Dead Or Alive 3 & Project Gotham Racing
Any self-respecting console should have in its game library a combat killing game (figuratively). In its time, Capcom caused its little revolution by adapting the famous Streetfighter for Super Nintendo. This time, it's the creator Tecmo who is offering the first game of this nature on Xbox. This is version 3 of the game that's already wreaking havoc on Dreamcast: Dead or Alive.
As compared to previous versions, but also as compared to its competitors, Dead or Alive 3 doesn't introduce a lot of new features, even if it does offer various play modes. In addition to Story Mode, which is also somewhat limited, you have these modes:
- Time Attack: you fight seven adversaries in a limited amount of time
- Survival: you fight as many enemies as you can
- Team Battle: two to five players per team face off one after the other.
- And finally, we mustn't forget the most interesting mode: the Versus. This allows two players to face off against each other. On the other hand, four players could combat and, like in catch matches, each one can take turns playing. That would also allow you to create very effective attack combinations.
Combat games should be a console's spearhead. Dead or Alive 3 doesn't depart from this rule. It's even a real technological showcase for Xbox. In this way, Tecmo knew how to take complete advantage of DirectX and graphical power to create characters composed of numerous polygons. The backgrounds are also fabulous. There are more than sixteen environments crammed with animations. Some of them even have several stages. That way one can fall from a building after having gone through a window following a returned kick! The reflective and refractive effects are very well orchestrated. In the cavern, you can see the combatants' distorted reflections on the lake. Snow falls from the tree after bumping into it. For the sound portion, the Dolby Digital technology isn't really taken advantage of. There are certainly some environmental sounds on the Surround sound speakers, but nothing really explosive. On the other hand, the speakers are at the fore in fully filling the loudspeakers, as well as the subwoofer, which perfectly reproduces the muffled sounds. The synthesized image sequences, which punctuate the game, are extremely beautiful with an impressively realistic animation. The sound of 5.1 becomes a little fuller only during these phases.
In sum, like usual, the playability makes the combat game interesting. Familiarization is virtually immediate and very intuitive. Nevertheless, you can always discover new combinations to become more... powerful, shall we say! The combats are smooth and captivating. You begin playing alone against the computer or against a partner and strangely, you're still there an hour later. On the other had, the artificial intelligence is a little too predictable and the game doesn't pose enough of a challenge for the digital martial arts specialist.