Dead or Alive 3 XBox Review

I'll get it out of the way right now.... This game is gorgeous. In fact, it's quite possibly the best looking game I've ever seen. Of course, as die-hard gamers, we know that graphics don't make a game. "Dead or Alive 3" stays pretty close to its predecessor's roots and very little has changed in the area of gameplay.

Fans of the Dreamcast version (or the PS2) won't have any problem adjusting to this version. The main difference is the controller you'll be using which can make some of the moves downright uncomfortable to perform. This obviously can't be blamed on the programmers, but it's definitely a flaw that needs to be mentioned. Beyond this, the basic counter/reversal system is in place and a majority of the combos from the first game are still possible. This makes the game easy enough for first timers, but deep enough for those who live for their fighting games. The game is lightweight compared to games like "Street Fighter 3," but those fans will hardly tread these waters anyway.

Even after "Chronicles of Riddick" and numerous other titles, this is still one of the best looking games on the console. The little details really add up after extensive play like leaves that fall from trees, snow that deforms when a character falls into it, bump-mapped costumes, water that splashes realistically, and the destructive backgrounds will have even the most jaded of gamers drooling in front of the screen. Another feature that deserves special credit are the end game cinemas that are all packed with stunning CGI, easily equaling Squaresoft's and Namco's best.

Instead of dubbing the characters voices, all of the original Japanese voice actors remain and subtitles tell gamers the story. This is definitely a plus as the dubbing from the original was sub-par. The music is the usual mix of techno and rock, including a few tunes by Aerosmith. The same kicking and punching sounds remain, but the game is presented in Dolby Digital that provides some amazing bass and a little surround sound for good measure.

Fans of the first 2 games will have little to complain about, but only because nothing has changed. Gamers new to the series will find a somewhat deep and engrossing fighter. Also, those looking for something to show off their overly large game system will not be disappointed. The only group of people who will be unsatisfied are those looking for an entirely new DOA experience. The new characters and stages aren't enough to change the game drastically, but there is still a great game underneath all of the gloss.


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