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Dead or Alive 4 Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Dead or Alive 4 Review
Dead or Alive 4 is easily the best DOA game to date. Gorgeous graphics, tons of modes, lots of unlockable goodies, and online play make this a pretty sweet package. Laggy online play and cheap AI sour the experience somewhat, but overall it is very good. DOA4 is a must own game for Xbox 360 owners.

Gameplay

As far as the gameplay goes, this is Dead or Alive at its finest. One punch, one kick, block, and throw buttons are all you get but it is really all you need. Different combinations of buttons and directional commands result in different moves and in the hands of skilled players the game flows and moves beautifully. It is still quite a bit simpler than other 3D fighters, but it is surprisingly deep when you really start to dig beneath the surface. Counters play a major role in the combat so mixing up your moves so your opponent can’t counter makes the matches varied and exciting. You can also play mind games with different fakes and evasive moves and different things in order to bait your opponent into either attempting a combo (which you’ll just block) or they’ll try to counter (which opens them up for more punishment). When you really get into the DOA mindset the overall experience is really quite enjoyable.

Some changes have been made in DOA4 from previous games. You only have a split second for counters now and the timing of all of the moves and combos has changed a lot. The game is faster than ever as well so even if you are a DOA vet you’ll still have quite a bit to learn here.

Features and Modes

In the features and modes department, DOA4 is stacked. You’ll find a story mode, survival mode, time attack, practice, versus, and a theater mode where you can just watch the computer duke it out. You can play in single or tag team matches in most of the modes and tag team fights give an extra little layer of depth which is nice. Each of the modes have different goodies to unlock such as new characters and costumes and you can earn achievements for a ton of different things so there is a lot to do here and the rewards are almost always worth the trouble. The game is also surprisingly addictive, particularly the survival mode.

Dead or Alive 4 features more than 20 characters to choose from. The busty ladies are still the focus – we wouldn’t want it any other way – and there is a nice selection of fan favorites and new faces to keep things interesting. Overall the characters are fairly balanced and it is a good lineup overall. My only complaint is the Halo character. She takes forever to unlock (you have to beat story mode 17 times …) and she has very little reach and is as slow as molasses. Master Chief she definitely ain’t.

Review continued on Page 2 ...
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