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     " One of the focal points of DoA2 is curvy, busty ladies that subscribe to their own incredible physics engine. This game will make you horny, even if you think getting turned on by video games is scary. "

   Title: Dead or Alive 2 by Tecmo

   Format: DC 3D Fighter

   Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

   The Hype: Dead or Alive, a well made but only moderately received fighting game, for the Playstation makes its dramatic return to the console on Dream Cast. Its pushing points are keen graphics, a true 3D-fighting environment, and dynamic game play including combos and reverses, and interactive backgrounds. So, did we decide to leave it Dead or Alive? Pardon the horrible pun and read on, my Monkeys.

      What This Monkey Thought...

   Graphics: By the High Monkey I don’t know that I’ve ever seen graphics as pretty as in this game! Beautifully rendered, incredibly lit, fantastically animated, smooth, and marvelously detailed, they leave NOTHING to be desired. The best way I can describe them is by taking the amazing cut scene rendering from Final Fantasy and put them in a playable game. Individual finger animations and movement, dynamic hair, perfectly tracking eyes and heads...I would, and could, go on for paragraphs more but honestly nothing I can say would get it across to you…They are just everything you want. Trust me. 5 out of 5

   Sound: The sounds are nice and basically appropriate for the game. They are neither notable nor distasteful, simply being the same snare-drum sample that every other fighting game uses. Dead or Alive loses points, however, for not having any of the voice clips translated into English! Even the should-be-English-speaking characters don’t speak English! What the hell is that about? I don’t care how incredible a game is, if I’m paying $50.00 I expect the dialogue to be appropriate for the country I’m buying it in. Especially a fighting game…It’s not like there are hours and hours of talking…It’s a few words- total! Give me a frickin’ break. 2 out of 5

   Game Play: When I first picked up DoA2, I insisted adamantly that it was the best fighting game I had ever played. It sports true 3D fighting, good timing and rhythm to the game play, destructible/changeable environments, a reversal/counter defense that works really well, and a nice variety of moves and styles. After putting in a few hours though, you start to see the places the somewhat falls apart. The characters are pretty poorly balanced with a few standing out as incredibly dominant and others as definitely handicapped. Throws, and throw-oriented characters, are difficult to execute and lacking. The inclusion of unstoppable moves and ridiculously effective combos lean it in the same lame ass direction as Mortal Kombat and the Street Fighter games. However, back on the plus side, there are all the different game styles you would want- including a 4-player tag feature. 4 out of 5

   Level and Environment Designs: Okay, for this we’re back to the "By the High Monkey" stuff. I mentioned before that these were the best graphics I’d seen on a console game? We’ll, they’re the best environments, too! Beautiful, well lit, interactive (with water that splashes as you walk through it and snow that you sink into), and most interestingly- bi-leveled. Don’t like where you’re currently fighting? That’s fine. Knock your opponent through a window, off a roof, out the door, etc., and you’ll end up some place new. Also, and worth no small amount of accolade, the game acknowledges walls and falls- so smashing your opponent into the bricks or tossing ‘em off a cliff does more damage. 5 out of 5

   Multiplayer: It’s a fighting game…It had better have good multiplayer (and it does). The addition of up to 4 person tag formats and team fighting keep it fun. Would have gotten a 5 if you could have played 4 at once, but as it stands gets… 4 out of 5

   Replayability: First off, I have to mention- there is NOTHING HIDDEN. Nothing. No new costumes, no new characters, no new levels, nothing. So, technically, you have no reason to play it once you’ve gone through. Multiplayer is a blast but there is no story to keep you interested in single player (mentioned later). So you tell me? Got other Monkeys to play with? If not, I don’t know that this would be a great game to play with yourself exclusively (Note my being very good and not making hairy palm/self diddling jokes here). Or was adding it in parentheses a joke itself? Damned. Oh well…Hairy palmed wankers. 3 out of 5

   Story/Dramatics: Story? HAH! Have you ever played a Japanese fighting game? You know the ones with those ridiculously scattered, disjointed, cryptic stories you feel were chopped up more than an Eddie Murphy movie edited for TV? Well, those games look lake Shakespeare compared to this. Of all the characters, only 3 have stories that you can actually follow…And none of them are told well. 2 out of 5

   Instructions and Learning Curve: The learning curve is tiny and with the sparring program you should have no problems picking it up. Unfortunately, though, the instructions are woahfully inadequate. They tell you some of the basics, but in a game where several of the characters rely on impossible to discover combo throws, not giving you more moves should be a crime. 2 out of 5

   Installation and Real System Requirements: Truthfully, the load times on DoA2 are pretty heavy, especially for a fighting game. But when you realize what you’re getting in terms of graphics and smooth play I got no complaints. Hell, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the first title that pushes the Dream Cast graphics engine to the envelope. 5 out of 5

   The Verdict:

       It is a great fighting game that, if not for some game balance issues, could have been the best of all time. Still, worth picking up without a doubt.

   The Good: Graphics, graphics, graphics, smooth play, graphics, oh and, did I mention graphics? …[Segue for guys]…Oh and, since I didn’t mention it before, one of the focal points of DoA2 is curvy, busty ladies that subscribe to their own incredible physics engine. This game will make you horny, even if you think getting turned on by video games is scary.

   The Bad: Serious game balance issues and no hidden features.

   The Overall Ugly: Even if you only like fighting games a little bit, this is a must own.

   What it's Worth: Market

Buy it now from

[Editor's Note] As I was in the process of encoding this review for posting, I received an brief from Tecmo that confirmed that the PS2 version, which is slated for a launch release, will include both hidden items and US voices! Keen! -Dungapult

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