Dead or Alive 4
Last Updated: 5/29/2011 Developer(s): Team Ninja Publisher(s): Tecmo Designer(s): Tomonobu Itagaki Platform(s): Xbox 360 Release Date(s): December 29th, 2005 (/)
January 24th, 2006 ()
Characters: Kasumi, Ayane, Hayabusa, Hayate, Jann Lee, Brad Wong, Hitomi, Christie, Kokoro, Elliot, Lisa, Bass, Tina, Gen Fu, Leon, Zack, Spartan-458, Alpha-154
Related Games: Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive 2, Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore, Dead or Alive 3, Dead or Alive 5, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, Tekken 5: DR , Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution
Gameplay Engine 7.5 / 10 Story / Theme 7 / 10 Overall Graphics 10 / 10 Animation 9 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 6.5 / 10 Innovation 8.5 / 10 Art Direction 6 / 10 Customization 7.5 / 10 Options / Extras 7.5 / 10 Intro / Presentation 7.5 / 10 Replayability / Fun 7 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 9 / 10 Characters 7 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
8.4 / 10
Final Words: As good as DOA4 looks, the latest version of DOA is more bark than bite in my book. It's definitely one of the prettiest 3D fighters out there, but definitely not the most technical or fun fighting games. The movement controls just aren't as responsive as other 3D fighters and that goes a long way with me.
The gameplay really does feel borderline sluggish when compared to Tekken 5: DR or VF4: Evo... both of which I prefer to DOA any day... not only because of how they play, but also because of the all-important characters. The cast of DOA is still kinda small and, as a whole, really doesn't hold my interest in the long term. Sorry, but I'm not amused by bouncy breasts as much as some other, more simple-minded gamers out there.
At the end of the day, DOA4 presents an innovative & stylish gameplay experience in its own right and it shouldn't be missed. However, players who are driven by technical & competitive gameplay and/or authentic martial arts, rather than than busty girls & flashy graphics, will prefer other 3D fighting games over Dead or Alive any day. ~TFG Webmaster
REVIEW: An Xbox 360 exclusive fighter, Dead or Alive 4 features 4 new characters, some of the most detailed & lush interactive environments ever seen in a fighting game, a solid online lobby system and some cool extras. Dead or Alive 4 is definitely a next gen looking 3D fighting game, sure to impress the casual gamers with it's gorgeous graphics and busty women, but does it appeal to the serious fighting game players demanding solid, technical gameplay? I suppose that's a matter of opinion...
Eddy Gordo style! Cool WWE stage...
Gameplay-wise, DOA hasn't changed much over the years, but the latest installment introduces some impressive new environmental interaction physics. In DOA4, fighters can roll over tables or leap over walls and keep fighting, which looks considerably cool; although, it's a bit too "over-the-top" for my fighting game tastes (no pun intended). Also, movesets seem to revolve around punch & kick combos, rather than individual moves and stances. It's not exactly a flaw, but I do find Tekken's movesets to be far more intuitive and well-rounded. DOA4's overall gameplay engine can definitely be fun if you learn the ropes, but the infamous countering system still isn't my cup of tea.
Although the counter system has been tighten up and features a smaller window for counters to be performed, they are are still considerably easy to pull off. Thankfully there are different variations of counters that players can perform, which enhances the challenge, and most of them are visually impressive at least. The combo system isn't solid and if you anticipate your opponent, some combos can also be escaped (which is actually kind of annoying if you ask me). Overall, DOA4's gameplay is definitely a change of pace for 3D fighting games and manages to stand out as unique. Tag-team mode also returns, smoother and faster than before, and hosts an insane variety of awesome-looking tag team throws. If there was a section for "Tag Throws" in TFG's rating scale, I'm sure DOA4 would score a 10... possibly an 11?
As far as the animation goes, it's a mixed bag. Most of the in-game animation is certainly smooth, but all in all, I still prefer Tekken 5's style of animation. The punches and kicks in DOA just don't hurt quite as much as they should, and certain character stances and movement animations are on the awkward side of things. In general, the martial arts in DOA also aren't as authentic as they could be, and some characters simply have poor technique if you ask me. Also, sometimes it seems that the characters have something I'd describe as "gumby legs," while walking around or running. Like in earlier installments, DOA's animation looks best during throws, and most characters have an impressive variety of them at their disposal.
Watch out for the vegetables.
Story Mode does the character designs a bit more justice this time around but is still one of the weakest parts of the series. There are some cool cut-scenes and decent endings, though many of them fail to make much sense. DOA's character roster is still small compared to other fighting games.... From a visual standpoint, most fighters are well-designed and have a great variety of alternate costumes (although some of them are damn ugly). However, the characters simply aren't as fleshed-out or as exciting in terms of personality and movesets, especially when compared to other fighting game characters. Lastly, character rendering looks great as a whole but facial rendering still looks a bit "off" and even generic in some instances. Some of the girls' faces in particular tend to look very much alike one another.
The basic movement control of DOA4 is smooth and solid, but isn't nearly as fast or responsive as other recent 3D fighters. In general movement seems simpler, which is both a good thing and a bad thing, depending on what type of gamer you are. DOA4's more dynamic gameplay elements & animations, like the way characters jump over walls and over tables, look and feel exceptional however. The throws and hit effects are as painful-looking as any returning player would expect, especially when characters make contact with walls. The way fighters get knocked down and roll backwards, only to smash up against the wall, is particularly teeth-cringing.