Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 is the follow-up to one of our favorite Xbox games, and I am happy to say that DOAX2 is better in pretty much every way. It looks great, plays great, and packs in a ton of extra minigames and other fun stuff to keep you occupied. Oh, and it is filled with attractive women playing beach volleyball. Fans of the original will love it.
- Title: Dead or Alive Xtreme 2
- Platform: Xbox 360
- Publisher: Tecmo
- Developer: Team Ninja
- ESRB: M For Mature
- Genre: Volleyball, jetski racing, casino gambling, dating sim
- Pros: Fun volleyball; nice graphics, sunny, happy, fun overall vibe
- Cons: No single system multiplayer; time consuming achievements
What It Is
Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 is all about watching pretty girls jiggle around. Everyone should know this by now, but for some reason the knee-jerk reaction of so many reviewers is to act surprised when this is the core aspect of the game and they give it a bad score. Which is a real shame for Tecmo and Team Ninja because this is not a bad game. In fact, pretty much every single area of the game is greatly improved from the original. The graphics look quite a bit better, the volleyball is a lot better, there is more stuff to do, and the whole experience is just a lot more enjoyable. If you didnt like the original game, or you have an issue with the basic premise, then you obviously arent going to like it, but dont dump a 5 or a 6 out of 10 on it just because you arent the target audience.
Everything is not all peachy keen, however. A major issue for us, that other reviewers somehow didnt seem to notice, is that there is no single-system multiplayer. You can play on Xbox Live, but I dont want to do that. I want to play with my friend sitting right next to me. That was our favorite feature in the first game, and not having it here is downright annoying. Really, the main reason that we played the single-player game before is because we wanted to unlock new suits to show off to our friends. Now we dont have that motivation. Instead, your motivation is to unlock suits to earn achievements, but they require that you play through the game dozens and dozens of times. Not cool.
Graphics and Sound
Graphically, DOAX2 looks quite a bit better than the original game. The environments are a lot sharper and more detailed and far more realistic looking than before. The water in the jetski races looks phenomenal, and it is also a nice touch that you get to see all of the different areas in bright daylight as well as at dusk. The characters are also very nice looking and feature smooth animation and just look great overall. The subject of a lot of the attention the DOA series receives is the breast physics of the girls, and while it is rather over-the-top and unrealistic, you dont really notice it too much while you are playing. People watching you play, though, will notice.
The sound is also very well done. It is a little disappointing that a lot of the first games soundtrack has been reused here, but the cheery and happy tone fits perfectly with the gameplay and overall atmosphere. You can also, of course, use custom soundtracks, but choosing the right tracks is important because it seems like a lot of the charm of the game is lost when you try to play beach volleyball to heavy metal or something equally aggressive. Slow and mellow and fun is the key here. There is also a bit of voice work for all of the girls, and you have an option for English or Japanese dialogue. They both sound just fine.
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