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Review: Dead or Alive Xtreme 3

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Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is one of the most controversial sequel  of all times. Koei Tecmo Games has risked a lot due to the less success of the previous chapters released for the first time 13 years ago on Xbox as Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. The game was born from the mind of Tomonobu Itagaki, chief of Team Ninja and notoriously not so vulgar in terms of nudity.

The game was a funny diversion for gameplay and visuals on Xbox due to its nature but the sequel didn’t catch the gamers on Xbox 360 bringing the series to the abandonment by the wayside.

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Since its premiere, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 has generated a long series of discussions, due to annoying fights between users and Yosuke Hayashi, the new director of Team Ninja: at first the title was announced for Japan only, however, suggesting that there would be opportunities for a western release. Finally it was decided to return to the original plan, for reasons that have left more doubts than clarifications: the company has decided not to distribute it in order to avoid potential controversy for the exploitation of the female image, as a trend in gaming industry lately…

Compared to the previous chapters, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 proves to be a low-budget production that exploits large part of the assets of the series. There are new events, which requires the girls to climb a rock wall or the butt fight. (…) The roster also reflects the Japanese tastes: nine chosen were selected by a survey and they see in the first row recent Honoka revenue and Marie Rose. The first and second over-exaggerated buxom young, even though the information age are trying to deflect the embarrassment.

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Because of its nature extremely Japanese, they have cut out almost all western characters, so no Tina Armstrong, Christie and Lisa, who have enjoyed limited popularity in Dead or Alive 5: Final Round. The iconic Kasumi, Hitomi and Ayane are present, along with unexpected characters, such as naughty Nyotengu. Fortunately remained even beach volleyball, emerged with alarming delay in hype, and that again is a highlight of the production. The profile is then that of a strongly thought title for the Japanese and Asian market; from this we are collaborating with play-asia.com tht provide us the PlayStation 4 version, called Fortune, which has text in English and is therefore perfectly usable.

The title is still developed as the predecessors: the player is free to choose one of the nine girls, helping them to spend two pleasant weeks of vacation in the tropical island of Zack, but this time he is not there, above all to justify the new manager mode. The choice of how to invest fourteen days up to the player, choosing from a variety of activities (the infamous mini-games), endless shopping and managing relationships with the other characters.

Each day is divided into three stages, morning, afternoon and evening, in the latter the action moves from the hotel beaches, where it is open the possibility of going to the casino and increase domestic currency, the Zack Money, playing poker, blackjack and roulette. The Zack Money is the driving force in the game, all progress is governed by the accumulated coins, which allow you to buy new swimsuits for our girls, but also gifts to increase the level of social relations with her companions. To play beach volleyball is required to move in pairs, a necessary condition that is immediately calibrated proposing a partner to the player. You can decide to accept or reject the proposal, but in the second case could be complex to find a new partner, threatening to blow up several matches. The other mini-games are like the previous games, return the various races in the pool, capture the flag at the beach and the aforementioned ascent of the mountain. The control systems are variable, in full style of multi event productions, but only seemingly simple.

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Jumps in pool requires passing a path consisting of floats, Battle of the lower back and the rope are strategic races, capture the flag is needed in the button is pressed quickly, in style Track & Field, while the Mountain is the classic quick time event but devoid of unpleasant outcomes: it is impossible to fall (would not be very relaxing), but it is important to get to the top as quickly as possible. Among all, the Beach Volley remains the most ambiguous and satisfying event: the game only partially explains the controls, limiting the tutorial to describe the various types of services, but there is much more behind a subtly essential structure. Nothing has changed in every way compared to previous episodes, including dimly isometric frame, not always convenient.

The real novelty of this third installment are represented by the mission system and the island’s manager mode. The first is an addition stimulant, which imprints a definite stamp to the strategic aspect of the title. In essence are offered the most varied objectives to facilitate the gains and experience points, completely independent of the Trophies, which allow a different approach to the dynamics of the title. For example, changing from simple tasks, like buying a new swimsuit or make a gift, to more complex tasks, like playing some times at the casino. It is always possible to prematurely terminate the missions, which are still in time, if you are not able to meet requirements. The manager mode is accessed by pressing the touch pad Dual Shock 4, thus being perfectly integrated into the main one. The switch must become a natural practice in the economy of the title, because the missions are alternated between the two modes.

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In this mode, the owner gain experience points after completing the quests, leveling up, and allowing access to new items available in your personal store. Regardless of everything, the game still ends the fourteenth day, leaving in memory both the conquered objects that the level of relations between the girls and with the manager. In this case there is a split into two separate parameters, to sympathy between the girls and the level of satisfaction with the owner. Consequently the grind is more exasperated than in the past, the first few games will be very productive in terms of results and we will do the callus to a lot of waste and hostile attitudes. Forget the most sought after costumes and skimpy now, especially in the interchange between girls, which is the most intriguing aspect considering that each one has its specific style. Anyway perseverance rewards and everything is tempered by the fact that there is no real purpose except to spend two weeks in light-heartedness. Each match is never an end in itself and represents a piece to achieve new results.

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Another aspect that demonstrates the limited budget of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is the graph. The game is undoubtedly a pleasure to watch, and relies entirely on the realization of the girls, the true stars of the production and motor powering its palatability. Soft Engine is felt in the stunning anatomies achievements, perhaps unprecedented in the industry, decorated with tons of motion capture that is unleashed in the various “gravure” scenes, where the girls engage in various activities under the watchful eye of the camera. The PlayStation 4 version also presents unique characteristics, as the physics of breasts, all abundant and perfect, really impressive, progressive tanning effects, complete with a costume signs, and bikini moving in case of contact with water . However, there are less convincing sides, the animations are often woody and you see that are derived largely from the previous chapters, the scenarios are completely recycled and feel the weight of two generations, with sporadic excesses difficult to digest, also occur phenomena of polygonal interpenetration particularly severe in the case of hairs movement.

The resolution was brought to native 1080p (always 60 frames), a factor that allows a great sharpness, but that on the other hand puts even more in evidence the defects mentioned. The costs have also affected the music licensed, completely absent and replaced by audio product internally by Team Ninja, however, surprisingly pleasant and on topic. The nature of fan service product is clear right from the start, as it has always been this spin-off, so it is a factor that should not be surprising. His philosophy of the look and not touch is typical of Japanese sexual culture; the more rough side is precisely linked to voyeurism, raised to a power in each line of code and encouraged by the gameplay itself, it is also required to take pictures with the girls to accumulate experience points.

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This third installment generally shows less open towards the Western market, revealing a very targeted product, but that will not fail to exert a fascination with the oriental culture lovers. But time comes out with a formula that does not bring anything new with the past: the mini-games are always the same and are a nice side dish to beach volleyball, which still is the most interesting and profitable activity, but it plays exactly like 2003 . another aspect that has not convinced us is that of micro transactions, in the game and not incidental, which strongly affect the manager mode. In this case the only source of income, excluding dedicated missions, is represented by the casino, among other things, with a cap set at one million and a half Zack coins. The costumes special bathroom amenities, which are unlocked in the exclusive shop and probably will welcome the future DLC (Tecmo Koei has already confirmed their arrival), are expensive and difficult to obtain. Here they come into play the Premium Ticket can be purchased with real money, and that save time and resources. Again, however, it is not guaranteed success, since girls can safely refuse gifts, thwarting purchases and forcing you to spend more money to pack the object again. Microtransactions are irrelevant to European users, since it is not possible to connect with the server to redeem them, but the fact remains that affect the balance of the game itself, making slow and burdensome system of progression.

My vote is a 4/10

The game is available on Play-asia.com

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Fortune (Multi-Language) PlayStation 4™ ASIA  US$ 72.99
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Venus (Multi-Language) PlayStation Vita ASIA  US$ 64.99

DEAD OR ALIVE XTREME 3 (COLLECTOR’S EDITION)

  • A physical copy of DOAX3
  • “Extreme Sexy Costume Set” with 9 different outfits (F or V)
  • 48 page special Gravure Photobook
  • One Deck of Playing Cards with DOAX3 Themed Assets
  • One Marie Rose (PS4) or Honoka (PSV) Extreme 3D Mouse Pad

DEAD OR ALIVE XTREME 3 (SAIKYO PACKAGE)

  • Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Fortune Collector’s Edition (PS4)
  • Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Venus Collector’s Edition (PS Vita)
  • 9 B2 Sized (500W x 707L millimeters) Extreme Extreme Bath Posters 

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Fortune [Collector’s Edition] (Multi-Language) PlayStation 4™ ASIA  US$ 139.99
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Venus [Collector’s Edition] (Multi-Language) PlayStation Vita ASIA  US$ 129.99
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 [Saikyou Package] (Multi-Language) PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4™ ASIA  US$ 299.99

As always I invite you to follow me on Twitter @roccocannale for more review and news.

See ya!

About Rocco Antonio Cannale

Rocco Antonio Cannale
I dig the web to find always fresh news about the tech world, from gaming to smartphones through pc and reviews. I've grown with bread and videogames since the first time I saw one.

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