Dead or Alive Ultimate Review

Developer: Tecmo Publisher: Tecmo
Release Date: October 27, 2004 Also On: None

The Dead or Alive series has always been one that turned heads. We saw Dead or Alive 2 in America first, due to the original only being released on the Saturn in Japan. The standard was set as far as the basic countering system goes. Visual standards from Tecmo have always been high, and the Dead or Alive series has been no exception. DOA 3 was an amazing fighter that came out with the launch of the Xbox, giving you another standout game with Halo at the time. To expand the DOA library, Tecmo has brought back the first two games and made them online accessible. Now, you can take your skills to a global level.

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Think back to the Sega Saturn where the standard of 3D games was being set for the future. DOA1 has not been altered from the original version and still looks good. It seems much like a modern day anime that can match the graphics of Metal Slug 3 and Capcom vs. SMK 2. For a game that was released years ago, this is a big accomplishment. DOA 2 was brought to the next level of visual art from Tecmo. With DOA 3’s graphics, you wouldn’t believe the Japanese-based gaming company could improve on this. Somehow, the people at Tecmo have found a way. Environments are now more interactable and have parts of walls and ground breaking apart as your body collides with them. The characters have been bump mapped and modified enough so that clothing, hair, and body parts flow like a true life person’s would.

The sound of DOA1 was also unaltered in the recreation. Though the graphics of Saturn seemed revolutionary for its time, the music reminds me of Turtles IV on the SNES. For a game that is released years later, I would expect something better. The Japanese background themes in DOA 2 mold in perfectly with the gameplay. They keep you motivated in the fights to press on and win, giving you the perfect fighting music for the DOA series. The collision sounds have been upgraded so that you may get a different sound against the same thing, pending on how it is your body hits the object. The Japanese speaking before a fight is still kind of hilarious if you use your imagination.

Dead or Alive has always been known for its countering system. The system allows you to take kicks and punches against you and turn the tide of the battle. It takes a while to master this skill, but that is what you can practice in the spar mode. Other modes like time attack and survival have always been relevant in the fighting genre and make their appearance here as well. In DOA 1 only, the Kumite mode allows you to choose a certain amount of people to fight and keeps a record of how many you can beat out of 30, 50, or 100. This mode will show you just how good you really are at Dead or Alive. Watch mode shows off the computer’s skill at using the characters, giving you examples of how big combos can be performed. This is always a joy to watch when you are bored.

As far as difficulty goes, neither game will strain your mind. DOA 1 however is much more difficult since the fighting has not been altered to match DOA 2 and 3. Because of this, you have to learn a different scheme for this to perform your favorite moves. The DOA 2 game in the double pack is identical as to DOA 3 as far as fighting goes. With this, you can perform the same moves that many by now have mastered in DOA 3. The arcade mode in both will take no more than 10 minutes per character. This will bring about an hour and a half of gameplay for DOA 1, and a little over 2 hours for DOA 2.

Buying Dead or Alive Ultimate depends on how you are going to use it. If you are a fan of fighters and will be playing DOA online, then this package is a must to add you your Xbox Live collection. If you are going to play it offline, it depends on whether or not you’re a fan of the series. The online portion alone is well worth the price as you will compete with people all around the world and keep global stats in Survival and Time Attack. Online is what makes the Dead or Alive series finally begin to click.

Graphics: 10
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 9
Written by Shawn Review Guide

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