The Dead or Alive series is back, this time on the 3DS. As a veteran of the fighting genre, can it bring the success of the console and arcade titles to a handheld device? And how does it compete with Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition? Read on for out verdict...
If you're unaware of the series, it is a fighting game, in the same style as Tekken and Street Fighter. It features many characters, including some classic characters such as Ryu Hayabusa, from the well known Ninja Gaiden series. The gameplay is the same, simply because it works.
The character models look amazing
The graphics are incredible, considering the power of the 3DS, and the 3D effect works fantastically well. Fists, explosions and characters fly out of the screen, showing off just how good the console is. When the 3D effect is turned off, the game runs considerably faster, but the speed of the game in 3D is never a problem.
There are many modes available, and where some fighting games may get repetitive, DOA:D doesn't. The modes are varied enough to keep you interested a long time after you have finished Chronicle mode.
Chronicle is the story mode, following many different characters across a diverse range of locations and realms. It is an epic adventure, but can get confusing. For a start, there are three different types of cut scene. The most common is basically a 3D comic strip. You see the characters in a static pose, and as the camera zooms or pans around them, they speak. Quite often though, there will be multiple characters on screen and it won't be clear who is talking. The voice acting is great quality, but many of the characters sound the same, which adds to the confusion. There are also fully animated cut scenes which are really great, and it's a shame that the full game is not like this. The story also, seemingly randomly, jumps between characters and locations, and it's hard to follow. Confusion aside, Chronicle mode is great. It is a story mode and tutorial in one, lengthy package. You play as a range of characters so can experience many styles of fighting and get used to them all with the handy tutorials which pop up now and then before matches, showing you advanced techniques and tricks.
All of the series favourite characters are back
There are other modes too, such as Tag mode, which gives you a computer controlled team mate, and you must defeat certain enemies. It is tough, as the tag team tactics can take a while to get used to, and the enemies kick ass. But it is definitely fun, especially when you trigger the double throw move, which are always awesome. The most fun mode however, is Survival. You must defeat a set amount of enemies with no break in between each, and it is so much fun. This mode is addictive, and starting with ten, you can progress to twenty, thirty et cetera. It is fast, frantic and superbly fun.
The game looks great, plays even better, and the production values are clearly high. It is a great game that deserves all the praise it gets, and is a must have for all 3DS owners. Dead or Alive: Dimensions is the best fighter on the system, period.
by Louis Gardner