Dead or Alive 2
Review of Dead or Alive 2
There are twelve characters in DOA2, two of which must be unlocked to play. They range from women Wrestlers, Opera Singers (believe it!) and various Ninjas, through to Karate Experts and Russian Martial Artists. One thing to note about them is that although few in number, none are really hopeless or useless. Extra costumes can also be unlocked for them by playing the various modes available.
There are plenty of game modes available in DOA2 to choose from. The Story mode allows you to select one character and fight 7 one-bout matches against different adversaries. After each fight, a movie sequence shows a bit of the story surrounding the characters participation in the Dead Or Alive 2 Championship. Next comes Time Attack mode, which is essentially Story mode against the clock except that you get three bouts per round this time. Survival mode is where your character fights progressively harder characters one after the other until all its health has been used up. The deadly dull Sparing mode is also available for people who have nothing better to do with their time…
Dead Or Alive 2 as a one player game reaches its limit pretty quickly though, as do most beat em ups. Beating your mates up and seeing them squirm after a good thrashing is much, much, more satisfying. Multi player fighting is well catered for in the form of a two player Versus mode, Team Battle mode for after pub battling, and the excellent Tag Mode. Tag mode brings something new to the fighting game genre. Simply select two characters and battle it out against your mates characters, tagging characters in and out of the battle when things get a bit tough. Press the correct button combination and the fighters will combine their efforts to perform a powerful combo move during the Tag.
The graphics in Dead Or Alive 2 are fantastic. The fighters may well look slightly cartoon-like in appearance, but are well animated. All the arenas are depicted in true 3D, and the fighters are able to move around them in ways not possible in Tekken. Push someone against a pillar and watch it explode, or throw someone through a stained glass window and carry on the fight in the church beneath. Other danger zones include exploding bombs, electric fences, waterfalls, and many wooden fences to be either broken through or thrown over. Because of its danger zones and large drops, fighting becomes a much more tactical affair, where large gains can be made by circling the opponent and getting them into the right position to slam them to their death.
Wisely, Tecmo decided to make Dead Or Alive 2 playable in either the PAL version running at 50Hz frame rate, or in the Japanese NTSC version running at 60Hz frame rate. If your television can support this mode, which most do, then you are in for a blisteringly fast, border free experience.
The combat system at first appears a bit simplistic. One button is used to kick, another button to hit, and a third button to throw. However, these three buttons do allow some deadly combos to be strung together. In some ways this does work against the game in that it is easy to just button bash and get an instant and pleasing result.
The key to mastering Dead Or Alive 2 lies in the free button, which if pressed just at the right time, allows you to not only block an opponents attack, but reverse it and perform an attack of your own. Used wisely this can completely turn a bout from a battle for survival into a convincing and satisfying win. Again this brings tactics into play. Simply bashing out combo after combo against the PS2 will not work; the secret is to attack, back away and then reverse the PS2s attack. Similarly, the throw button can be used to reverse an attempt by the opponent to perform a throw.
Finally, it is unfortunate but inevitable to have to mention the breast factor. Unfortunate because this seems to be what all the hype on Dead Or Alive 2 has been about, and inevitable because if it wasnt mentioned youd think there was something missing… Yes the female fighters do have large ones, yes there is a Gallery which can be unlocked to view picture of the lovelies, and yes if you increase your age to something old in the Options their assets get bigger and jiggle about. Thats it, nuff said.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Dead or Alive 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by James Goode © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 23 Dead or Alive 2 in-game screenshot slideshow
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