STAFF REVIEW of Dead or Alive Ultimate (Xbox)

Friday, December 24, 2004.
by Yellowlab

Dead or Alive Ultimate Box art DOA is back, and this time Tecmo went to the archives and present us with an upgraded version of DOA2 and a direct port of DOA1. Cleary the centerpiece of this game is the new and much improved DOA2, so I\'ll be referring to that one in the review. At the core you\'ll find the same game as DOA3. However, DOAU brings a ton of upgrades to the table. While DOA3 was pretty, DOAU is even prettier and is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. There are a sleu of extra unlockable features - something that was sorely lacking in DOA3. There are well over 100 unlockable costumes, two unlockable characters, a CG slideshow (featuring pics from DOAXBV), a 1/2 hour documentary featuring the rise of Tecmo, and if that wasn\'t enough the promise of downloadable content in the future. There are all the game modes that you\'d expect - story mode, time attack, survival, and tag team battles. If that\'s not enough, DOAU is also Xbox Live capable. I can\'t really find any fault with the game. If I had to pick really hard, I\'d say that I miss Christie (who was not in the original DOA2), but we could always expect to see her in the form of downloadable content. If you\'re a fan of the DOA series, this is a must have. Casual fans may be content with DOA3 as this is not a huge departure from that one.

You can make the prettiest game in the world, but if it doesn\'t have good gameplay, it doesn\'t mean crap. Fortunately, DOAU plays smoothly. It\'s essentially the same terrific fighting engine from DOA3, but with a few added tweaks. Thankfully, Tecmo did not fix what wasn\'t broken. There are a few more counter attack options and a few new moves, but other than that it\'s the same game at it\'s core. The controls are intuitive and fluid.

Quite simply Tecmo makes the prettiest games to grace the Xbox, which is saying something. The environments are spectacular and the character models are some of the best I\'ve ever seen (and I\'m not just talking about the female figures here). I dare say there is not a prettier game to be found on any console.

The sound effects, such as explosions from hitting electrified walls and hits and kicks, are very good. The music on the other hand is very average. It\'s not annoying, but nothing that you\'ll be cranking up your speakers for. As typical with Tecmo\'s fighting games, character voices are all done in Japanese. I love the voices and the voice acting is above average, but some may be annoyed by not having the option to hear the characters speak in English.

Downloadable characters would be great - Lisa, Christie, and Brad Wong would be a terrific place to start.

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 10.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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