"What happens when you give experienced fighting game fans a deep game and give casuals lots of fan service? Dead or Alive 4...
Dead or Alive 4... what can I say about this game? Most hardcore fighting game fans think it's all about she kicks high and boob physics. I read previews for the game at IGN and GameSpot and it was like they didn't even try to figure out what was new. They went along with the "it plays basically the same with a few tweaks" line that we see in nearly all fighting game reviews. If I had not played the game myself, I would think it played just like DOA Ultimate and DOA3.
I'm a hardcore Tekken fan, and a high level Tekken player, so I know what depth in a fighting game is all about. I never would have bothered with Dead or Alive if not for the online aspects of DOA Ultimate. However, DOAU was the first 3D online fighter (Mortal Kombat has been exclusively for casuals since it went 3D, so I'll ignore Deception completely here), and it was a blast to play. It was a bit dated, running on a six year old fighting engine, and it was definitely lacking in depth, but it was still fun until Tekken 5 released.
It was at that point that I couldn't wait for DOA4. The Japanese and European versions of DOA3 featured several system advancements that made it play very differently from the US version. DOA4 picks up right where the true versions of DOA3 left off with all of those system advancements. What does this mean for all the hardcore fighting gamers like me who are out there wondering if DOA4 is worth the money? It means you need to get off the computer and head down to EB or GameStop because the first Xbox 360 fighting game is the best fighting game available.
Now before you send me hate mail saying I'm a Tekken fan and shouldn't be praising DOA so much, listen to my explanation. Tekken and Virtua Fighter are fighting games designed for the hardcore, high level fighting game players. Mortal Kombat and DOA are fighting games that appeal almost exclusively to the casual player who just want heads getting chopped off and boobies bouncing.
DOA4 appeals to both with perfect balance. It has enough depth to keep someone like me stuck to my HDTV figuring out how the ground game works, or how much frame advantage this attack has, and just learning the system and how to play at high levels, for months. Yet, at the same time, the casual player who just wants to know that Lisa's chest heaves up and down with enthusiasm will be just as pleased with DOA4. It's not as in-depth as VF4, but it's significantly deeper than any previous DOA title. Now let's break this down for the high level players out there." [more