Dead or Alive 3 is an arcade style fighting game with 16 playable characters. All with their own unique traits and fighting styles. Some fighters are made for speed (Ayane & Jann Lee), others are made for brutality (Bayman), others are meant to throw around the competition (Tina & Bass) and some are meant to just be unique (Hayabusa & Brad Wong).
I am sure that we can all see that the graphics in this game are some of the best of the X-Box and that is saying a lot. There are amazing 17 character models, detailed things like flowing fabrics and whipping hair (yet forgotten things like shadows). At the time, Dead or Alive 3 really brought fighting games into the next generation.
The story takes a back seat and the fighting flows with four major buttons. Punch, kick, throw and block. By “flows” I mean when you attack, strike, kick or punch, your character does not always return to face your opponent, which sets it up for something different, like a roundhouse kick leaves your character with his or her back to the opponent, then you can have a series of other moves, like an elbow, another roundhouse, a different throw or by pressing forward it turns your fighter around. Basically it creates different and interesting dynamics.
There are not just traditional standing fighters, grapplers and submission fighters, but there are fighters like Brad Wong and Hyabusa that have far different techniques. Hayabusa can stand on his hands and fight with his feet, Brad Wong has a drunken sort of fighting that makes him very difficult to grapple and throw.
The game modes are : Story Mode, Time Attack Mode, Versus Mode, Survival Mode, Tag Battle Mode, Team Battle Mode, Sparring Mode and Watch Mode. Like most fighters, each fight is a best two out of three rounds. Losing all of your health will lose you the round.
Even with the great fighting system and fantastic visuals, it still feels like the game is missing something. Its an arcade fighter, so each fighter has his or her own ending video. Not the most spectacular video, spectacular looking yes, but interesting, no. There are no unlockables except for an extra costume or two for all of the fighters. Everything is already unlocked, except the endings. For a game you play at home, it just feels like, “What’s the point?”
The later released Dead Or Alive Ultimate is a far superior game, even if it is a rerelease of Dead or Alive 2.