> The original Dead
or Alive (Model 2, Saturn) made good use of the
Virtua Fighter 2 engine. With Dead or Alive 2 (DOA2),
Team Ninja decided to make use of Sega's current
arcade standard -- the Naomi board. Naturally, a Dreamcast
conversion was inevitable, even though Tecmo denied it for
a while. Ever since Tecmo announced DOA2 for
Dreamcast, people have discussed whether it can surpass Soul
Calibur in graphics and/or Virtua
Fighter 3tb in gameplay. Well, I'll give you my take on Tecmo's
3D babe fighter that ostensibly uses 100% of the Uberconsole's power...
> After the title screen, let the demo begin and you'll be treated
to a wonderful display of martial arts moves, which is similar to the one
seen in Soul Calibur. In Story mode you'll see brief real-time
clips, which tell your character's story -- all with little or no load
time! As promised, everything in DOA2 is seamless and impressive.
> Prepare for sheer visual enjoyment! DOA2's locales are
large, detailed and usually multi-leveled. The skies animate, flags wave,
water ripples, snow mists, floors reflect, and walls explode! My favorite
is surely the waterfall stage that's complete with fireflies. The Tag Team
and Team Battle modes take place in a single, one level stage, but the
gameplay makes up for it.
> DOA2's characters are convincingly animated and finely
texture mapped. Every move looks natural and life like, not computer generated
at all. Although their bounce has been tamed to a more realistic proportion,
the women of DOA2 are voluptuous as ever. Add multiple costumes for each
character to satisfy your taste.
> The buttons are punch, kick, grab, free, counter, and jab. Naturally,
combos can be performed easily once you've learned them. The counter system
is a source of controversy for some, but I think it's a good addition.
It takes some skill to master DOA2's control, which definitely
rewards the experienced player.
> One of the coolest features is the multi level locales. For instance,
in Helena's opera house you can knock your opponent down various levels.
You start on the upper balcony and make your way towards the stage area.
Other stages have walls which produce a damaging explosion when a character
hits them. Your proximity to these walls also changes a character's special
> The music can really enhance your enjoyment of a game. Thankfully, Tecmo
managed to include some great songs in DOA2. You'll hear
a mixture of pop rock with an occasional guitar solo to emphasize the action.
> DOA2's sound effects are locked and loaded. An assortment
of punch and kick effects, plus Japanese speech (with English subtitles)
are well done. When a player hits a wall, you'll see and hear a huge fiery
explosion (essentially the danger zone). Very cool!
> There are 12 characters available, many of which are quite beautiful
and sexy female combatants. There's plenty of modes to choose from:
Story, Time Attack, Survival, Tag Battle, Team Battle, Sparring, and Versus.
Your taste in fighting games will effect your enjoyment of DOA2.
For instance, I prefer hand-to-hand combat over weapons combat. Therefore,
DOA2's hand-to-hand combat combined with its beautiful babes,
extensive locales, multiple modes, and convincing animation makes a very
fun game for me.
> Dead or Alive 2's graphics excel, especially with a VGA
Box. It's pretty close, but I think DOA2 looks better than
Soul Calibur, because of its flair, art, and babes. As for
gameplay, it's not quite on par with Virtua Fighter 3tb,
but it's a very close second. As a result, I'm going to crown DOA2
as my current favorite in the fighting genre. I don't know about you, but
my expectations were exceeded by Team Ninja in every respect.
| Graphics: 10 | Control: 9.8 | Sound: 9.6 | Fun: 9.6