J. Michael Neal
# of Players:
Custom Soundtrack, Dolby Digital, HDTV 480p
I decided to do something a little different with this review, mix
things up a little, so I present the “Fifteen Things I Learned
Playing Dead of Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball”:
– It’s true. In fact, we love them so much that an entire game has
been created around showing them off. A mainstream game too. No, I’m
not talking about Tomb Raider 76: Revenge of the Block Puzzle;
I’m talking about Dead of Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball.
Finally, the franchise that gained infamy for being created as “Virtua
Fighter 2 with really bouncy chests”, then gained respect for
turning into “the fighter with a really kick-ass engine”, goes back
to its roots and discovers its misogynistic side once more! Sure,
there is more to DOA:XBV than women in thongs jumping around
and bending in all sort of compromising positions, but not that much
likes the DOA woman
– I do have to admit, the women of DOA have a certain appeal.
They have real personality and they are fun to play as. I mean, who
can’t enjoy a kick ass, beautiful woman with a great fashion sense?
Women love them, guys love them, albeit for different reasons, and
everyone has their favorite. I’m a Christie fan myself. I think this
game succeeds in adding even more depth to these characters by
allowing players to watch them let their hair down and engage in
normal activities outside the Dead of Alive tournament.
Imagine The Sims Vacation expansion pack starring the cast of
Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO and you kind of get the idea. At the end
of the day you actually like these characters more after seeing them
behave like normal people. It’s not like Midway’s failed fighting
spin-off, Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero that actually
made you hate Sub-Zero for causing you to sit through such an awful
Xbox is one powerful S.O.B. –
Can I get a witness? If DOA:XBV proves anything (other than
guys like big boobs) it proves that the Xbox really is the most
powerful console out there. Sure, the GameCube is no slouch, and the
Playstation 2’s still got a trick or two up its sleeve, but the Xbox
really is a beast. Pop in this game and within 30 seconds you’ll be
blown away by Team Ninja’s mastery of the Xbox hardware. Sure, a lot
of the visuals seem like gratuitous exhibitions of power, but
considering how down-keyed most Xbox games have been in the visual
department, I think it’s needed. Every console needs its “tech
demo”, the game you put on when you want to show off your ultra-cool
new console to a friend, and DOA:XBV fills that role nicely,
seeing how it is probably the best looking console game ever
released. Yes, even better than Splinter Cell.
Ninja really likes pop music
– The Baha Men, The Spice Girls, B*Witched. I’m sure for most of you
reading this these “artists” provide the background music to many a
nightmare. Today, however, they provide the background music to
DOA:XBV. Sure, its not all bad, there is a Bob Marley track and
a few from Reel Big Fish, but still, unless you are a Christina
Aguilera fan or a lover of bubblegum reggae, you’d probably rather
shove a Phillips-head down your ear until you feel a “pop” than
listen to this crap. Luckily for everyone, this game takes advantage
of the best Xbox feature no one ever uses: the custom soundtrack!
Yes, you can program the day, and evening, radio station in the game
to play any track that’s been stored on your Xbox hard drive. Even
if you do approve of the game’s soundtrack, for some insane reason,
there are probably a few songs you’d love to add to it, and you’d be
surprised to find how well something like Green Day’s “Welcome to
Paradise”, The Street’s “Let’s Push Things Forward”, or
The Ravonettes “My Tornado” fit into the game.
is the easiest sport in the universe
– Well, or at least on Zack’s Island anyway (which the fighter from
the DOA series bought after winning the lottery). It’s pretty
much distilled down to two buttons (Receive and Attack) and movement
is kept to a minimum. In fact, a lot of the movement is automatic.
For example, if your partner pops the ball up into the air, setting
up a spike, your character will automatically run to the net and
begin a spike, all you’ve got to do is hit the A button at the right
moment. This over-simplification makes the volleyball in this game
feel about as deep and challenging as Pong. But, it is very
easy to get into, especially for younger gamers or first time
gamers, and is actually kind of relaxing in its Zen-like simplicity.
The one thing that does make the game a little difficult is the
horrible camera you are forced to live with. Sure, it looks good and
it catches the women at all the right angles, but it completely
obscures the backcourt and screws up depth perception, making
judging where the ball is going to land needlessly difficult,
especially during two player exhibitions.
woman averages the measurement 35-22-33
– Well, considering that every woman that appears in the game
average that measurement, and they all come from every corner of the
globe, that must be the norm, right? Right?
a healthy relationship with your woman with a steady stream of
firearms and steering wheels
– In order to play volleyball you need two people, and in order to
coax a second person into partnering with you, you need to bribe
them with lots and lots of gifts. Each character has items they
particularly love, based on their interests as specified in the
manual, and you’ll have to stock up on them if you want to keep your
partner happy. And we all know nothing brings a smile to a woman’s
face like unwrapping a box of shurikens, a leather thong, or a book
with large breasts can get paid a lot of money to get wet and jump
– I didn’t know that before this game. Did you? The “Hopping Game”,
as it’s called, is a mini-game in which you have to make it across a
pool by jumping from floating buoy to buoy without falling in. How
far you jump is determined by how hard you press down on the face
button, and the distance between buoys are randomized at the start
of each game. You earn money by successfully completing it, and it
adds up too. Who would have thought?
women of DOA have major gambling problems
– Nothing caps off a fine day of sunbathing poolside like losing a
cool million at the Roulette table. Or at least that’s how these
ladies like to spend their evenings, in Zack’s Casino playing the
slots, Poker, Roulette, or my personal favorite, Blackjack. It’s
easy to get hooked too, as these casino mini-games are not only a
good source of income, but a fun way to flesh out an otherwise
shallow gaming experience. Too bad two players aren’t allowed to
gamble at the same time; it might have added some longevity to the
game. Oh well, it does make a nice inclusion and makes it feel like
you got a little more out of your purchase than just a virtual wet
t-shirt contest. Hopefully you already know the rules to these
games, though, as DOA:XBV does nothing to teach them to you,
neither in the manual nor with an in-game tutorial.
Why women shop so much
– Female shopping habits have always boggled the male mind. That is,
until now. After playing this game a guy can finally understand why
women spend so much time and money shopping. It’s all about
coordination. Let’s say you go down to the Sports Shop and see a
really nice outfit, something like an orange and yellow knit top and
some little black short-shorts that you just have to have, you buy
it but then you realize that you don’t have any shoes that go with
it. So you run on down to the Accessory Shop and look around. You
don’t see any shoes, but there is this really awesome hat that would
look great on you. Too bad you have nothing to go with it. That can
easily be fixed with another trip to the Sports Shop for another
outfit that then requires another pair of shoes. Get the idea? Don’t
feel bad if you don’t, because the moment you began buying new
bikinis and such for your character you will. It’s really hard not
to become a shopaholic, especially for completists who will want to
collect everything there is to own in this game, including rare
items and ultra-expensive outfits.
11) It is possible to make
Zack even more unlikable – All you have to do is give Zack, the
flamboyant, embarrassing, slightly creepy fighter from the Dead
or Alive series, the voice of Dennis Rodman, the flamboyant,
embarrassing, slightly creepy has-been athlete from the NBA. Hey, it
could have been worst. Just thank god Gilbert Gottfried’s only
contribution to the gaming world has been Kingdom Hearts…
Japanese is a universal language
– It’s so great to hear women from Germany (Hitomi), France
(Helena), England (Christie), and the United States (Tina and Lisa)
all speaking their native tongues… Japanese. Seriously though, it’s
better than putting up with terrible, Final Fantasy X-style
13) It’s cheaper to kill someone
than to buy a pair of shoes – An Uzi costs 8,000 “Zack
dollars”. A pair of sandals costs 15,000. Applied to our inflation
rate that’s like selling sub-machine guns for $10. Yet, although
firearms are so readily available, there doesn’t seem to be any
violent crime on Zack Island. On top of that, there isn’t a visible
police force. Really makes you wonder what Zack is doing right…
Team Ninja will make a habit of
putting that annoying anti-piracy disclaimer at the beginning of all
their games – It was at the beginning of DOA3 and it’s at
the beginning of this one. Thank God they only show it the first few
times you start the game. I mean, come on, do they honestly think
they’re going to curb piracy by trying to intimidated people with
that little warning at the beginning of every game? Why not put some
effort into making anti-piracy technology and stop trying to nag
There might be something more
going on between Liefang and Hitomi – The wink? The playful
frolicking? The strawberry? Is it just me, or are these two a bit
too friendly with each other, if you know what I mean?
isn’t a bad game. In fact, it’s kind of fun once it grows on you.
The problem with the game is it’s shallow. Painfully shallow. There
isn’t much to the game besides collection swimsuits, making friends,
playing cards, and knocking a ball around, and while this may be
really addictive for the first few days, a weak multiplayer game and
simplistic volleyball mechanics kills any longevity the game might
have aside from the item collecting aspect.
The volleyball and casino mini-games are about on par in terms of
depth, which makes the game feel kind of uneven. Its not like
Shenmue II, where a strong main game anchors several mini-games,
as much as it feels like Mario Party, where a bunch of
loosely related mini-games co-exist, minus the multiplayer. There is
little aside from the title to let you know this is supposed to be a
volleyball game. It could just as easily be a casino game with some
volleyball, or an interactive fashion show with some volleyball and
casino mini-games. This is probably the game’s biggest downfall. If
they had focused more on the volleyball, drawing more depth from it,
one could overlook the entire fan boy tailored T&A in the game.
Since they didn’t, however, there is little reason to justify owning
this game other than you are a total DOA fanatic, or you like
bouncing breasts. Don’t get me wrong, this game really is fun for a
while, it’s just that “while” lasts for about four days. Tops.
Thank the Lord! Custom soundtrack!
Yes, the women are hot.
Actually adds some depth to these characters.
Fun and addictive for a while, especially the card games.
Very shallow gameplay.
No real multiplayer aspect.
Horrible original soundtrack.
Makes you feel a bit dirty.
Might bring Dennis Rodman back into the public eye.
If you love the DOA girls, or just looking for a fun, simple,
guilty pleasure, you’ll probably want to give Dead or Alive:
Xtreme Beach Volleyball a try. It really is fun while it lasts,
although it doesn’t last very long. If you are looking for a bit of
depth with your fun, or can’t shake the feeling of being a sleazy
fanboy for enjoying a game that is 90% about gratuitous T&A,
however, you might want to wait for Outlaw Volleyball. That
game will have solid multiplayer (which guarantees longevity) and is
only 30% about gratuitous T&A.