DEAD OR ALIVE
Before "Dead or Alive" was announced for the PlayStation, it was already one of my favourites in the arcades.
Because the arcade version used Sega's Model 2 board, many people just thought it was a poor Virtua Fighter clone.
While it's true that "Dead or Alive" uses a similar control system, and that the graphics looked very similar, the game itself
played quite differently. But later, when the Saturn version was released, people began to realize what a great
game it really is. Now, the PlayStation version is here.
Concerning the sounds, the background music is quite good. Personally, I liked all of the tracks. There is style
to them. All the characters have their own voice actor, which is a rather nice feature. (Tecmo has left the
Japanese voices intact in the American version.) The sound effects are OK too. There are bone-cracking sounds
when you perform some of the nastier moves, explosion sounds when you hit the Danger Zone, etc.
It's quite easy to get into the game. The first stages are easy. But later, the opponents get much
tougher, and it really helps if you master the Hold button. It requires concentration and good timing to
parry a Strike successfully. And the game is FAST! Skilled players can parry each others attacks back
and forth, and it's very cool to watch. The intense gameplay makes the game really enjoyable. And like
"Virtua Fighter", the more you play it, the better you get. The CPU is not stupid. If you want to beat
the game without using dozens of continues, you better master your character's moves.
There are no CG FMV endings for the characters, which is a bad thing. The only CG FMV is the opening intro, which I thought was very good. But when you beat the game, some secrets can be revealed. You get new costumes for your characters, and hidden options get unlocked (including Extra Voices and a CG Gallery!).
"Dead or Alive" focuses heavily on the female characters, which is already apparent in the opening intro.
I'm sure you have heard about their bouncing breasts. They look better than ever in the PlayStation version.
Also, the female characters have all up to 14 costumes, while the male characters have only 5! Some of the
costumes are really, really cool. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Dead or Alive supports the Sony Dual Shock
analog controller. The rumbling effect is cool! Another new feature added to the PlayStation version is the Hit Effect.
There's a small burst of energy if you hit your opponent with a powerful move. Kinda similar to "Tekken".
Personally, I don't like it much. If they wanted to make the game look more dramatic, they could have added a Blood
Effect like "Bloody Roar". At least it would have been more realistic, which is what "Dead or Alive" is about.
Reviewed by Joe Chan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to ACTION STATION for providing the review copy.