by Ryan D Lowe
previewed on NDS
The gaming library of the 3DS is about to be drop kicked with another premiere fighting franchise in the form of Dead or Alive: Dimensions. This beloved franchise is making its way in full console form to the handheld realm. DOAD will deliver a full story mode that explores the entirety of the Dead or Alive franchise. The arcade mode will offer traditional beat-em-up fun, and the training mode will allow newcomers and veterans alike to brush up on their skills.
Beat up a Friend
In addition to the basic modes mentioned above, the tile will include multiplayer with versus and tag modes. This can be played via online and multi-cart. While versus offers the traditional challenge, where two gamers will find who is the last man standing, the tag mode is a little different and something we haven’t seen before from the DOA franchise. You and a friend will team up against a particularly gnarly opponent and beat them down together. Although it’s not known at press time, as the team is keeping the details under wraps, I would imagine this will earn each player Play Coins that can be used either in the full game or the Mii-Plaza of the 3DS.
Tap to Win
The traditional roster is back, along with some brand new faces exclusive to the 3DS release. The following roster is confirmed as of this printing: Ayane, Bass Armstrong, Bayman, Brad Wong, Christie, Eliot, Gen Fu, Hayate, Helena Douglas, Hitomi, Jann Lee, Kasumi, Kokoro, Lei Fang, Leon, Lisa, Ryu Hayabusa, Tina Armstrong, Zack, Raidou and Shiden.
Just like Super Street Fighter IV 3D before it, DOAD incorporates the touch screen with special attack icons that can be executed with a simple tap. What it brings to the table though is full-on combos. This means that you can essentially tap the combo button or “win” button if you wish to destroy your opponent. This is obviously placed to introduce the series to new, novice players. However, I do wish that they will add some type of punishment system for those using these simplified controls – or, simpler yet, the option to turn it off altogether. I’m all for bringing new players into the franchise, but please don’t alienate the pros!
The visuals are absolutely stunning. Full environments and amazing effects explode on screen as the fighters are knocked senseless. The backgrounds provide existing locales and feature gorgeous vistas. With the 3D slider all the way up, the visuals are just as impressive providing perhaps slightly more depth than Street Fighter did. This in no way is a bad thing and brings everything to vivid life. The characters are smooth and the action runs fierce at 60 frames a second. However, with the slider up, the purists will notice a slight slow-down as the system attempts to crunch the graphics data.
The most noticeable omission in the latest preview build was the lack of, shall we say, bounciness on all our female fighters. This bounciness, as many of you know, is a staple of the Dead or Alive franchise and one I’m sure will be included in the final release. It seems Nintendo is after an older demographic with the 3DS this time around as the system is not a cheap investment. So I’m sure we’ll see the series’ most infamous features bounce back in, if you’ll excuse the horrible pun.
An Old Friend
On a parting note, the game features a classic scene from Metroid where a giant arena highlighting Samus and Ridley knocking the crap out of one another features as as a playable stage. Although nitty gritty details are hard to pull from the developing team at this point, my money is on Samus being an unlockable character. This would be a series first for Dead or Alive to include a character from another franchise, but if Mortal Kombat is doing it with Kratos then why not? Dead or Alive: Dimensions drops on the 3DS in mid-May.