Review by bbears
"I am so confused!!!!??"
INTRO: Dead or Alive is one of the few fighting franchises that I have not tried before in the past. Probably because at first glance it reminded me little to much of Tekken, which I despise... But it turns out that is not the case at all. DOA4 seems to have a lot of unique touches to it, plus after seeing the multi-tiered levels, interactive environments, and those amazing graphics! I had to try it, so I went out and bought it on its release, what did I think? A little too unique (AKA weird) touches flood the game and almost ruin it.
GRAPHICS: DOA4 is one of the most beautiful games ever. This game literally presents images that can be truly described as beautiful. The characters are greatly detailed and have uncanny realism to all there movements. The animations are fast an stay with action yet are very fluid. The most impressive part though is of course the level designs. No other fighting game has created such awesome worlds for each of fights to take place in. The water effects are course perfect and the interactable pieces as well as the non pieces of the environment are as detailed as each character if not more. However, my title does imply Im confused, and that's because of the cinematic ends for each character. Some of them look like a tennie bopper music video on the Disney channel. Which are drastically out of place in Mature themed fighting game.
SOUND: For the most the sound is alright and is suiting for such a colorful game. The sound effects are probably the best in this category. All the sounds are crisp and relate to the action well. Especially the interactions with the environment.
CONTROLS: Very fluid and intuitive bests describes DOA4, most of the time. The game heavily goes off the counter system, and everything works very well, except the counter system. Unleashing a big combo almost comes down to dumb luck for getting the correct counter action done. This results in the ultimate fighting game nightmare, button smashing. And we all know what button smashing leads to, cheapness.
STORY: Like most modern fighters beating the game with any character results in an ending for the corresponding character. DOA4 features beautiful FMVs at the end for every character. The problem is they make absolutely no sense. Some are pretty much music videos of mermaids while others have ninjas fighting helicopters?! The game makes no real attempt to offer a back story something that most fighters do try now a days.
GAMEPLAY: DOA4 is a straight up fight em fighter that lives off a heavy emphasis on countering. You have several basic attacks which can be strung together to form basic combos. The only real way to unleash a devastating combo to master the counter system. There are three levels, like most fighters, low middle and high. And two attack groups, arm or legs. These five factors are broken down by the d-pad and face buttons. Sounds pretty good right, it would however there is no way to predict want level and strike to counter. The computer however can do this though since it is a probability thinking machine. This gives the AI a frustratingly difficult curve. You will fight to the same match 10 times in a row only to kill them in 8 seconds the next round by dumb luck. I have heard some reviews that say DOA4 is a great game because it can picked up and played by anyone well, but has true depth for people wanting to master it. This only seems so when your playing a human, not the AI.
BOTTOM LINE: DOA4 simply for it's beautiful graphics is worth rental to remind yourself why you bought a 360. However unless you plan to use mainly for online multiplayer its no worth anything more because of the shoddy single player AI.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 06/12/06
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