Review by TheGrandFinale

"The best and the most balanced DoA game yet."

Finally. A DoA game that isn't broken and button masher friendly. This is a gift from God indeed! I always found the previous DoAs to be quite fun in multiplayer due to their easy to pick up and master gameplay but I always preferred the more hardcore titles like Tekken and Virtua Fighter. While I still prefer those titles, even I can admit that this lastest DoA game can hold it's own against most 3D fighters. This one definitely lives up to the hype.

Like most fighting games, the plot is minimalistic. There is this large corporation called DOATEC who are conspiring to dominate the world with powerful clones made with fighter's DNA....they hold a tournament....Yadda, yadda. Who cares? Not me!

Pick your character and unload crazy moves on your unsuspecting enemies!

Graphics : 5/5

Graphically the game is mint! Truely next-gen! The stages are vibrant and alive! Every object in the background can be interacted with! Smash into a fruit stand and watch the fruits roll down the street. Kick your opponent through a window or smash their face on the stairway! Few fighting games allow you so much freedom in the arenas. You can explore them too! The marketplace also double as a beach level if you kick your opponent down there!

The fighters themselves are gorgeously designed with many little details like flowing hair or clothes that really make them standout. They gracefully move, kick and punch in the most beautiful of ways. With the counter system you often feel like you are watching a martial arts flick! If you kick someone toward a rock, they'll fall on it and will lean against it! It's very cool!

Sound: 4 1/2 /5
The sound is also pitch perfect. From the voices to the beautiful OST, you won't be disappointed. Each fighter got a theme song that perfectly fit them and most of the music is amazing despite some rather lame songs from time to time. It's still a kickass and memorable music. This kind that you will clearly remember instead of merely liking it.

Some characters also got annoying voice acting like Bass and Jann Lee which takes away from them since they sound so weird. Still ain't too bad compared to many other games however.

Gameplay: 4 1/2 /5

Surprisingly well done for a DoA game, I played 3 alot and despite that I never really got into it. It was too simple. I didn't ask for VF deep but at least at Tekken's level.

DoA4 is still not as deep as any of these games but is largely better than the previous DoAs.

For once, the core system of fighting isn't broken and abusable. Some characters like Ryu or Ayane who where overpowered where slightly toned down while other like Hitomi got much better. It's more balanced this way.

The counter system was reworked and now allow player to finally learn it by heart and make all these button mashers pay! A DoA3 vet could get owned by anyone who mashed their way to victory but in DoA4 this is a thing of the past.

The combos have been reworked and the counters are much harder to pull off and require actual skill. A veteran will destroy any masher in an instant which is something that was unthinkable for DoA3.

The new characters also are great additions and won't need a few more games to be more playable...They already are!

The story mode is very solid and offer beautiful cutscenes but in-game and CGI which complement the characters's stories.

The arenas even change for some matches! For example one arena might be on fire for some characters which is a definite plus for the game's immersion.

Playing on XBox Live is also a great experience. Newbies and skilled players alike can kick ass online which is a rare thing for a fighting game. Thankfully, good players will finally be able to lay the smack down on unskilled one who mash! Yay!

Replay: 4/5

6 unlockable characters, multiple unlockable costumes, a personal photo gallery, and exercise mode for each characters. It will take you some time to get everything an thus the replay value to okay for this type of game.

The online multiplayer is worth a whole star by itself.

It's the best game in the DoA franchise and the most playable and balanced one. Even if you found the other games too shallow, this one will surprise you as much as it surprised me. It's no Tekken or VF but it's definetely a solid fighting game that I will proudly place alongside my faves.

I can finally say:

Go DoA! You rock!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/05/06

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