‘Dead or Alive’

By Andrew Duff

The “Dead or Alive” fighting games were first made famous for their bounciness. What do I mean? Let me explain.

“Mortal Kombat” had fatalities.

“Street Fighter” had a hundred awful spin-offs.

“Dead or Alive” had girls with really jiggly breasts.

So after a few fighting games, Tecmo went ahead and discarded the whole “fighting” thing and stuck the girls of “DoA” on a tropical island and stuck them in even skimpier attire for “Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball.”

The game opens with an full motion video of the girls of “DoA” dancing around in bikinis, diving naked into the ocean and feeding strawberries to each other. Yes, this game is that cheesecake.

Here on Zack Island, the ladies can earn money by playing volleyball, gambling at the casino or my personal favorite, the Hopping game.

The Hopping game consists of bikini-clad women jumping across floating pillows to the other side of a pool, which earns you money. What’s money used for? Why, for buying new and more revealing swimsuits and cute accessories, of course!

There are plenty of places on the island that let you ogle your character in her new clothes. Watch her stretch, sun bathe and lean over – all with complete control of the camera!

While the game mostly is about watching your well-endowed protagonist flaunt herself in gorgeous 3-D, the way to earn large amounts of money – and the game’s namesake – are very poorly done.

The volleyball games are fairly boring, and the scoring system is based mostly on luck, since your opponents are often perfect in their timing of volleys and your partner in the game is basically useless. Control is frustrating, since you only have two buttons to determine what kind of hit you’re going to make, and this, in turn, is controlled by how hard you hit the buttons. The number of times I screwed up a serve by not pounding the A button hard enough makes this game a frustrating practice in self-control and timing.

So what does “DoA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball” add up too? Well, if you have some sort of horrible obsession with the ladies of “DoA,” or if you have a thing for collecting bathing suits, then this might be your game. Otherwise, I’d suggest you stay far, far away.

And for you gamers who can’t fight the allure of a poorly done volleyball with cute girls, I’d suggest you hide this one in the sock drawer when you’re not playing it.