Shin Force | Sega Dreamcast Review
Shin Force
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Shin Force ~ Dead or Alive ~
 Dead or Alive 2
Shinobi
Reviewed
03.26.2000
Publisher
Tecmo
Developer
Team Ninja
Format
GD
Origin
Domestic
Available
Sep. 28, 2000 (JPN)
Mar. 15, 2000
(USA)
Exclusive
No
Difficulty
Adjustable
Dimensions
3D
View
Multi 3rd Person
Genre
Fighter
Players
1-4
Options
Arcade Stick
ASCII FT
Backup 7
Rumble
VGA Box
Requires
n/a
Importable
n/a
INTRO:
         > 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.  I'll give you my take on Tecmo's 3D babe fighter that ostensibly uses 100% of the Uberconsole's power...
GRAPHICS: 
         > Let the demo begin and you'll be treated to a wonderful display of martial arts moves which is similar to the one 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 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.
CONTROL: 
         > 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 an explosion when a character hits them.  Your proximity to these walls also changes the characters' special moves.
SOUND:
         > 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).
FUN:
         > There are 12 characters and 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.
BOTTOM LINE:
     > 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 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...
Overall: 9.8 | Graphics: 10 | Control: 9.8 | Sound: 9.6 | Fun: 9.6
~ Shinobi ~




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