“Get Ready…Fight!” That’s the signal given to unleash fury upon your opponent in the Dead or Alive series that we’ve become all-too-familiar with. Besides the participation of some familiar characters, that opening saying is all that Dead or Alive 4 has in common with its forerunners. The developers took all the bad aspects of the previous titles and yanked them out. Then, to satisfy us even more, took all of the good aspects of the previous titles and made them better. There isn’t too much that remains the same.
As a character in DOA4, you now have tactics. Yes, you read that right, tactics. Give that some time to sink in. Remember those great times when you played Dead or Alive 3 for 48 hours straight, beat the game, and learned every move? Now, what about that horrific time when your 6 year-old brother picked up the controller and completely kicked your arse? That proves the point I was trying to make; other DOA titles required no skill besides how to mash buttons. Now each character is equipped with countless attack and defensive moves. You have to plan your attacks warily and judge which counterattack or block would suit best from the blows and kicks your opponent is pumping out.
“Call me ‘Ray Mysterio with tits’ again, I dare you!”
The traditional ‘goodies’ that come standard in Dead or Alive games are also better than ever. One of my favorites is the outfits available for each character. You’ll be able to change their looks and styles and earn outfits by completing challenges. Another feature that many will enjoy is the interactive stages. While fighting in a tall building, one can knock the other opponent out a window, causing the player that fell to loose a significant amount of health. You are able to break ice, get hit by automobiles, and more.
The graphics in DOA4 are definitely worth complimenting. Now, at a finished state, the game looks superb. Take a quick look the screenshots and all you’ll see are upgraded Xbox graphics. Then take a closer look. The stages have astounding attention to detail, from each strand of the character’s hair to each cherry blossom falling from the sky. It gets even better when you see the game in motion. You can notice the fluid movement of the characters, the smooth bounce of clothes as they engage, and their hair flying in perfect correspondence. The quality of every movement brings the game to life.
The storyline for DOA4 will be unfolded through intriguing cut screens. Each character plays their part in the story and you’ll be able to see it from their perspective while progressing. The story for some characters will start right where DOA3 ended; while the three brand new characters will have their tale just begin. If you grow tired of story mode and if you’ve grown bored of returning the arse-whooping to your 6 year old brother, then head over to Xbox Live! Not too much is known yet about the Xbox Live features, but we can only conclude that it will be much like the Live features of DOA Ultimate, only revamped.
When everything is said and done, the game looks very well polished and seems to be on the right path. We expect DOA4 to be a knockout and pack a hefty punch later this November.