Dead or Alive: Dimensions Review By Daizu Well, this is my first review on Temp. Honestly one of my first reviews ever. It may be a tad biased but hey, we all start somewhere. Recommendations on how to be a better reviewer are always open! Chances are you've played some of the more popular fighting games around, such as Street Fighter, or Tekken. Chances are, you've probably never heard of Dead or Alive unless you're an avid fighter-fan, grew up with an Xbox playing Dead or Alive 3 all day wondering why boobs in video game land were so much bigger than in real life (That's me, and look how I turned out - stay away from Dead or Alive, kids.). Or maybe, you just got the brand new 3DS and are looking for some awesome fighting games to play? Growing up with an Xbox, I loved playing Dead or Alive 3. Was, and still is, one of my favorite fighting games, despite some of the issues people may have with it. Never having a 360, I couldn't enjoy playing Dead or Alive 4 with all the new characters and features. When Dead or Alive: Dimensions was announced, I was extremely excited. Finally being able to play online, as Kokoro no less, was a dream come true. And for the most part, it delivered, but it's not without its flaws. Let's start with the story. Because everybody knows, that's what people play fighting games for. In Dead or Alive: Dimensions story mode, Chronicles; rather than introducing a brand new part to the Dead or Alive storyline, Dimensions covers old terrain in a more detailed way. Covering the series storyline from Dead or Alive 1 up until Dead or Alive 4 - this is the way to get the series' story across. Of course, it only covers the main parts of the story, such as the Mugen Tenshin clan and DOATEC. It doesn't cover some of the smaller, more unimportant parts of the story such as Tina and Bass, or Zack's little side-series that the Dead or Alive series has become more known for. The story is pretty decent, it's nothing mind-blowing but it's something. Onto the gameplay, what you're REALLY here for, and not just jiggly, 3D boobs. Dead or Alive is an 8-way fighting game, some people have even gone as far as to call it a "watered down version of Tekken." A total of 25 characters to choose from. Dead or Alive: Dimensions is based heavily on Dead or Alive 4's engine, but adding some of the features that made Dead or Alive 3 more easy to pick up. Four buttons: punch (X), kick (A), throw (B), and guard (Y). Of course, you can strike your enemies (duh), punching or kicking, in one of three places: the mouth (high), the boobs (mid) which you'll be going for mostly, or the crotch (low). Actually, it's more like, head, body, or legs/feet. Strikes can be countered with a Hold. Hold's are executed by pressing up-back and hold (if your opponent is doing a high attack), back and hold (if your opponent is doing a mid attack), and a low-back and hold (if your opponent is doing a low attack). You may be asking, "Well how do you know where they're going to attack?" well, that's the tricky part. Anticipation and somehow predicting the future is how you get ready for your opponents attacks. Of course if they do manage to get you, you can throw them. Basically, a throw is the equivalent to a grab in SSF4, though it plays a much larger role in this. For most Hold's, if you press the throw button the second they hold you, you can get out of the throw - saving yourself from damage. These three gameplay mechanics make up the "triangle system." The system is as follows: Strikes beat throws, throws beat holds, holds beat strikes. It may be a bit tricky to get this at first, but like anything, practice makes perfect. Predicting where attacks go is honestly the hardest part of this. Low attacks are obviously low, but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between a high or a mid attack. You're able to use the bottom screen to get quick combos in but it feels like cheating to most people. A neat feature, if you're playing online and you see a 3DS show up on the top screen with a stylus touching the bottom screen, this means that your opponent has used the touch screen to do a combo. Make what you will of that: it could mean they have absolutely no idea how to play, or maybe they just accidentally hit the screen, it could be any number of reasons. The bottom screen can either be used as a quick reference guide for moves, or to pull them off entirely There's a variety of different modes to play. Chronicles, the story mode covered earlier. Arcade mode, which is standard get through 8 matches as fast as you can. There's also Survival, Tag Challenge, Free play, internet/wireless matches, training, and Throwdown. Survival mode isn't even really survival mode. The manual even says "Take on a non-stop stream of opponents and see how long you can last." You start Survival mode, and at first you can only fight 10 opponents. So you're like "How is that Survival?" at least, I was. Once you finish fighting 10 opponents, you unlock the option to face 20 opponents, then 30, then 50, then ultimately 100. Now, there's nothing wrong with this in itself. But it's not a "Survival" mode. It's just a super long arcade mode, really. Though I can kind of see what Team Ninja was doing, most people quit Survival mode before reaching 100 anyway and this is really just me nit-picking. It's not a huge problem, but I really would of liked to see the Survival mode from DoA3 or 4. Fighting until you died, trying to get the biggest score. Tag Challenge is one of the biggest problems with this game. In previous titles, and pretty much any fighting game I can think of that had tag-fighting allowed you to control all of your characters. In this, you can only control your character, and the CPU has to control the other one. Why? I don't know. It wouldn't be a problem if they made your partner AI as intelligent as the opponent AI. It's really a hindrance if anything. In Tag Challenge mode, your attacks do very little damage, while your opponents damage is insane. One throw could take 75% of your health away. Personally, I don't see what the point in that was, or why the opponents take so much health away, when you do so little. Tag Challenge mode is the most imbalanced thing in this game. Online matches are balanced for the most part. Typical online for a fighting game. You have the nubs, and then you have the super duper players who beat you in 10 seconds and you're like "What just happened?" Everything seems to be in order there. There isn't much lag. Though it's clear in a few matches. It's the points system that's making me and everyone else whose played the game online go crazy. I really don't know how to explain it to you because I really don't know how it works. I've won matches and gotten +150 points, and then I've won matches and LOST points. What the hell? I've also won matches and gotten 0 points given or taken. Since the rating system is obviously some sort of magic ninpo, I've chosen to ignore and simply play for the sake of playing. Pushing characters into environmental instabilities such electric walls boosts your damage Dimensions has SpotPass and StreetPass. Titled "Throwdown" you just collect fighting data from people you pass by and fight the data. You can also get costumes and stuff via SpotPass, in addition to just buying them using Play Coins. Graphically, the game is amazing. It looks a lot like Dead or Alive 4, some of the models are obviously based off of them. The environments are great, but for this game they have to be. One of the things that make Dead or Alive unique is its "destructive environments." On some stages, you'll be able to force your opponent down mountains, through walls, among other things. Also, Ridley tries to kill you. Ridley randomly shoots Fireballs at you from the sides of the Geothermal Fire Plant, making fights on this stage a bit of an imbalance Sound and music is good. A lot of sounds are reused from previous games, which there's nothing wrong with it. A lot of songs are from earlier games as well, and personally I enjoy the Dead or Alive soundtrack. The Japanese voice acting is good, the English voice acting is mediocre to me but that's really just an opinion thing. Having grown up listening to the Japanese voice acting through out DoA3, hearing the English voices was felt really out of place. There's the option for English or Japanese voice acting luckily, unlike in Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition which was English all around. There are also text languages for English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, or Japanese if you prefer some of those instead. Conclusion, Dead or Alive: Dimensions is a good game with a few strange flaws that could be easily remedied with an update or two. Tag Mode as Tag Mode would be really like, awesome and stuff. And an online ranking system that can actually be understood would be great as well. 7/10 from me.