Saturday, August 30, 2014

Games Thirst Review: Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (Xbox 360)

Publisher: Tecmo
Developer: Team Ninja
Player:(s) Offline 1, Online 2-4
Genre: Sports
Release Date: (NA) November 13, 2006 (JP) November 22, 2006 (EU) December 6, 2006
Platform:(s) Xbox 360
Rated: Mature

The beautiful ladies of the Dead or Alive universe hang up their fighting clothes in place of swim suits and head out to Zack Island once again to enjoy another sun-drenched vacation, but is DOAX2 a sizzling-hot experience or a shallow mess?

There is very little story to this game. Dead or Alive fighter Zack has resurrected “Zack Island” from the bottom of the ocean after it sank during a volcanic eruption during the first Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball. Re-dubbing the island as “New Zack Island”, Zack tricks the ladies into coming back to the island.

Let’s face it, you know exactly why you wanted to play this game and it sure as heck wasn’t for the gameplay. The women are gorgeous, they’re skin flawless with their “assets” looking as good as ever.

The environments are beautiful and really do a good job at making you feel warm inside and small details in the art design really knock it out of the park. The sand beneath the girl’s feet deforms as if they were really standing on it and the beautifully rendered water shimmers in the sunlight in a nearphoto-realistic fashion. It does have it’s visual flaws however.

The hair on all the girls has a tendency to go through their shoulders and one of the oddest flaws is that the breast physics are extremely wonky. When the girls stop moving, the breasts keep moving around in such a way that it seems like they have a life of their own. It’s kind of unsettling and very distracting.

This is where the game really suffers. Throughout the island, you have the ability to choose different activities like volleyball, “butt-battles”, pool hopping, a water slide,jet-skiing , and finally a flag race. Every activity gives you cash which you can use in shops where you can purchase new swimsuits, items, and accessories for your current girl.

To the game’s credit, there is a ton of stuff to buy in the shops and it adds a lot of replay value if you can handle the boring gameplay for long. Volleyball is the main event in the game as you will be playing this activity the most more then likely. It’s simple; you and a partner (another girl in the game) face off against a random team of 2 other girls as you compete to be the first team to get 7 points. Jet-skiing is also another activity that will be played a lot and it’s terrible because of it’s simplicity.

The controls while racing are also very touchy and slamming yourself into an invisible wall is common. The biggest problem with the gameplay is that it’s extremely boring, redundant and just not very fun to play. Gambling is also abundant in DOAX2 and it’s probably the funnest mode in the game which is just sad. I’ve lost millions of dollars just trying to win in Black Jack.

The game also features multiplayer through Xbox Live but I can’t comment on this because I have never been able to find an opponent. Ever. That is a definite bad sign right there.

The sound effects are very immersing. You have the sounds of seagulls and the crashing of the ocean waves which really add to the game’s tropical atmosphere but sadly, the sound effects are the only things coming out of the speakers.

The music selection is absolutely terrible, especially since this game was obviously targeted towards men. All of the songs consist of irritating pop music. I can only handle listening to Hilary Duff’s “Sweet Sixteen” for so long before mental scarring begins to take place.

Don’t even get me started on the annoying voice acting. If you’re going to play the game, use the Japanese dub. Just trust me on this one you’ll thank me later.

Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2 is nothing but a guilty pleasure. It’s very easy on the eyes but you can’t help but feel really dirty when you play it. The gameplay gets horribly boring very quickly, the multiplayer lobbies are pretty much deserted and sound design is terrible.

If you want to play a game just for the beautiful women in skimpy bikinis then this is the perfect game for that but if you want to actually play the game, you’re in for major disappointment.

- Beautiful graphics
- A ton of items to collect
- The “Venus” swimsuit. Trust me.
- The gambling mini-games

- Boring and repetitive gameplay
- Empty multiplayer lobbies and no local multiplayer
- Terrible voice acting and music selections
- Idiotic story
- Bad controls in the jet-skiing stages

About Colton West