| Gambling, Mature Sexual Themes, Nudity
| The Good
Solid volleyball game engine
| The Bad
Not much variety
So we all know about the extravagant hype this title has
generated, and it has created many differing opinions about
the game's reputation. Some say it's just pointless 'fan service',
with a game shamelessly tacked on. Others say it's all about
the idea of dressing up the DOA ladies
with more accessories and bathing suits than you could shake
a stick at, then playing a game of volleyball at the beach.
Is their really a decent game behind all this fluff? Well,
yes, but just don't have your hopes too high.
First, let's get the facts that we all know out of the way
first - this is the prettiest game I've ever seen. Ever. And
it can only come from the wizards themselves at Team Ninja.
Team Ninja has really out done themselves with this title,
they improved whatever they could to make the Dead or Alive
3 graphics engine perfect, and gee, does it show. You
see all kinds of little details in the game when you just
watch someone play - you notice the photo realistic sunset,
the greatest water effects outside of Morrowind,
and the striking beauty of, ahem, the Dead or Alive
Aside from the eye candy overload, there is a decent game
thrown in, too. This title gives off a laid-back vacation
vibe that's fresh, intoxicating, and addicting. This game
is set up with a set amount of days (you get two weeks to
spend on the island), each day you get to do three activities.
Each activity eats up a third of that day, so if you go to
a remote part of the island and watch a brief (and by brief,
I mean extremely, disappointingly short) cinema, it eats up
a good 1/3 of you day. After the day is over, you retire back
to your hotel room. When in the hotel, you can play a variety
of casino games including poker, black jack, and roulette
or you can just go to sleep.
The sound track has a ton of licensed tracks from Christina
Aguilera, Bob Marley, The Baha Men and others.
Some won't like the bubble gum pop and upbeat reggae, but
I thought it fit the vacation-y, stress free mood of the game.
If you don't like the groups I previously mentioned, you can
always play your own personal ripped sound track from your
Xbox hard-drive. This is one feature that many games forget
to incorporate, but I'm glad they took the time to add this.
Now your probably wondering how the volleyball segment of
the game holds up (considering the subtitle is "Xtreme Beach
Volleyball"). Well, this title doesn't have much competition
(aside from the upcoming Outlaw Volleyball, and the already
released Beach Spikers for the Gamecube) and it has
a pick-up-and-play quality. You have two buttons, A is used
for Blocking, serving or spiking, and the B is for tossing
and receiving. To win a match you have to be the first team
to reach 7 points. At first, winning a game takes a miracle.
The pressure sensitive buttons are a head ache to use at the
beginning, but as you progress, the better and better you
get, you realize how easy it is to win a match. After you
learn to time your spikes just right, it's easy to demolish
The weird camera angles can distort your field of vision
in a game of volleyball, but thankfully the game positions
you right under the ball most of the time. So, what's the
point in going to an island and playing volleyball? Well,
if you play a really good match, you can earn a lot of cash
to spend at some of the local stores. You can buy sunglasses,
hats, and new bathing suits among other things. After completing
the game, you can continue playing just to collect all the
bathing suits and accessories. This can turn into a dangerous
addiction, that's if you enjoy playing 'Dress-up'.
While some would write this off as a half-baked cash cow,
I was surprised at the game's solid volleyball mechanics.
And the casino games also mimic their real life counterparts
very well. Those who don't like watching a game more than
playing it, go ahead and skip this. Everyone should at least
rent it - it's worth playing just for the spectacular graphics
- Grand Lethal