Review by Ninjakid69

Reviewed: 01/18/06

From slightly disappointing to utterly amazing, this game is ultimately a great next gen title!

I first want to say that when I bought this game, I was slightly disappointed with it. Specifically with the graphics. The graphics in DOA 4 are marginally better than the xbox titles DOA3 and DOA: Ultimate, and this is supposed to be a next gen xbox 360 title. To be fair, the xbox versions of this franchise were nothing to scoff at graphically; they were amazing works of art for their time and were hard to improve unless Team Ninja compromised the "Anime" look with photorealistic characters. However, as I played the game more I grew to love it as It has more
to offer than the last two installments.

Graphics (6/10):

Now, before the flames start, I just want to say that if this were an xbox title, it would be the best looking to date. However, it is a xbox 360 title. Hair clipping and collision detection problems should be a thing of the past. Team Ninja quickly enhanced and sharpened an already good graphics engine and moved right on to refining the gameplay aspect of DOA in this installment, and these glitches in the graphics are an obvious indication of that. Particular things that look good is the fur on Gen Fu's costume, or the shine and lighting off certain characters' costumes. The backgrounds seem more detailed and cleaner than DOA 3, and that is a plus.

Pros: Environments and costumes look much better
Cons: same character models, and hair clipping is such a glaring flaw

Gameplay (10/10):

Now here is where the game shines. I am no newcomer to fighting games in general, but DOA 2, DOA 3, and DOA: ultimate had pathetic AI. You could know 2-3 different combos and quickly unlock everything. To sum it up, the games before didn't push the player to become better. Also, counters were ridiculously easy to pull off; mashing the counter (or hold) command was just as effective as timing it, further defeating the purpose of playing anymore.

Doa4 is a different breed. Counters are harder to pull off, and the AI will punish you for button mashing. I first hated playing against the AI and cursed at Team Ninja for making the game harder, until I unlocked my ten-hour acheivement, making it a first I have played a DOA game for more than ten hours. It is much more rewarding to win in DOA 4 than it has ever been games before. My only complaint is that the stun system needs to be slightly adjusted.

Pros: Much more rewarding as counter-fests are very difficult and the AI will push you to become better
Cons: Stun status can become very annoying

Online (8/10):

Online is so fun. How fun? Well, if they took out the extras and single player mode and just made it a completely online game, I would still buy it. This game becomes better online as you can beat up players from different parts of the world and also see how people who are amazing at this game fight. A couple things that hurt the online score was the lag and the disconnects. If one person has a slow or laggy connection, everyone suffers. Oftentimes, If a player drops out, I will hang at the "Winner" screen until my turn to fight comes up again.

Pros: Fun fighting other opponents other than your brother or friends
Cons: Too much lag and flow problems

Sound (9/10):

The music in this game is catchy and upbeat. I really can't say too much about it other than it works with the type of game it is.

Overall (9/10):

This is definately not a first impression game. The graphics are good but will not wow you in many aspects or convince you that the next gen pushes the graphical envelope. However, this game plays better than DOA 3 and DOA: U, is actually rewarding and gives more than what a player puts into it. After going from regret of buying to "why didn't I buy it sooner," this game is a solid buy.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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