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Dead or Alive 3

Review By:  Nick Arvites

Developer:   Team Ninja
Publisher:   Tecmo
# of Players:   1-4
Genre:   Fighting
ESRB:   Teen
Online:   No
Accessories:   Memory Card, HD (costumes)
Date Posted:  

2-20-02

It seems that no gaming console launch is complete without a fighting game. Microsoftís answer to the fighting genera in the early days of the Xbox is the magnificent Dead or Alive 3. Touted as one of the best examples of graphical power long before its release, DoA3 has been highly anticipated since it was announced as a Microsoft exclusive. Does the game meet the hype of being the best fighter so far?

Graphically, DoA3 delivers all that was promised. The characters look like some of the best player models so far. I would go as far as saying the stages themselves are works of art. Attention was spent on every little detail in the stages, be it snow, water, rocks, buildings, glass, giant aquariums, or some other decorations. Leaves blow around in forests, as well as kick up from the ground (be it from a crashing body or the wind). Snow, rain, fire and water effects simply look incredible. If you kick someone into a torch, sparks fly. If you knock someone in a puddle, it splashes. If a body lands in the snow, it reacts. The ending FMV movies are absolutely incredible. They are some of the best around and (in my opinion) are only passed by the latest Final Fantasy effort.

The sound is fairly good. The music has a fighting tempo to it, and there are a few Aerosmith songs in the game. The sound effects are well done, be it a crash through a wall or shattering glass.

DoA3ís control is done decently. My only problem with the control setup is the blocking and counter system takes far too long to get used to, and the complex throws are a complete pain to attempt to pull off.

The gameplay is excellent. The stages are awesome. Almost all have some sort of interactive feature. In some, you can knock your opponent through ice spikes, while in others you can smack your opponent into trees. Several stages have multiple levels. In one, you can knock the other player down a mountainside onto various platforms (some with stone pillars to knock them through, others with puddles and walls). In another, you can knock your opponent through a glass wall of a building and down to the street level.

The story mode is pretty much a standard. For completing it with a character, you get to watch a well-done FMV ending movie. These look fantastic, although the background story isnít really advanced because the movies lack dialog.

The other game modes are Tag, Survival, and Time-Attack. Tag is fun if youíre playing with another human, and survival and time-attack are great if you like to master characters and set high scores. All are standard fighting game options now though, so itís nothing special.

The only thing that I did not like with this game is the lack of secrets. There is only one secret character (Ein) and you can unlock several alternate costumes for some of the characters. However, many of the extra costumes are not worth the effort to try and unlock. .

Highs:

  • Graphics
  • Awesome non-weapon fighter
  • Impressive stages

Lows:

  • No secrets

Final Verdict: 

GET THIS GAME. If you own an Xbox and do not own Dead or Alive 3, you are severely missing out since the next best fighter (Soul Calibur 2) is still a ways away. The lack of secrets is a drag, but the rest of the game shines.

Overall Score: 9.3

Additional Images:

 


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