Review by DemiGodX

Reviewed: 10/29/01 | Updated: 10/29/01

Beautiful graphics... that's it!

For this review I will be judging the game in light of the Playstation's top 3D fighting game, Tekken 3. Although some may say this creates a bias, I feel that to properly rate a game of a certain genre it must be measured in relation to an already existing preset within that genre. With that said, I'll begin the review:

Graphics: 10
What can I say? The graphics in this game are top-notch. I've never seen such smooth polygons and animations in a 3D fighting game. The background is pretty much flat but the characters look very nice. Each character also has multiple outfits, some of which are very amusing indeed. This is probably the one aspect of the game where it surpasses Tekken 3.

Sound/Music: 7
The sounds are average for a fighting game, and so is the soundtrack. The characters have winning speeches, and although it's in Japanese it's a nice change from Tekken 3, where the only self-expression you have are the occasional grunts and shouts.

Gameplay: 5
Here is where the game ranks rather poor. The gameplay has severe balance problems. Certain moves, especially throws do way too much damage (50%+) and are too easily executed. I don't find the nice, balanced gameplay that Tekken 3 offers. I mean, what's the point in taking the time and effort to learn multi-hitting combos/juggles when all you have to do is execute one throw and do the same amount of damage? Furthermore, there are no escape tactics or any way to soften the blow. And like almost every other fighting game, throws and holds are executed instantaneously (am I the only one who thinks that in order to throw someone you must first take the time to reach out and grab them??). Overall, the gameplay is rather shallow and really only appeals to grapplers and jugglers.

Characters: 5
Here is another aspect of the game that fails miserably. Although the characters are nicely detailed, there is very little variety between them. Everyone has standard combos and throws and none differ that significantly from each other. The moves for the characters are also rather stale and unrealistic. Comparatively, Tekken 3 offered a lot more variety with the characters, each one having their own unique style with their own signature moves. The moves in Tekken 3 are also more realistic. Characters like Hwoarang have actual martial arts moves (which they're representing) and grapplers like King are true to their nature. However, there is very little to distinguish the characters in DOA. There also seems to be a lot of emphasis on the 3 (or 4 in the case of Ayane) female characters and that seems to be the selling point for the game. The beginning FMV only introduces the 3 females and the females also have more outfits than their male counterparts. All the females also happen to be well-endowed and the option for ''bouncing breasts'' further emphasize this. This is obviously where all the emphasis went, and as a result the rest of the game suffers.

Replay Value: 7
This game has a lot of secrets, including a time release system like that of SFA3. The characters have multiple outfits which can be unlocked by beating the game with that character. Although a tiresome and repetitive task, some of the costumes are worth the effort (check out Kasumi's bunny suit). What would have really helped out here was if the characters had an ending sequence or MDEC. It's pretty disappointing to beat the game, only to see the credits rolling. Still, the various costumes (not all palette-swap like the SF games) are interesting to play around with and some of them are outright hilarious.

Overall this game gets a 6. Although the graphics are impressive and the game offers many secrets and options, the lack of variety and shallow gameplay renders this one a rental. However, if you're into grappler games and eye candy then this game might be right up your alley. As for me, I'll stick with Tekken 3.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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