Review by jennafaith1

"A fighting series that keeps getting progressively worse."

Dead or Alive 4 is the flagship of fighting games for the X-Box 360. DOA 3 was its predecessor and was absolute gaming nirvana. Since then, some new mechanics have been implemented in hopes of making the game more skill oriented. The online play is pretty good and includes some neat little features. However, the game itself is rather on the cheap side. DOA 4 also removes some of our favorite moves from our favorite characters and tries to balance the gameplay. Sadly, it simply doesn't mesh right and makes DOA 4 look like the black sheep of the family.

STORY 3/10: Kasumi is a mermaid? Some old guy grabs Lei Fang's boobs? Ryu cuts up some planes and the place blows up? DOA has never been known for a great story. It has been knows for great visuals. The visuals are still great and beautiful, but the story is simply embarrassing. Lei Fang and Hitomi fight over a cabbage? It's the year 2006; can we come up with something a little better? So we all know that Lei Fang and Jan Lee seem to like each other. Maybe something could finally happen? No, not in this DOA. The story is lame and most of the endings are ridiculous.

GRAPHICS 10/10: Gorgeous graphics adorn this gem. The girls look hot, but the guys are the ones that really shine. The details in their muscles are awesome. Everyone has some cool costumes but they really needed more of them. The stages are all large and pretty. The CG graphics during the endings are also well done, even if they tell a dumb story. The colors are brilliant and your HD TV will really show its stuff. The characters are well animated and everything is just top notch. Great job here. The new characters look really good and fit the cast of already great characters.

MUSIC/SOUND 9/10: Great music and great sound effects. The voices are clear and everything is mixed well. You get more Aerosmith in this game. They actually picked some good songs so I have no complaints.

GAMEPLAY 6/10: Online play is the meat of this game. This game is truly for the competitive spirit. You can go online and fight in tag team or singles. You bet these Zack dollars every time you fight and you can buy costumes and stuff with those winnings. Of course, the online play is very competitive and if you lose often, your Zack dollars will be gone. The online support is pretty good, a little lag here and there. Overall it's the best aspect of the game. The single player game is simply cheap. I've seen the computer counter my punch with a kick-counter animation. The CPU controlled opponent is very difficult and aggressive. I have no problem with a challenge, but the game is punishing even on the normal setting. The game definitely requires a large investment of time from the player to learn and relearn the characters. A lot of the characters have been changed or toned down. This is an unfortunate decision by Team Ninja. Weaker characters should be improved; strong characters should be left alone. The counters are all here but have been made tighter and they do a ridiculous amount of damage. Overall, the game just feels unbalanced. It just seems that the computer can do a large amount of damage in comparison to your attacks. The game is also generous to the offensive player since the defense aspects have been redone and toned down. One of the aspects I really liked about DOA 3 was that it was very user friendly and you could get very skilled and competitive too. DOA 4 excludes the novice player. It is strictly for the player who will devote a lot of time and count frames. It's unfortunate that this game is so demanding, since it leaves the player feeling cheated in a way.

FUNFACTOR 6/10: You better like online because the single player game is just frustration. The online fights are competitive and fun. The single player game simply doesn't feel like its fair and leaves you unsatisfied. It seems no matter how good you get, the CPU seems to pull off some cheap life draining moves and breaks your win streak. Overall, DOA 4 is a decent attempt by Tecmo that delivers competitive game play. Fans will enjoy it, newcomers will not.

OVERALL 6/10: It hard to recommend DOA 4 as a good game. It definitely lives in the shadow of DOA 3. While the On-line play is very good, the game just feels bare. The story is disappointing and novice players will feel very frustrated. The game is really not revolutionary and really seems like a sequel done by the numbers. The inspiration and creativity just don't seem to be here. DOA 4 is simply not as good as DOA 3 or DOA Ultimate. I've played DOA from the beginning and DOA 4 just seems to show its shallowness. It has great graphics and sound but those things are not as revolutionary as they once were. It's a decent game, but it seems like every sequel just keeps getting worse.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 06/23/08

Game Release: Dead or Alive 4 (US, 12/29/05)

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