Dead or Alive 3
Game Info
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Mature Sexual Themes, Violence
The Good

┤ Great Graphics
┤ Polished Gameplay
┤ 4 New Characters
┤ CG Endings

The Bad

┤ Lack of Extras
┤ Counter "catch" time needs to be reduced
┤ Xbox controller isn't ideal for this game


The DOA series is one of the most controversial fighting games around. Fighting game elitists, in particular, seem to find joy in bashing the series. It has been called everything from a "button masher" to "hentai for the masses". In truth, DOA is as deep as any other fighting game, and excels in areas that others falter. Limbo stuns, open and closed stances, hi counters. Haven't heard of them? Check some FAQs. Where does DOA3 excel? The Tag Team mode is the smoothest and most seamless around and the tag throws are some of the most impressive seen in fighting games. Throwing is very useful and commonplace because of the game's paper/scissors/rocks engine. The action is very fast, and the game punishes predictability.

DOA3 picks up the storyline where all other fighting games do. The next tournament. So what's new in DOA3? To begin with, 4 new characters. Christie (Snake Fist), Hitomi (Karate), Brad Wong (Drunken style Kung Fu) and Hayate (Ninjitsu).

Graphics: DOA3 is the best looking game I have ever seen, on any console to date. The DOA characters have always had an anime influence, which means that the characters are not modeled as realistic as games like VF4. Some may prefer one character style over the other, but in terms of detail and backgrounds, DOA3 comes out on top. You can actually see the muscles flex on different character's body parts. You can actually see Tina's stomach muscles contract in her introduction. You'd be surprised at the number of minor details that can only be seen when the game is paused. The characters have so much detail in their costumes that you can actually tell what material they are wearing. The hair blows realistically, and even reacts to each hit. The arenas also are the larger than ever. If you really want to see how incredible DOA3 looks, simply pop in DOA2 or Soul Calibur. The differences will be readily apparent.

Gameplay: DOA3 has had some major updates since DOA2. Counter damage has been drastically reduced. The Counter "catch" animation is still the same (I wish it required Soul Calibur timing). The arenas are larger and in-stage obstacles are now in most stages. Air throws have been added. New moves for each character, including ground throws for a few. Characters can also suffer a KO from fall damage. Most importantly, sidestepping is actually useful. The 3D movement is greatly improved from DOA2, but it still is not as good as the 8-Way run from Soul Calibur.

Audio: Nothing really special. If you like Aerosmith, you can hear three of their songs at various times. The hit effects sound good in surround, but aren't anything memorable. The same goes for the background music. On a brighter note, the voices are all in Japanese. Which means that the voice acting is top notch.

Conclusion: DOA3 is a worthy upgrade. It polishes all the areas where DOA2 faltered. One of the biggest problems is the lack of secrets. The one player replay value is very low. It mostly involves practicing and beating Survival mode records. It's definitely not perfect, and there are a few things I hope they fix for DOA4. But it's a great looking fighter that is also very easy to pick up and learn. Becoming great at it is another matter. Is it worth buying the Xbox for? I think so, but then againâ I have an obsession that compels me to own every fighting game in existence.

Addendum: The Booster disc for this game found in July's OXM features 18 new costumes and a new CG introduction. This is the "upgrade" that Tecmo promised US gamers. The problem? The Japanese version and European versions of DOA3 have the 18 new costumes, CG introduction, and an ADDITIONAL 50 moves. For some reason, Tecmo has decided that US fans are more interested in fanservice than in gameplay. They have promised more booster discs in the future, but until thenâ

- - Tokerblue

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