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Dead or Alive 4 Review - Xbox 360

7
Gameplay: 7 stars 7
Graphics: 9 stars 9
Audio: 6 stars 6
Multiplayer: 6 stars 6
Innovation: 6 stars 6
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Xbox gamers have grown to be fond of Tecmo and their Dead or Alive franchise of games which include babes in skimpy clothes playing beach volleyball, and ninja decapitations, but Dead or Alive 4 is strictly a fighting game. Considering other fighting games are bringing in new and unique game modes for points on the innovation scale, can Dead or Alive 4 keep up with this generation of fighting games?  Read on to find out more.

Gameplay

Dead or Alive 4 fighting is basically the same as the other games in the series, especially the ones on the original Xbox.  Dead or Alive 3 and Dead or Alive Ultimate offered innovative new experiences in the last generation of gaming, but Dead or Alive 4 really offers nothing new.  Survival mode, Time attack mode, sparring, versus, and of course the infamous Story mode which doesn’t really follow a story at all.  The DOA series needs to take a serious look at their story mode to either make it more interesting, or simply change the name to Arcade mode.  They can keep the strange movie segments, such as when Hitomi fights over a lettuce with Ayane, but this is NOT a story.

When you complete the story mode on a character though, you unlock their specific end movie which Tecmo always ensure is of the best quality visuals that you’ll see on the console.  DOA4 is no exception, and some of the movies are worth watching over and over and over again.  There are several characters to unlock including a SPARTAN from the Halo games.  It’s not Master Chief, but you can pretend it is.  Helena, Ein and the DOA2 boss Tengu are also some of the unlockable characters, providing plenty of hours of gameplay to spend unlocking them.  The offline DOA4 multiplayer is pretty disappointing.  You can only do the two options in verses mode of solo or tag.  Playing tag with a friend and making the opponents random so they change each match is fun, but we were surprised at the lack of offline multiplayer components.

Joining the already glamorous line-up of DOA stars are a couple of new characters in DOA4.  Elliot, a 15 year-old blonde boy, has been training with Gen Fu for some time and is now ready to enter the DOA4 competition.  Not much is known about this new character, except he’s basically a young version of Gen Fu with slightly faster attacks, generally making him a better character to use.  Perhaps Tecmo want to phase out poor old Gen Fu.  Kokoro is another new member of the crew, probably the same age as Elliot.  She moves like Lei-Fang but she is more elegant and you learn that she is training to become a Geisha.  The final new character isn’t completely new.  Lisa from DOAX has decided to cover herself up with a mask and is calling ... (continued next page)