Dead or Alive 4 Finally Here

After being delayed 238 times (OK, more like five times) Dead or Alive 4 is finally on store shelves. I found my copy at a Wal*Mart and snagged it before they were all gone. And they were gone in a hurry. It makes you wonder how much better the Xbox 360 launch would have been if DOA4 was there with it.

I have not had much time to play, as I am still home at my grandmother's house. It still looks like DOA with a very familiar shell. The graphics have not really changed since DOA2 on the Dreamcast, and the re-release on the PS2.

Other than the subtle graphical upgrades over DOA3, there are also subtle fighting changes that may make you throw your controller at first. (A word to the wise - do not throw the wireless Xbox 360 controller. It will not survive.)

Not only did they take out the 'easy' difficulty setting, but the CPU has learned a few tricks past the ones in DOA3. Your computer opponents block, parry, and juggle very well. Especially when you get to the fifth or sixth opponent in Story Mode.

There is no doubt that DOA3 fans will have to brace for DOA4. With changes to the parry system, blocks, and throws, the game will seem very frustrating to start.

This is a Good Thing, however, as it makes for less button mashing and a deeper fighting experience. This will no doubt put a few people off, as DOA4 is not as easy to get into as it has been in the past.

But I am not here to whine, and I have improved today over yesterday. The CPU plays smarter and makes me play smarter. It is very satisfying when you get a parry and throw in, as this was much easier to perform before.

I can't wait to see the what the online experience of DOA4 has to offer.

One thing I will complain about is the lack of Xbox Live and no component video. At least I have 480p at home. Here I don't even have S-Video so my Xbox 360 looks more and more like an Xbox 1.

Oh, I almost forgot: DOA4 does not have the "Only For Xbox 360" badge on the box, so it looks like a PS3 version of DOA4 is indeed a possibility.

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