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Shin Force ~ Dead or Alive ~
Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
Team Ninja
1x DVD
Import / Domestic
2003 (Japan)
Jan. 22, 2003 (USA)
3rd Person
Sports / 
     > Team Ninja has created a well deserved fan base for the Dead or Alive series.  Shin Force recognizes this with a Dead or Alive shrine within the Elite Series section.  Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (DOAX) is Team Ninja's followup to DOA3, which graced the Xbox's launch. Basically, it's beach volleyball with side activities like gambling, sun bathing, hopping game, character interaction and shopping.
     > Without a doubt, DOAX has the smoothest animation, best looking character models, and most realistic locales I've seen in a game.  Team Ninja squeezes every last ounce of light source shading, real-time shadows and water effects out of the Box.  This is not to say other games aren't technically awesome in the graphics department, rather DOAX has something every guy can appreciate that puts it over the top.

     > I would have to say that the 'Private Beach' is my favorite place to visit or play in.  Picking the best looking character, on the other hand, isn't quite so simple.  In the long run though, the babe for me is Kasumi.  My only beef is in certain situations the view can be manipulated, but not entirely to my taste.

     > The main gameplay aspect in DOAX is beach volleyball, of course.  Although I can't say Team Ninja has exceeded AM2's Beach Spikers in this department, it's clear that they've found an equally high plain of  their own.  Whereas Beach Spikers felt mainly ultra-tight and arcade like, DOAX is just as tight and has a certain realism about it without any bog.

     > For volleyball, you have attack and receive buttons which react according to your positions and the pressure you use. Naturally spiking, blocking, serving and formations are available.  You earn Zack bucks for winning and bonuses for good plays.  When you're at the pool, you can play the hopping game.  This is very simple and yields much needed Zack bucks as well.  All you do is jump long or short across the pool on the floating cushions as fast as possible.  Simple yet fun and addicting.

     > Now all the activities you engage in pass the day.  Your vacation lasts for 14 days and it's purely up to you how you spend that time.  If you're not doing well in volleyball though, you're teammate is likely to abandon you.  At this point you'll need to entice another beauty to join your team by giving her the proper gifts (one she'll like) and asking.  Some girls hate others so it may be pointless, depending on who your main character is.

     > I had no idea what to expect from this department, but I'm happy to report the music is right on.  It's mostly happy, rhythmic, and nicely environmental.  It features a host of popular artists including Christine Aguilera.  Yeah there's a few songs I can live without, so the option to remove them from your playlist is wonderful.  However, there's always the ability to rip your own tunes and put them into the playlist of DOAX, thanks to the Box's included HDD.

     > The sound effects are right on.  Spike the ball and you'll hear it.  Plunge into the pool, and you'll not just see it!  Much like other DOA's, the characters talk in Japanese and you get to read the subtitles.  There's actually quite a bit of chatter going on during games, most of which is character reference and things like [insert Japanese accent] "nice spike".

     > Choose from Kasumi. Hitomi, Ayane, Tina, Leifang, Helena, Christie, and newcomer Lisa.  Each has a beauty of her own, unlike any other game you've enjoyed.  Play volleyball in the morning, afternoon and dusk at various tropical locations on Zack island.  Using earned Zack dollars, shop at various stores for a plethora of items, swim suits and accessories.  Sun bathe or play pool hopping to pass the beautiful days.  Try your luck at Roulette, Slot Machines, Blackjack, and Poker in Zack's Casino.  Don't forget to watch some Tecmo trailer videos before you go to bed.  I'll tell you this, the test of an addictive game is whether it can entice you stay up past 5 am playing it -- check! (-_-
Bottom Line
     > If you want a tight game...  of volleyball, hot babes and the option to do some adventure activities like shopping, sun tanning and gambling, then DOAX is for you.  Mint graphics, sound and gameplay.  If you're not interested in beach volleyball, then the adventure portion probably won't suffice.
Overall: 9.5 | Graphics: 10 | Control: 9.5 | Sound: 9.5 | Fun: 9.0
~ Shinobi ~

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