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Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball - Xbox (2003)

American Cover

Japanese Cover

A fan service game if there ever was one, Xtreme Beach Volleyball puts all of the female characters (plus a new one named Lisa) onto a desert island to frolic around in bathing suits and play sports. The cracker-thin premise is that Zack - now voiced by his real life template Dennis Rodman - lures the ladies to a tropical island for a fighting tournament and attempts to woo them.

Calling this a sports title is almost inaccurate, as the game is really 50% volleyball, 50% lesbian simulator. Sure, you do spend a good amount of time hitting the courts, but you have to remember that volleyball requires two people to a team. You've got to find a partner amongst the other girls and make her happy by purchasing the right gifts - essentially making this a modified dating sim. You never really need to play volleyball, really - it's just a way to get cash so you can buy any of the hundreds of items, ranging from swimsuits to accessories like hats, sunglasses and even nail polish. In effect, all you do is really play dress up with the Dead or Alive girls and watch them smack a ball around for a few minutes. And if you don't want to do that, you can literally just spy on them as they play like little girls on swingsets, frolic in the water, straddle trees and do stretching exercises. Creepy? Yeah, a little. But it's all pretty tame compared to some of the weirder stuff that's come out in Japan.

The volleyball portion is only barely more evolved than, say, Pong. You can either whack the ball over the net or pass it to your partner, at two varying strength levels triggered by the Xbox' pressure-sensitive buttons. You don't even really need to position yourself much, as the game practically does that for you. You won't find much in the way of strategy, but it's simplicity helps make it an amusing distraction.

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (Xbox)

You could probably say that for the whole game. There's very little in the way of deep gameplay, challenge or even satisfaction (unless you're one of those obsessive types that absolutely needs to have every swimsuit on every woman in the game, although you can also unlock some cool promo videos from the other Dead or Alive games), but it's actually a good relaxation game, the kind where you can just set your mind on autopilot, put on your favorite song (use the custom playlist, the default licensed songs are mostly garbage) and just bum around.

Despite the fact that Xtreme Beach Volleyball is rated M for all of the skin-baring attire, it's really no worse than the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. And only the intro features any of the purported nudity that the back label promises. However, a bunch of hackers took it upon themselves to strip their favorite ladies and have them play around buck nekkid. Naturally, this requires a modified Xbox. Of course, Tecmo frowns upon this immensely - that big, long diatribe about copyright law and infringement in the intro was probably exactly to prevent people from doing stuff like this, especially considering some people in Japan got sued for creating a nude hack for Kasumi in Dead or Alive 3 - but it's an amusing testament to how far some people would go to see naked video game women.

DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball also contains the most ridiculous intro videos known in existence. The first features the various girls playing around on the beach, including the infamous bit of Lei Fang feeding Hitomi a strawberry before she playfully bites on her finger. The other intro details how Zach got the island, which includes but is not limited to: (1) a Titanic parody, (2) a jetpack, and (3) a dance number in a casino. When you finish your vacation on the island, Zach gets eaten by a giant shark for some reason. Help! This game makes no sense!

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (Xbox)

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Designer:

  • Tomonobu Itagaki
  • Katsunori Ehara

Genre:

Themes:


Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (Xbox)

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (Xbox)

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (Xbox)

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (Xbox)


Additional Screenshots


Intro


Costumes

There's a whole slew of swimsuits, naturally. Here are some of the best ones. These were all originally taken from DOA Xcess at Neotaku.com (which unfortunately is gone by now).


Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 - Xbox 360 (2006)

American Cover

Xtreme Beach Volleyball was a decently entertaining piece of software and certainly got the vacation feeling right, but at the same time it suffered from very shallow gameplay and various problems that left much to be desired. So the announcement of DOA Extreme 2, immediately brought to mind a ton of changes that could make this mediocre but atmospheric game into a good one, and when Waverace styled jetski races were thrown into the package, that almost made waiting for the sequel seem exciting. But when the game was released, most of these hopes would be squashed, but let's start at the beginning...

Starting from the intro, you'll discover at once that the blatant voyeurism was even raised - exponentially. Almost the whole FMV consists of embarassing perspectives and shows very clearly that Team Ninja had made some "adjustments" to the women's body proportions, most closely resembling the very first Dead or Alive game in this respect. They even grub out an even fancier version of extreme, "improved" juggle physics - breasts are now animated independently of each other - which make you think their busts contain a higher percentage of liquid than the ocean water. It's also kinda cheap that they recycled the same old title song from its predecessor, like many other songs that where already annoying the first time - so once again it is highly recommended to replace them with your own favourite music.

What's the story, you ask? No! Don't ask! If you had bet that Xtreme Beach Volleyball was as ridiculous as a video game story could get, you've now lost your money. After his island was destroyed by an active volcano, Zack seeks out his sunken property with a submarine and rises it above sea level again using the "you-know-what". It shoots a rocket into space, which calls an UFO to project Zack's face upon the earth's surface and send a tractor beam, perfectly restoring the island. Of course, to prevent the volcano from destroying it again, it has to be closed off by tying a huge rock onto its crater. What!?

The Volleyball game certainly could have used some deeper mechanics, but it is exactly the same. Actually, it's worse, because the partner AI is actually dumber than before, and most of the time your partner won't even try to catch the ball coming from your opponents. The casino makes its return, as well as pool hopping, which can now be played competitively. But there's also a bunch of new mini games, namely tug-of-war, a water slide, a footrace, and the utterly ridiculous butt-battle. Most of these feel quite random, though and are hardly worth using the Zack dollars it costs to unlock them.

But the addition everyone has been waiting for is the jetski race, anyway. This one actually plays quite well, except turning around after you end up facing the wrong direction is a major pain in the ass. It features a stunt system, which certainly isn't as elaborate as Waverace 64, but it does its part to make the races entertaining. You can buy various jetskis with different stats, and if you play the race multiple times during a vacation, you get to play on different courses. It's still not a super great game, but by far the best part of the whole package. Well, the best gameplay part, anyway. The water looks like jelly, though.

Other than that, it's the same formula as the first game. You earn money playing the various mini games, use it to buy new swimming suits or gifts for your partners, and try to gift them your character's suits, since once again, buying suits is restricted to a small fraction of the whole lot for each character. Getting the girls to accept the more expensive ones is still as random, annoying and tiresome. If the game really excels at anything, then it's wasting your time. Not only do you have gift them again and again, you'll also spend half the while waiting for the excruciatingly slow text to scroll or new screens to load. At least now you can try to give them the same swimsuit again and again as long as they don't open the package, and don't need to buy it anew each time. Speaking of buying, the only DLC for the game are packs to buy parts of the item collection with MS points, and buying all of it this way amounts to ludicrous sums of cash. Thank you Tecmo, for giving us the choice whether we prefer to get ripped off for time or for money.

It seems the only aspect a lot of effort was put into improving was the voyeurism. While the scenes in the first game were restricted to specific perspectives, you now have much more free control over the camera, and you actually get a camera to take snapshots of the girls relaxing or being friendly to each other, and then a better one with different zoom functions and color modes. Also, there are a lot more revealing swimsuits, and the women get suntan lines when changing them. The graphics have improved about as much over the first game as Dead or Alive 4 has improved over Dead or Alive 3, but the characters somehow look like they have a greasy oil film on their skin all the time. In addition to watching them sit around the jungle and straddle trees, you can even watch (and photograph) them dance at a stripper pole. Classy!

Despite the fun jetski racing, it's difficult to recommend the game even over DOA Xtreme 1, unless you're really into CGI voyeurism. But still, the newer game is also great to just throw it in and have some vacation feeling while carelessly pressing a few controller buttons and listening to your favourite music. If you're open to that kind of entertainment, give it a try, but don't spend a lot of money on it.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (Xbox 360)

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (Xbox 360)

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (Xbox 360)

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (Xbox 360)

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (Xbox 360)

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (Xbox 360)



Digital Voyeurism

The most refined aspect of the game is the camera creep mode, possibly a result of Itagaki being a photographer himself. There are two models, and the more expensive one is capable of most functions you'd expect from a professional real camera. It even has black-and-white and sepia filters. Other than the first Xtreme game, where the view was shielding the women from overly indecent perspectives, you've got free reign over the camera placement now, and the below examples are far from being the most naughty possible results.


Dead or Alive Paradise - PSP (2010)

American Cover

You'd think it would be rather embarrassing to play a game like Dead or Alive Xtreme in public, but nonetheless Tecmo eventually brought the series to Sony's handheld. Dead or Alive Paradise could be seen as a port of the Xbox 360 game, but the jetski and tug-of-war games are noticeably missing. At first you don't even have access to the Butt Battle and Beach Flag mini games, but those can be unlocked by watching a certain amount of relaxing scenes. The developers tried to make up for the omissions with the new character Rio, who works in the casino where she can be challenged for a round of black jack. she can eventually be unlocked as a playable character, but doesn't have much in terms of personality.

For lack of analogue buttons on the PSP, the idiot-proof simplistic controls had to be sacrificed. The same goes for the graphics, which look still nice for a PSP game but the character models are noticeable reduced in detail during the beach volleyball matches and mini games, where there is more than one person on screen at a time. However, the Dead or Alive Xtreme series was always a relaxed couch game, and it's flair doesn't lend itself too well to a handheld format. The music comprises only a handful of generic tunes instead of a full soundtrack of licensed songs, too.

Exchanging swimsuits has been made a lot easier, as your partner will now accepy anything proviced they like you enough. But the game is still just a huge grind with no substantial reward, and the rest is the same as before: play monotous beach volleyball matches, engage in the few forgettable mini games and creep up on the girls with your camera when they go sunbathing. Another DOA Beach Volleyball game no one really needs.

Dead or Alive Paradise (PSP)

Dead or Alive Paradise (PSP)

Dead or Alive Paradise (PSP)

Dead or Alive Paradise (PSP)

Dead or Alive Paradise (PSP)


Additional Screenshots


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Dead or Alive
Dead or Alive++

Page 3:
Dead or Alive 2
Dead or Alive Ultimate

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Dead or Alive 3
Dead or Alive 4

Page 5:
Dead or Alive Dimensions
Dead or Alive 5

Page 6:
Dead or Alive Xtreme

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