Review by darkriot67
You will be Alive and Dead faster than you think.
So, I'll go ahead and say that I have never played Dead or Alive before this version. I didn't know what to expect out of it other than being the most critically acclaimed game for the 3DS currently available. I have to say, this game can really get you going with its fast pace and its many different ways to change up moves, but DoA Dimensions just doesn't seem as long lasting as one would hope.
Let me go over factors external to the core of most fighters. Like visuals. The backgrounds actually move, something Ssf43D can't say. Since DoA has the "eight way run" type battling, the usage of 3D makes sense and gives it a much improved beauty versus no 3D (although either way you won't dislike the looks of it, trust me.) If you wanted certain body parts to be as rewarding as the predecessors who made a name for it, the 3D camera mode will let you get up close and personal. The music is very fitting in almost everything. My personal favorite is the Metroid stage, but I can't give them credit for that. None of the music is bad, although nothing really stands out as much as Metroid's. This aspect gets an A+, but is sadly the least important.
Storyline is much easier to pick up than past DoA's apparently. It still isn't completely understandable, but nevertheless it is improved. Cutscenes, for some reason, are occasionally frozen, and showed up so much that I started skipping them completely. I will say, three cutscenes are very, very gorgeous and amazing. Even then, the actual story mode is way too short.
The character roster is the biggest DoA has seen, matching the amount of Smash Bros. Melee, which is nothing to complain about. The characters have unique styles to an extent, but the games simplicity leaves that factor limited. The modes are more numerous than Street Fighter, but they are way too easy. Almost all the modes are full of characters that will barely do anything and actually may end up making a player very weak to the opponents that'll actually utilize things like holds (counters) because you will end up using strikes consistently. Survival mode and Tag challenge will keep you on your feet more than anything, but it's nothing too epic. Also the story mode is mostly Kasumi and Ryu, so it doesn't introduce you to the entire character roster and thus allow you to find your style. That is what training mode is for. The only collectibles here are figures, which are usually epic or funny. But having to replay the single player modes to get them are just not worth it.
One aspect that is very unique to Dimensions is the throwdown. It claims to take people you streetpass (which, in most cases, is going to be a whopping zero people) and take AI avatars that match their tactics. It actually does a decent job since the game itself is simple, but since it's the AI, it's nothing compared to actual humans. Multiplayer seems pretty okay. One major complaint is that online players will cut off their signal when they lose to keep you from gaining points for your rank, which is really annoying. I should also note that multiplayer far surpasses anything single player modes in Dimensions offer but will inevitably grow boring at some point and doesn't have as much to offer as what would be preferred.
The gameplay is fast. Probably the fastest fighter I've ever played. The moves, although lengthy, are easy to pull off if you know what you're doing, and since they are listed at the bottom screen, learning is a breeze. Also, unlike almost all fighters, spamming is impossible. The triangle system gameplay means that every move can be countered. Ryu's fireball attack is somewhat abusive, but loads easier to beat than constant hadokens. Basically, you'll love the gameplay more than likely. I only wish it wasn't so simple. Having an easy way to play is great, but having just basic moves to do will turn bland. No character has any big thing that distinguishes them apart.
So, overall, the multiplayer is hectic, fair, and fun. It probably won't reach the level of multiplayer popularity as Smash Bros. or Street Fighter, but you can't complain. However, that is more or less the only really good thing this game offers. The single player is way too easy and short, your rank is probably never going to reach great heights, and there isn't much that will keep you playing for a long time. The fighting is as killer and as playable as it's always been, but for it being a full game, I expected more.
Product Release: Dead or Alive: Dimensions (US, 05/24/11)
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