numbers are from the manual.

Kasumi:             Hitomi:             Ayane:              Tina:
  Power:     1        Power:     4        Power:     2        Power:     5
  Technique: 5        Technique: 1        Technique: 5        Technique: 2
  Defense:   3        Defense:   3        Defense:   2        Defense:   1
  Ttl. pts:  9        Ttl. pts:  8        Ttl. pts:  9        Ttl. pts:  8

Leifang:            Helena:             Christie:           Lisa:
  Power:     1        Power:     2        Power:     3        Power:     3
  Technique: 4        Technique: 3        Technique: 3        Technique: 4
  Defense:   5        Defense:   4        Defense:   4        Defense:   3
  Ttl. pts: 10        Ttl. pts:  9        Ttl. pts: 10        Ttl. pts: 10

Power affects how much force you can put into the ball for your jumping serves
and your spikes, technique affects how well you can receive the ball and pass
it to your partner and defense affects how well you can block.

===============================
= 5.2 - Character specialties =
===============================

Looking at that information we learn a few things:

Tina & Hitomi are "power" characters.
Kasumi & Ayane are "technique" characters.
Leifang & Helena are "defense" characters.
Christie & Lisa are "universal" characters.

You'll also notice that the power characters have fewer points than anyone
else. Compare Tina & Leifang: 8:10; 5 in power/blocking. This indicates that
blocking is considered by the people who made the game to be the weakest of the
stats and that power is the most important. I agree completely. As I mentioned
above blocking isn't worth doing, and you make all your points from spiking.

We can work stats into our strategy quite effectively. When spiking, first look
for openings in their defenses. If there aren't any then this comes into play.
The opponent who is going to be spiking the ball into your court is most likely
the one who receives the ball fist. The opponent you don't want spiking is the
one with more power. Tina & Hitomi being the most worrisome and Kasumi &
Leifang being the least of a problem. The solution is to aim the ball at the
opponent with the lower power.

Alternately, you could aim for the person with the lowest technique, with the
hopes that they'll miss the ball. The advantage to this is of course the
possibility of scoring.

There are so many possible pairings and positionings that it's impossible to
consider all possibilities here. When in doubt, aim for the person with lower
power, though. Remember: If they can't score then they can't win and keeping a
solid defense against Leifang is much easier than against Tina!

Also, consider this when picking your match. First look at mood, then consider
stats. I would MUCH rather play against Leifang & Kasumi then ANY other teams.
Period. Avoid Tina & Hitomi when you can. Their spikes are brutal.

===================
= 6. Your Partner =
===================

To play a successful game of volleyball you're going to need to rely on your
partner at least a bit of the time, so make sure you've got a good one!

============================
= 6.1 - Choosing a Partner =
============================

The best partners are ones with high technique. You want to know that the
person behind you has you covered if you mess up... well, at least is's nice
knowing you've got the best chances of being saved. Having decent power is good
if you're planning on having your partner spiking very much, and it's always
nice to get some power into their serves. Defense is nice if you want your
partner to block (for some reason... I wouldn't if I were you.)

In my opinion Lisa, Ayane & Leifang are the best partners, and Lisa & Leifang
partner easily with almost everybody. I usually pick Lisa, though, because she
starts as your partner and Leifang is one of the easiest AIs in the game (no
power) so I like playing against her.

============================
= 6.2 - Using your Partner =
============================

The better you become at this game, the less you should rely on your partner.
However, sometimes (when you're knocked down, for instance) your partner is the
only one who can get the ball. My partner has saved me I don't know how many
times; but don't rely on it!

That being said, lets look at the ways to use your partner.

----------------------
- Directing Movement -
----------------------

You have limited control on your partner in DOAX. The primary method of parnter
control is their position on the court. If your partner likes you, then they
will follow your directions. You can use this control if you want to keep your
partner up by the net for blocking or if you want them to cover any other
specific spot on the court. If you don't tell your partner to do anything
specific then they will fill what they consider to be the biggest hole in your
defenses.

I have found the AI superb in this regard. If your partner likes you then they
will almost always be exactly where they're needed without your direction. For
example, if you're covering the front center about 3 steps back from the net,
then your partner will go about 3 steps behind you; ready for the spikes aimed
at the back of your court. If you're covering the back bottom of the court,
then your partner will cover the top front. etc.

You should always let your partner do what they think is best unless you have
something specific planned.

However, if you're knocked down you should consider sending your partner up to
the front of the net in case your opponents do a two-attack (rare, but it can
save you when they do).

Note: Your partner will stay in the position you assigned them until the end of
the point unless you tell them to move. You can reset to AI control by pushing
in the right stick at any time.

----------------------------
- Positioning your Setting -
----------------------------

You can also control where your partner will raise the ball and where you want
to raise the ball for your partner. Your partner will always raise the ball in
front of where you are standing when they set the ball, so make sure you're
standing in line of where you want to be spiking from. You can also control
where your partner will raise the ball to you with the left stick/DPad.
Look at chapter 4.2 for an example.

==================================
= 6.3 - Maintaining your Partner =
==================================

In case you haven't read my other guide, the moods of the characters in DOAX is
of pivotal importance to how well they play. Therefore it is critically
important to keep your character confident and happy with you. This was
mentioned briefly in my other guide, but I'll restate it here for those of you
who haven't read my other faq.

Your partner will most likely stay with you as long as you're winning. As soon
as you start losing or if the girl you're partnered with just generally doesn't
like you, then you're likely to start running into difficulties. The easiest
way to insure your partner's continued happiness with you is to shower them
with gifts. If you give your partner a love item every night then they most
likely will not leave you, regardless of how poorly you're doing at volleyball.
Be very careful which gifts you give, though. Giving a gift they don't like
will do the exact opposite of what we're trying to achieve; undermining their
morale and lowering their happiness with you. One poorly thought out gift could
ruin your team, so be careful.

Also consider how much your partner likes you naturally. It's difficult to keep
Ayane & Kasumi together as a team, for example. I highly recommend giving daily
love items with this pairing regardless of how well you're playing volleyball.
It's very important to keep your partner happy & confident.

==================
= 7. Nice Points =
==================

You get nice points in DOAX for perfectly timed moves if your partner is happy
with you. Here's the list of potential bonuses:

Perfect overhand serve:        1000
Perfect jumping serve:         2000
Scoring from a perfect spike:  1000
Knocking someone over:         1000
Pefect block:                  1000

Note: If you knock someone over and score then you get 2000 total.

Pretty sweet, eh? It is, but DON'T whatever you do EVER risk losing a point for
nice points. If you lose a point then you lose a minimum of 10 000. You'll need
to get a tonne of nice points to make up for 1 lost point, so don't try for it.

=================
= 8. Conclusion =
=================

I hope you all found something of use in this guide! I highly recommend reading
my character mood faq as well. The latest version of it can be found at
www.gamefaqs.com

This guide has been made by myself (Sharpsight) without any sources other than
Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball itself. If you have any comments/
corrections/flames/praise please email me at trevor_w_a@hotmail.com. Be sure to
include "DOAX" in the title, else I might mistake it for junk mail.

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about secrets in this game, nor how to
unlock them. Just putting this in here because I've received a tonne of mail
asking how to unlock things. Sorry guys, your guess is as good as mine.

Thanks to everybody who mailed me with response to my last guide!

Special thanks to Mike Taylor, Michael Mattai and everybody who tipped me on
the 'power characters' typo.

No thanks to Serge Zaretsky. He's a jerk. Don't brake if you see him crossing
the street. I call dibs on his XBox.

A special thanks to Team Ninja for making not only DOAX but DOA3 as well. Two
of the best games on the XBox!

This guide is for personal use only and is not to be reproduced in any way
(whole or in part) without my permission. Check www.gamefaqs.com for the latest
version of this faq.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

Copyright 2003 Trevor Armstrong