Team Ninja
Tecmo
Sports
1-2
01.21.03

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball


Simply put, DOA:XBV is a volleyball game with hot girls and kick ass graphics. I'm not even going to bother with much of an introduction because I'm sure you all ready know.

Gameplay

Wiping your ass is almost as easy as playing this game. Since it only uses two buttons and the analog stick or D-pad, you'd be hard pressed to find an easier controlled Xbox game. Don't be fooled by the minimal buttons though, because it's not as simple as it seems. I don't mean to contradict myself here, but there is a big difference between just being able to play this game and mastering it. A lot of this game revolves around timing, and that is key when it comes to making good serves and spikes (which help you rack up more points in matches, thus earning you more cash).

The game revolves around a 14-day "vacation." Essentially, the girls were tricked into coming to Zack Island thinking there was going to be a tournament, only to find out that they'll be stuck playing volleyball. They don't seem to be particularly upset by this though. Each day is broken down into four different parts: Morning, Daytime, Evening, and Night time. During the first three days you will be able to play volleyball, buy things from the shops, find new partners, and chill by the pool.

So how's the volleyball already? It's good, to say the least. The actual volleyball system itself is quite flawless, and it'd be near impossible to make a game anywhere near as good. The only downfall is the camera angles. At times it can be rather confusing as to where your girl is in relationship to where the ball is going to go. I don't believe that the camera angle could have been done any better, and still preserve the gorgeous views of the girls or scenery. A back view would have been possible, but looking at their asses all day would get boring after a while.

If the game only revolved around volleyball, it would probably get really boring, and fast. This is where the game gets a little odd. Once you've found a partner (or are looking for one) you'll find yourself browsing the shops and purchasing items, and swimsuits. Purchasing the right thing is essential to keeping your girl around. You'll be surprised by how picky the girls can be (for example, I bought my partner the Venus, the most expensive swimsuit available, and she threw it out in the morning!). You can find lists of things the girls like, and don't like on various websites. I highly suggest this, because it will help you to earn your partner's approval, which in turn means more "nice" points and more cash.

The Casino pretty much blows in my mind. I figured you would be able to walk around, and associate with the other girls, but this is not the case. It isn't very graphically pleasing, and it's often hard to win any money, especially in slots and roulette.

Graphics

Think about Southwest Airlines commercial where the guy says, "Pretty girls in bikinis." This is definitely what this game is all about. If you thought the girls looked good in DOA3, wait until you feast your eyes on the bikini clad girls on Zack Island. Starting with the opening movie, you will be sucked into the beauty of not only the girls, but the graphics as well. If the girls looked any more real, I'd have to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Just when you thought the DOA3 graphics could not get any better, Team Ninja decides to pull a fast one. The girls are phenomenal looking, and poolside, and volleyball court scenery is just plain awesome. Unfortunately, the game does have its graphical downfalls, especially in the casino, hotel, and shop areas. The casino is especially bland. It lacks the effort and quality that Team Ninja put into the rest of the game. I myself didn't spend a whole lot of time in the Casino, simply because I found it rather boring, and I never seemed to win money. In the end, you won't be disappointed with the graphics simply because you probably won't be spending much time outside of playing volleyball and messing around by the pool.

Sound

Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera, Bob Marley, and Baja Men are just a few of the artist's featured on the DOAXBV soundtrack. While not great, the songs are very fitting for the atmosphere of the game. Of course if you don't like the songs, you have the option to rip your own CDs and use those songs instead. The voice acting is all Japanese, except for Zack. Frankly, the Zack voice acting sucks. I guess you can't expect a whole lot from Dennis Rodman though. I suggest turning the voices to Japanese so you don't have to listen to him. There aren't a whole lot of sound effects, but they are good as well.

Replay Value

At first, you might not think the replay value is very good, but you'd be surprised. I found myself coming back to play again and again. The game is rather addicting once you get into it. I'm trying to collect all the items now, in hopes of unlocking something specialůmaybe a topless mode? Team Ninja claims there is no such thing, but it's got to have a mature rating for more than just the intro movie and casino stuff.

Bottom Line:

By now you're probably thinking, "Is this game worth buying, or isn't it?" It's hard to say whether this game will be worth it to you or not. It is, without a doubt, worth renting at the very least. You'll have plenty of fun once you've mastered the controls and figured out which partner combinations are the best.

-Tyler




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