Dead or Alive 3
Tecmo's exclusive Xbox beat 'em up comes under scrutiny.
Every console needs a beat ‘em up, that’s a certainty. Afterall, the genre has been popular on machines for years now, many gamers making their console choice based on the quality of it’s Street Fighter clone. Step up Dead or Alive 3, the Xbox’s answer to, well, Tekken, or Virtua Fighter – take your pick. This is no ordinary fighting game, though, this is the Xbox’s flagship – the exclusive game from Tecmo that has showcased the power of the Xbox for quite some time. But is it any good? I got my thumbs-twiddling to find out… First things first, the graphics are absolutely stunning. Stunning. This really is a visual tour de force, that displays amply the prowess of the Xbox over the competition. Not only are the characters and the environments more detailed, but the effects are better, the moves more fluid and life-like, the clothes and hair better-textured; all-in-all it’s quite formidably pretty. A great showcase for the Xbox, and you can see why it was chosen as such. But beneath the gloss and pizzazz of the game’s exterior, is it actually any good? Well, yes it is actually. The characters are diverse and ‘entertaining’ (I’ll come on to this later), there’s a good number of play-options from single fights to tournaments, etc. What’s more, the environments are diverse and realistic ranging from tropical shores, to streets, to nuclear plants. The number of moves is impressive too, some of the more spectacular ones being particularly nice – though none of it is vastly different from Dead or Alive 2 (PS2), which may annoy some. It’s surprisingly easy to pick up too, ensuring that only a few minutes in your hooked already on the various fighting styles of the characters, and the arcade-perfect gameplay. It’s prettier than most arcade beat ‘em ups, pleasingly. This rapid sense of reward, will be good for those who’ve never experienced a game of the genre before (as many Xbox gamer won’t have done), though may be insufficiently challenging for more seasoned fighters. Regardless, the diversity of moves available to master, and characters to play as and fight is sure to keep you entertained for some time; and that’s before you get to the always-fun multiplayer mode, where you can beat your friends. What of the characters, then? Well I don’t know which stereotype the developers are trying to appeal to (honestly), but some of the young ladies in this game seem to be rather scantily clad in all manner of semi-nude outfits. They’re rather unrealistically proportioned, too – if you catch my drift. Thankfully the range of fighting styles, such as Pro Wrestling, Kick boxing, etc. is still interesting, despite this ‘misbalance’ in competitors. All in all though, Tecmo’s impressive efforts on this front are sure to keep the gentlemen ‘entertained’. To conclude then the graphics are ace, the sound is good, the controls are well-designed, as are the characters and scenery. So what’s the problem? Well, it’s just not very different from any other fighter out there, is it, and what’s more aggravating still are it’s similarities with the last game in the series! It’s rather short-lived, too. All in all though, a well-made, and good introduction to the genre for Xbox gamers.