Review by IcarusDRX
"A significant improvement"
This Dead or Alive marks a significant move forward for Team NINJA, their fighter is no longer laughably easy or a button mash festival.
When DOA3 came out on the XBox, I was working at a video game store. One of the other employees was a hardcore 3D fighting fan, I come from a largely 2D Street Fighter/KOF background. I decided to show him how his favorite game was seriously bad, so I put DOA3 in our stores XBox and told him I could win without looking at the screen, just by pressing punch and kick randomly. He scoffed at my test, but was amazed when I won match after match without paying attention. This was the main problem with the DOA series up until this point... no skill, button mashers could win just as easily as somebody baiting for combos.
I'm happy to say my test failed when I placed DOA4 into my Xbox 360. Even paying attention I'm having a hard time in the later rounds, which to me is amazing for a 3D fighter to accomplish. This game makes you work for your matches, and if you don't land a couple of decent counters in the later rounds, you may just get beat.
This does a lot to help DOA in my book, but I still wouldn't rank it up with the better fighting game series (SF, KOF, Soul Calibur, Virtua Fighter)... but it places it right next to tekken as a fast, decent fighter made for anyone to enjoy.
The character selection is about the same as before, nobody really stands out, but that can be seen as a good thing for those craving character balance. The story is kinda silly, even by fighting game standards. As of right now, I'm playing as Brad Wong, the drunken boxer. The mechanics of drunken boxing are perfectly suited for a 3D fighter, so I'm happy to see one among the mix here. Not quite the diversity of the Virtua Fighter series in terms of fighting styles, but theres enough to make most people happy. All the stereotypical fighting game characters are here, the bruce lee clone, the blonde american girl that fights in a bikini, the ninja(s), the leather clad girl with white hair, the big black guy, the wrestler, the special forces guy, yeah... i could go on and on with the bland characters... but as dumb as they sound, it works well enough.
So, in conclusion... I think this is by far the best Dead or Alive game made, that said its still a Dead or Alive game, bounces and all. The fans of the series will love it, those who were not big fans, (myself) will find this one playable... and as the only fighter on the 360 right now, its all you have until you can download Street Fighter II on the marketplace.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/16/06
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