Dead or Alive 2
not going to walk down memory lane this time, it’s straight to the meaty
review! Okay... so I must
mention the success that the original Dead or Alive bought along with
itself. If there was ever a
discussion about the game, you’d be bound to hear the words
‘bouncy’, ‘did u see those…’ and ‘wow check ‘em out man!’
For those who aren’t following me, Dead Or Alive boasted an unusual of
physics that Einstein himself can’t explain.
Cut short, the babes in the game had these over-the-top bouncy
boobs that could trigger a ‘quake no.
9 on the Richter scale. Male
gamers from across the globe were amazed and entertained by this feature,
that I must mention, helped the game to sell bucket loads.
So what ‘feature’ do Tecmo incorporate when they plan on a
sequel? That’s right…
lets move on.
not all boobs and babes this time round, although the latter does still
play a significant role in the game.
Dead or Alive 2 is a 3D beat em up.
It’s not quite your average 3D beat 'em up though; Dead or Alive
through the genre like a diamond in a sandstorm.
First impressions do last, so the introduction cut scene of the
game had to be pretty good and display an image of the game itself.
It does both. As soon
as it starts, you’re welcomed to a sassy looking Kasumi from the
original dancing around with her sword executing a chain of moves.
This is a real teaser, as you get to see her deliberately exposed
whit panties (is this the new trend?) flashing through the cuts of her
costume. At first I thought that this was a FMV (i.e. movie as opposed
to game engine generated). The
graphics are absolutely stunning, there is astonishing detail in the
characters and environments! Kasumi’s
hair, costume and dress laces all move independently with her motion, she
even blinks. The first time I
saw the cut scene was in our local games shop.
I can tell you that almost EVERY kid in the shop had their eyes
glued to the screen; I humorously remember this bloke was having a good
stare of Kasumi then his girlfriend interrupted with “it’s just a
game..” (I bet she was jealous!). Talking
about interruptions, while Kasumi is teasing the viewer, another character
jumps into the screen looking for a fight who Kasumi manages to dodge.
Started has one of several in game cut scenes that have been
compiled along with in-game fighting to make this introduction cut scene;
which is accompanied which Japanese rock music that fits in perfectly with
the on screen action. I’ll
come back to the music in a while.
After drooling over the cut scene, I was quite pleased with the
menu displaying the game modes. I
expected perhaps an ‘arcade’, ‘practice’ and ‘2 player’ mode.
What I got was much more than I bargained for; story, time attack, survival, tag battle, team battle,
sparring, versus and the all important options menu.
traditional style mode is the story mode where you battle against a line
of characters up to the boss, with short cut scenes between fights to
build a sort of story; fairly standard so nothing much to get excited
about. The time attack mode
is where you aim to clock up the fastest time in beating up a variety of
opponents. In the survival
mode, you try and beat as many opponents as you can with your one
character. You get bonuses to
heal your health a little when you beat an opponent to make things a
little easier. You can pick a
team of characters in the team battle mode to fight an equel amount of
opponents. Sparring mode is a
basically a practice mode, where you can practice and your moves or try
and master yourself with a character.
Versus is the all-too-necessary 2 player mode that all beat ‘em
ups accommodate. The sharp ones among you may have noticed that I missed the
tag battle out, that’s because it deserves a paragraph of its very
Before going through the tag mode in detail, I feel I should talk
about the gameplay itself. There
are 12 characters in total to choose from, 5 gals and 7 boys.
Okay.. not exactly boys
at 20+ years old! The
fighting style is simple to grasp yet the perfectionists out there’ll be
able to master characters inside out.
There are 3 buttons, punch kick and free.
However as the Dreamcast controller has 6 buttons, having just 3
buttons that did something would be a waste.
As some moves can only be performed by pressing multiple buttons
i.e. a throw is executed by pressing punch and free together, some buttons
on the controller will act as 2 buttons i.e. the A button will perform a
punch and free combination. This
makes it easier to control the characters.
The Free button has multiple uses.
It can be used in conjunction with a directional movement to
counter an opponents move. If
held down, and a directional button is double tapped then the character
will move in 3D instead of jump/crouch.
The analogue stick can however be used solely to move in 3D.
The direction pad can be used like in a 2D game i.e. jump, crouch. That’s the theory stuff sorted…
Moving onto the battles, I must stress how amazing the graphics
are. The players themselves
move very fluidly and realistically; you actually feel like your
controlling the characters and not some wireframe.
The detail on the characters is brilliant too, ranging from creases
on the costumes to moving hair. Even
though the line up of characters is surpassed by Tekken Tag’s is terms
of quantity, each character has been developed thoroughly and they vary
from a massive wrestler-style Bass to a sexy and sleek Tina.
Jan Lee is one of the coolest characters, his flying kick move
where he sours towards his opponent Ryu style is awesome along with the
“waddaaaa” speech! The
battles are very enjoyable to fight in, and are as impressive just to
watch. There are games that
almost seem to have turn based battles i.e. A kicks, B punches, A punches
back etc, well Dead or Alive 2’s battles offer much more
unpredictability and freedom thanks to the well thought out counter
system. By imputing the
correct commands, you can grab an opponents offending limb, then while
they’re momentarily stuck, you can hit them back with an awesome move
ranging from twisting their arm and grounding them to the floor to tossing
them into the air and kicking them from there.
Countering can be difficult, and will take time to master, as there
are 3 different levels off attack; high, medium and low, and each type
requires a different command to counter.
So you’ll have to be quick to input the right command, or better
still try and predict their next move; you know that someone who has throw
multiple high punches at you is probably going to throw another high punch
so you can prepare the counter. I must admit that even with these counters taking place, the
action stills moves very fluidly as each different variation with each
character combination etc has been flawlessly programmed!
God I don’t know how long the programmers took programming this
game, but man it looks damn good!!
The stages are beautifully rendered.
There is outstanding detail in the varied stages, that range from a
church to a snow covered cliff. Remember
the interactive stages in Virtua Fighter?
Well this game expands on that idea with HUGE multi level stages
where you can knock your opponents off onto the lower floor!
in joy as you callously pound your unfortunate opponent through a
stained-glass window to the ground 40 foot below before jumping down after
him to kick more ass! The snow stage is particularly cool, where if you tread too
near the edge the ground beneath cracks and both you and your opponent
will hurdle to the ice pit below! Remember
the hotspots of the original Dead or Alive where if you knocked your
opponent onto a certain area they would rocket up sky high?
Well those have gone, but are replaced with even better features.
Some levels have these explosive walls where if you knock your
opponent onto them, you’ll be treated to a spectacular explosion as well
as a dime off your opponents health!
You can kick your opponent through a weak gate lining a floor on
the same church stage where you knocked your opponent through the window.
Remember the tag battle I failed to mention before?
Well, it’s totally chaotic and brilliant fun to play.
You can pick 2 players to battle against another 2 players.
The beauty is that during the battle, you can tag your 2nd opponent
by pressing the correct button who will jump into the fight and take the
place of your first character. You
then carry on kicking ass with this player while your other player sits
aside and slowly recovers lost health.
The best time to tag is during a combo; your 1st player
starts a combo off and finishes with a move that’ll have your opponent
in the air, you then tag your 2nd character who’ll jump in
instantly and can be used to juggle the combo on before the unfortunate
opponent has the time to fall on the floor.
With some practice, you’ll find yourself juggling and
effortlessly tagging your characters to perform some devastating 10+ hit
combos! Even better are the
addition of some super tag moves which can have both your players on
screen together at once making your opponent’s life a real misery.
Such include Hayate tossing his opponent in the air as Kasumi (his
tag partner) will jump in and perform a mid-air throw on the (now feeling
sick) opponent. Did I forget
to mention that you can have 4 human players taking control of the 4
characters? Or that you and a
mate can battle against 2 CPU (computer controlled) opponents?
Or If you’re feeling hard then take both your mates on together.
Beware though, tag mode can result in serious misuse of language
between you and your mates “you should have tagged me in you d….!”
“tag me in you greedy b…!” or perhaps some physical contact “haha
you lost.. ahhh!! Stop pulling my eye out.. put the bleeding fork
down!!” Just remember, the
Dreamcast controller is not a weapon and should not used against your
friend……. Unless he’s just kicked your ass as Tina and can’t stop
bragging! This just shows you
how much fun the tag battle mode is when placed with other people.
There is just one stage though which can be fought on in this mode
which is prett stupied when they are so many in the game, and playing on
the one stage can get a little boring after a while.
So, the bare (get it, bare?) fact remains that this game is whisked
with babes in undies wearing clothes out of a lingerie closet.. almost!!
The gravity defying boob aspects have been narrowed down to a more
socially acceptable level. Although for the pervs amongst us, just tell the game via the
options screen that you are much older than displayed; this creates the
game a little ‘more mature’, some may say the gals ‘grow up’ or
whatever.. their boobs bounce more! A
neat feature of the game is the availability of player costumes.
Each character has a range of costumes that can be worn during
battle. They’re not just
variations of the same costume with different colours, nope.
They’re well thought out costumes that can send a smooth catwalk
model like Tina into an American styled domestic jeans girl.
The music and sound effects in the game are near the best I’ve
heard for a fighting game The
music is nicely varied, from the cool Japanese rock to the wonderful tecno.
Forget the bull that it’s repetitive, obviously music repeats
itself but you should be so involved in the fighting that you don’t care
what’s on behind you. This
music is the business, in Japan people have been buying the doa2
soundtrack CD like free Playboy issues … they love it so much!
The sound effects are good too, if a little unnoticed.
The Japanese speech remains unchanged, which is brill, cuz I’d
rather listen to a cute Japanese voice as Kasumi then someone with a posh
British accent or whatever. There
are English subtitles for the majority of people who cannot understand
Japanese, which is helpful.
I don’t think that it’ fair to compare this game to Soul
Calibur. This is a
all-fist-out combat game, whereas Soul Calibur is a weapons based combat
game. This game loses out in
the solo player department, where you’ll be finishing the story mode
with your favourite character is less than 10 minutes.
A mission mode like Soul Calibur’s would have been brilliant.
Where Dead or Alive 2 does shine through is with the multiplayer
action. This game is
definitely best when played against some mates;
it is really FUN to play, and that’s what counts, right?
Comments, suggestions or questions? Faz@dreamcastsource.co.uk
"One of the best beat 'em ups for the Dreamcast that looks, sounds & plays amazing!"
yeah! Dead or Alive is back with a bang! After the amazing Dead or Alive
for the Saturn and PlayStation, Temco needed to create a sequel! The
first was amazing, and the second one is even better! It is the most
graphically impressive fighter I have yet seen, and the most playable! I
must disagree with Faz on the replay value of the game, however. I do
agree that the Story mode does not have a lot to offer (a few more
costumes for each character and a couple more stages to win might have
been good!). I have spent hours simply trying to beat my own
records in Time Attack or Survival mode, or simply having a battle or
two on Tag Team mode! I could play solo for a while! However, the fun
really does start when you play with friends! You won’t be able to
know, I have had this game for a while now, yet every time I play on it,
I STILL marvel at the graphics! Something new hits me every time I play
(no pun intended)! And the stages are superb! Throwing someone through a
stained-glass window or over the edge of a building is very satisfying!
And the characters! Oh, the characters! They are by far the most
detailed characters EVER! Clothes look like clothes! They act like
clothes! They smell… Okay, they don’t smell like clothes (they
can’t! It’s only a computer game! Just keep telling yourself that!),
but the characters just look and sound amazing! You need this game! Any
respectable Dreamcast owner must have this game!
9/10 - Oh yes! Dead or Alive 2 is one of the best fighting games of all time! Just buy it; NOW!
38 original screen captures by Faz
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