Dead or Alive 4 Review
Jelly. That’s probably the only word I can think of to describe the over-the-top bouncing breasts of every single female character in Dead or Alive. It’s always been there, and probably always will be. The problem is, Breast don’t sell games…wait — yes they do. But it’s not the main reason to buy a game, unless you’re a 12 year old spotty teenager, or you have little appreciation for games. The real reasons we buy games are for their graphics and most importantly, their gameplay. We’ll chat about them a bit more later on, but firstly — a moan.
What Team Ninja were thinking of when they decided to make their game 60HZ compatible only, I just don’t know! Not all of us have the cash to fork out on a nice TV to go along with our already bank breaking Xbox 360 costs. Luckily, my humble 15” portable was just about able to support 60HZ gaming, but it struggled. A quick warning: If you want the game, make sure your TV supports 60HZ first.
As you would come to expect from pretty much every beat-‘em-up, there are a variety of modes to choose, from Survival (stay alive as long as possible as opponents continue to flow at you), to good old fashioned Verses mode. For those of us without friends, there is the story mode, allowing you to take your favourite character through their own story, mindlessly battling opponents as you go. The story mode, in all honesty, is quite confusing.
There is a main storyline, which is about DOATEC, a secret organisation run by Helena (I think) who has cloned one of the ninja fighters and created a fighting machine. If you pick the right character, you’ll fly through a few pointless fights against nobodies, and then have an important fight coupled with the story — usually with a nice little cut-scene to company it. Then you fight a few more random fights that have no relation, to then fight the Alpha clone, which I can tell you, is seriously hard. The reason I say it’s a bit confusing is because, a) the game doesn’t really explain what the hell is going on, or why and b) some characters have nothing to do with the story at all, and seem to be there for no particular reason.
Other characters however, will have nothing to do with the main storyline, and will have their own little battles to fight. As always, when you finish the 8 stages in story mode, you’ll get a visually stunning final cut-scene, and that is where the X-Rated bit comes in! Some of the characters endings are not something you would want your little kids to watch — with half-naked pole dancing, to topless mermaids. Mind you, you wouldn’t really want your kids to be watching the game anyway, as all the female characters wear next-to-nothing in-game.
Now, before you rush out to buy the game simply for the facts I mentioned above, (admit it, you were just about to!) it’s not all fun and games. DOA4 can get extremely frustrating, to the point where you will launch your controller across the room, and because there is no wire to pull it back to the ground, it’ll likely break something. Let me illustrate: You are on the final stage of the story mode, playing a character you’re not overly good with. You get a great combo in on your opponent, bringing their health down to one more hit needed. Suddenly, your opponent will counter you move, throw you against a wall, and before you can get up and react, you’ll get spammed with a 10-hit combo whilst being juggled in the air — killing you.
That said, the game is so addictive, you’ll find yourself mashing the A button to restart the battle, and hope that next time you’ll get that last kick in (you do eventually!). I didn’t really want to bang on about graphics this time around, as you’ve come to expect great things from 360 games by now, but they really are truly great — especially the environments. Water and grass has been modelled amazingly, making DOA4 look better than ever.
As always, the arenas are massive, allowing you to kick your opponent through windows and down some stairs — bashing their health down low. Other than graphics though, there isn’t a huge amount different from DOA3. A few new moves, some new characters and some great graphics will keep you going for a while, but not as long as you would want. I’ve completed the story mode with every character I can, and I’ve played the game for over 5 hours.
I can honestly say that I probably won’t be going back to this game for single-player value. Multi-player however, now that’s a different story! Hours and hours of endless fun is to be had with multi-player gaming. From tag battles to one-on-ones, DOA4 is great for a quick pick-up-and-play bash with your mates. If you don’t have friends, you can always make them on Xbox Live, which seems to work well — as long as you don’t fight a lag king!
All in all, DOA4 is good, but not great. It offers some great button-bashing gameplay, but can sometimes be quite frustrating. Maybe not the greatest of purchases if you don’t have friends, or want a gripping single-player story, but hardcore DOA fans will love it. If for nothing else, it’s worth renting for you and your mates to bash at — and to laugh at Team Ninjas attempt to ‘win’ their crowds with over the top bouncing breasts.