Review by Arschrammen
The start of an era
Dead or Alive makes an attempt to join in the arcade fighting revolution, and while it may be excellent on the arcade machines, the PlayStation port falls way short of the expectations of both the arcade fans, and the fans of the genre itself.
For a fighting game the story would be quite good, if it wasn't so vague! As far as I can tell, it revolves around female ninja Kasumi, who is both out for vengeance on the attacker who assaulted her brother, who was next in line to become leader of the Mugin Tenshin clan of ninja, and also to prove her worth as a fighter in the DOA competition. There are many other characters in this game, each with their motivation for entering the tournament.
Compared to most of the other fighting games, DOA is very similar, perhaps with some better characters, but unfortunately it just doesn't contain a natural flow. It's just so unnaturally robotic that it is frustrating. Also frustrating is the relative ease of which one gets to the boss, and then the how stupidly hard the boss is. Of course, bosses are meant to be challenging, but this one is beyond a joke and you always feel cheated playing against it.
The game contains an innovative countering system where you can essentially break your opponent's combos if you know where they are going to place them. However, at this early stage of development it's not quite there, but gives hope for the future of Dead or Alive.
Going from arcade to PlayStation is rarely a success graphically. While the graphics aren't too bad one can quickly come up with many easy comparisons that blow it out the water though, even on other arcade to psx ports.
The character designs are lovely, even if the implants on the ladies goes beyond "watermelon" status. It makes you wonder how they got the breast-bouncing physics so smooth yet failed to pay any attention to the rest of the game.
Everything here is solid; from the sound effects to the game's soundtrack, it all serves its purpose very well.
If you enjoy the gameplay, there are special characters to unlock in the PSX version, as well as a load of costumes.
OVERALL, DOA falls short of a lot of expectations, but the innovative counter-attack system is a very exciting addition to the genre and will see DOA become a success in future installments
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