[Review] Dead or Alive Dimensions – 3D Jiggling Galore
Available on: 3DS; Publisher: Tecmo Koei; Developer: Team Ninja; Players: 1 – 2; Released: May 24, 2011; ESRB: Teen ; Official Website
Having been a couple of years since I’ve last played a Dead or Alive game, I was interested to see how far the series has come along. Transitioning from the childhood mindset of enjoying gravity-defying bosoms on the Playstation 2 to looking at Dead or Alive from a seasoned, competitive standpoint was definitely a change. That said, it’s time to see if the series has evolved into a legit fighter, able to step into the ring with the likes of Tekken and Street Fighter, or if it still only provides eye candy for those too young to buy an M-rated game.
Like with most other 3DS titles out at the moment, Dead or Alive Dimensions will amaze players. With or without the 3D visuals enabled, this game’s environments and character models blow everything else on the 3DS away. In fact, I even preferred to turn off the 3D at times, which made the game run silky smooth; at some points, I would forget I was playing a portable game. Though beautiful as the game is, the game’s chronicle mode is riddled with voiced CG stills, which are off putting in comparison to the cinematics where characters are capable of motion as well. This is hardly a problem though, because players are likely to skip the nonsensical cutscenes anyways.
Both music and sound effects are still strong components of Dead or Alive. Fans can expect the same rock music that keeps players energized and pumped up throughout fights. Unlike Super Street Fighter 4 on the 3DS, this game includes a Japanese voice acting option that saves players from otherwise ear-rape voice acting.
The fighting is fast paced, often filled with strikes followed by counters. That is both Dead or Alive‘s strong point and fatal flaw. For inexperienced players, it may seem to overshadow other slower paced fighters, but the reality is that the game reduces to mashing on counters after the first hit is landed on either side. Seasoned fighting gamers’ eyes will likely roll at the randomness that occurs throughout.
The various modes are a good distraction, ranging from a full fledged Chronicle mode that runs through the story from the first to last Dead or Alive games. Other than that, Tag Challenge, while interesting and allows for some fast paced tag combos, eventually boils down to tagging in a timid computer AI and waiting for health to be recovered. The difficulty definitely feels artificial as well, often crippling players with damage and health handicaps.
Ample netplay options are provided, but the actual fluidity is a hit-or-miss, sometimes offering solid, playable matches and other times moving at a snail’s pace. It might not be ideal, but the fact that it is there is a large step. However, it is by no means an acceptable form of netplay for serious fighting gamers.
Dead or Alive Dimensions is a fun game with great production values that both fans and casual fighting gamers will be able to enjoy. However, walk away if you expect deep fighting mechanics, as there are none here. Otherwise, players can expect to enjoy smooth fighting with quality graphics, voice acting, and music.