Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
|Cammy's the best!|
|The one word that describes this game for me is "cheesy". It's so gratuitous at times that you just have to laugh. It's almost like how XXX movies seem more like a comedies than pornos. But it's not just a buncha gratuitous silliness... there's actually some fun gameplay too.|
|Although I knew it would be really silly, I was looking forward to this game. I've been following the DoA series since it started. In fact, I actually got to test the original DoA before it even hit arcades. And on top of that, I absolutely LOVE the idea of taking characters from one game and using them in something totally new an innovative.|
The volleyball is supposed to be the main part of the game, and in all the interviews I read about the game, Tecmo stressed that DOAX would really be a good volleyball game. It's not good, but it's not bad either... it's simply okay. I don't think the gameplay is nearly as deep as Sega's Beach Spikers. The game seems to be made so that it would be really easy to play. It's fun, but the lack of variety and control eventually makes it kinda blah. However, if you never wanna play volleyball, you don't have to! There are plenty of other things you can do besides volleyball.
The game is set up to last 14 days, with each day consisting of 4 parts (morning, noon, afternoon, and evening). During the daytime, each event counts as one 'part', and then at night you're free to watch movies you've won, sort through your items, or go gamble your money away. After 14 days there's a generic ending movie, then you can start over again. If you start over, anything you've earned or given to any of the characters is still there. There's really no point to the game, but you still find plenty of things to do nonetheless.
There are certain things you can do that trigger short 'movies' where you can watch your girl. For instance, if you go to an empty beach, your character will spend some time laying out in the sun or doing some other silly little activity. Some can get pretty racy! The gimmick is that you have total control of the camera, so you're free to rotate the camera and zoom-in to take a good look at whatever you want. It's supposed be sexy (and I'm sure lotsa fanboys out there lost it), but I couldn't help by laugh.
|Zack's Casino Cheats!
I noticed that I had especially bad luck in the casino, so I started taking notes... and I discovered that the game statistics are not realistic! Some are way off. For instance, if you're playing Blackjack and you have 12-14 points, your next card will be a 10-K about 80% of the time. Those aren't the real odds (should be about 25% of the time). And in the Joker Game, you're supposed to have a 50% chance on the first try, but you'll only get it less than 40% of the time. In Poker, if you get 4 of one suit in your first hand, the chances of you getting another one to make a flush is almost impossible (about 1 in 15 instead of 9 in 50). Also, beware of the slots! You can actually lose money in these slot machines. In fact, once I lost $330,000 in 3 consecutive spins (on 3 $300 bets)! But even though Zack's casino cheats REALLY bad, the big payoffs will usually let you walk out with more money than you entered with. So in the end most people will be happy, but I was pretty upset that the games were rigged.
|DOAX as an RPG
The RPG aspect of the game is just getting and keeping a partner. With the money you win, you can buy various items and swimsuits which you can use yourself, give to your current partner, or give to somebody you might wanna partner up with later. There are probably 1000 items (my guess), so it's gonna take you a long time to see and/or buy 'em all. And you have to learn all the characters' likes and dislikes, or your gifts might get you into trouble.
|The new DoA girl
Her name is Lisa, and she's the first dark-skinned girl in the series. At the start of the game, Lisa acts as your guide on the island, but she's also a playable character. She's nothing special, but she's different from the other girls, so I'm hoping that we'll see her in DoA4.
They're maybe the best I've ever seen (and I'm not just talking about all the hot girls in swimsuits). Older games had good graphics, but you could always imagine something better. However, DOAX looks so good that it's hard to imagine that anybody could improve on it.
|What coulda been done better
Of course I would fix the casino! And I wish there had been a individual endings. I was disappointed that the ending was totally generic. And the game could have used some more stages (there are only 4 volleyball courts). There are some hints about hidden goodies, but so far nothing special has turned up (which is disappointing). And I wish that Tecmo wouldn't have cut out the design-a-swimsuit mode. A create-a-character mode could have been really fun too.
|And another thing I'da done differently is give the girls different bodies. Every girl in the game has the exact same body! I guess they all went to the same plastic surgeon. It's a nice generic body with a big chest, but how about some variety? Beautiful girls come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. But otherwise, I thought it was a pretty damn good for something so unique.|
|Music in DOAX
One of my favorite aspects of the game was the music. The music that comes with the game has all kinds of real songs from artists like Bob Marley, Aswad, the Spice Girls, and Christina Aguilera. But what's cool is that you can ad your own songs onto the Xbox harddrive and play those! That was a ton of fun for me, and it's one feature that really makes the Xbox stand out from the PS2 and GC.
Overall, there's not much to this game. I think people will either love it or hate it. Although I was a little disappointed in some things, and thought they could have done more with other things, I really liked the game. If you like pretty girls, great graphics, simple and easy-to-play games, you should have a good experience too. Aside from all the hot girls, there's something really loveable about DOAX.
|Cammy should be in DOAX!|
So, since this game has been such a huge hit, what's next? Can't really pull off another volleyball game. I'm predicting DoAX Tag-Team Wrestling... wresting in mud, oil, jello, etc. That's about the only thing that could take this new series to another level of ridiculousness, and you could still keep the swimsuit theme. I'm just kidding, but with this success, who really knows what's possible now! It will be interesting to see what (if anything) happens next.