MEMBER PROFILE FOR VicBond007

Total Reviews: 7
Average Overall Score Given: 9.57143 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 0

Reviews
Wreckless: The Yakuza Mission

Overall: Who loved Crazy Taxi? Your hand should be raised. I think everyone and their dog loved Crazy Taxi. Why? Because it was simple, and you could do what you wanted. You get in a car, you drive fast. People in the way? They'll move. Phone booth? Not any more. Feel like taking the express route by jumping off the second story of the parking deck? Who's gonna stop you! I think you get the point. Pure fast, simple fun.
Fast simple fun seems to be Wreckless' motto. You have a car, and you have a mission. This mission usually entails breaking stuff, namely, other cars. Crash into all the baddies and win. What's great about Wreckless is whatever your goal is, it always entails trashing something, so you're constantly blowing stuff up with your car, and looking good doing it. More on that in the Visual Appeal section.

Simply because of the title and theme of the game, some people may confuse this with Grand Theft Auto 3. While GTA3 is a great game, think of wreckless as the game that doesn't try to reward you for bad morals. There's no life consequences, it's just a hardcore police chase really. A really fast, varied, exploision laden police chase. Don't think just because you don't kill people, Wreckless isn't fun. Wreckless is a ton of fun and it appeals to me more than GTA3. Mindless violence isn't always a good thing, but I feel a little more comfortable commiting acts of simple mindless destruction instead ;-)

Gameplay: Gas, break, steer. Sounds simple, and from a controller oriented standpoint it is. The buttons do what they're suppose to do and there's no fancy combinations to learn so anyone can pick this game up off the shelves and get playing.
The missions vary in difficulty and goal. One mission I have to drive around down and smash up enemy cars (which are clearly labeled with an overhead arrow. Not like you're gonna swerve around cars that AREN'T marked, but at least you've got your goal clearly labeled for you ^.~) Another mission I have to run over 100 Dim Sum stands before my rival does. Still another I have to drive my way through an exploding tunnel to rescue my chief. And all while I'm doing this, I'm driving fast, and stuff is blowing up. It doesn't get any better.
What is missing from the game however is a lack of solid plot. The game has a beginning, but really no end. Why would a game about mindless automobile destruction bother with a plot? Play it and you'll see. The events are all set up with a brief description informing you of the events that led to your current situation, but the programmers really should have put in more cutscenes and such. Crazy Taxi didn't need a plot. Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions does.
Another feature that's lacking is multiplayer support. Granted Crazy Taxi didnt' have it either, but I can easily see a multiplayer system for Wreckless that would work. First person to smash up so many cars wins, or something to that extent. Making the game single player only is one of it's major downfalls. I don't want to have to give up my controller because my brother has been waiting 4 hours! And I certainly hate being the one waiting to play. Unfortunately that's exactly the reason my playtime is so low on this title. My brother simply wouldn't put it down, and neither could I once I got ahold of the controller! I wanna challenge him to an automobile deathmatch! Not wait my turn! Also, this game is so beautiful that you would want to have it lying around next time your PS2/Gamecube worshipping friends come over to show off just how much smarter you were by buying your Xbox. Sad part is, there's no real subtle way to do this if the game is single player only. I mean, what would you rather do? Say "Hey! This game looks a heck of a lot better than anything your system can play! Lemme show you!" Or would you rather ease into exposing your friend to the game by challenging him to a round or five. They'd be a believer in no time and the easy gameplay system begs for this type of setting since any newbie can pick it up in less than 10 minutes. And if you're really nice you can let them configure their controller ^.~


Graphics: After reading about this game on xboxaddict and ign.com, I was skeptical as to whether or not to rent this game. They all said that the graphics were drop dead gorgeous, but the screenshots were telling me otherwise. They said Tokyo was built as a massively detailed world, but I saw nothing that Crazy Taxi couldn't have done. They said the car models were to die for and the screenshots showed me what looked like car models just on par with everything else out there. A picture doesn't lie...does it?

So I rented Wreckless anyways because it's rare for my local blockbuster to have a hot new release on the shelf and after playing one level I had to stop, gasp for breath, and then ask myself:
Was I just playing a digital video?"

I've seen live 3d evolve through the years, but never have I actually been fooled by a game. I was seriously convinced that the entire world was some complex 3d panoramic interactive video. Lighting was insanely realistic and you could see it roll off the sleek curves of your hot ride. The level had to have been 10 times more immersive as the screenshots showed, and something that most screenshots were missing, EXPLOSIONS. Sweet mother of all things holy I have never seen things blow up so realistically being rendered on the fly! The explosions seem to be generated by some particle system meaning the explosions actually have object geometry, unlike those in the Twisted Metal series which are simply animations mapped to flat polyons. Those blur as you get closer and look funny when you drive around them and see them from the same perspective. In wreckless, you can get as close as you want and the explosions still look good. This is great, because when I'm driving, I blow up a LOT of stuff.

The levels are impressively detailed and varied. As you play, you'll hit different areas of Tokyo. I can't say for sure whether or not it's an accurate representation, and quite frankly I don't care. It's got roads for me to drive on, and stuff for me to blow up. Therefore, I am happy :-)

The FMVs however are far and few between. They look decent, work seamlessly with the lead-in to the level, and are amusing. Too bad the game is lacking FMVs. However, while the model quality in the pre-rendered FMVs are very nice, the overall video is pixellated on my HDTV, leading me to believe the video was compressed with Playstation standards (320x234). The XBox has built in DVD decoding capabilities, and Bink video has also been licensed to the XBox, so I don't see why the FMVs had to be rendered in pixel-vision.

Audio: Kickin' tunes are something that I really need in a game. Music can have a big influence over our actions. How many of us have heard a fast song while driving and wanted to speed up? Don't look at me like that! I said "want to" not actually commit a fellony! ;)

Nonetheless, creepy games have creepy music, RPGs have slow moody music, and fighters have techno music. What kind of music would be fitting for this game? Could the totally kick-butt Crazy Taxi speed-rock music work? Not really. All that music had a sunny kind of feel, to match the game. Tokyo's pretty dark and high tech, so the programmers opted to give Wreckless a plethora of kickin' techno tunes. A automobile fighter? Oh yeah. That sums up this game perfectly! =)

So the background music works, how do the rest of the sounds fare? Amazing, that's how. Each car's engine is unique and gotta love those smashing sounds. I've sat through a lot of "when cars attack" films in driver's ed. back in the day and when I smack into a car in Wreckless, it sounds more realistic than, well, the real thing. You can hear every little shard of glass fly around you, as well as an Earth-shatterring kaboom to accompany it if you really smacked a car hard. Running over stuff on the streets is acoustic heaven. Instead of cancelling out the previous effect, the effects just keep piling up on top of each other adding to the chaos. Mmmm, carnage...
The vocals in the game are acceptable, but too thin. The chief that gives you orders comes through on the crackly mic, but sometimes he's just too hard to even understand. The girls in the first mission set speak clearly and lively, they just don't speak enough. A "Get out of the way!" or a "move it! Coming through!" every now and then mid-game wouldn't have hurt. Hey, it sure worked for Crazy Taxi. I still get a kick outta that priest telling me I'm one helluva driver =D

How's the Dolby Digital you ask? It's there, and it works. After plowing over a car and driving too fast to stop I can still hear the car finish exploding as it fades from in front of me to behind me, perfectly naturally. Not that I'd really know what an exploding car should sound like behind me...but still. Sounds good to me.

Suggestions: Multiplayer support. The lack of multiplayer support took the mega-anticipated Civ3 PC game and put it on the bargain shelf within 3 weeks. I should know. I bought it for $15 3 weeks later ;-) Nowadays, nobody wants to be stuck at home playing with themselves, so for the love of God, build some multiplayer support!

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Genma Onimusha

Overall: How to phrase this without ruining things I'll cover in later headings...hmmm...

Genma Onimusha is a port of the best selling Playstation2 title of the same name. But this goes beyond a simple console port. This is a total game rehash. Having played Onimusha on the Playstation2 for a limited amount of time, I've noticed quite a few differences, most of them for the better.

Capcom produced this title, and if there's two things Capcom knows well it's survival/horror (Resident Evil) and beating people up (Marvel vs. Capcom series, among SO many others). Genma Onimusha combines the two to provide the perfect balance of action and survival/horror, making a very entertaining single player game that is definately good for a renting, or, if you don't have much time to be playing games during the week, buy it. It's worth your hard earned $50. It's not a great way to show off the X-Box's power, but it's still one hell of a fun game.

Gameplay: The first really big difference I noticed from the original Ps2 version is the addition of a "charge up attack." You hold the attack button and your weapon begins to glow. The longer you hold it, the more it glows. After it reaches it's third power level you can unleash a much stronger attack than usual that's very useful for clearing out big enemies.
Another big addition to the XBox port is the added sidequest for the Ogre armor. Played the game but don't know what I'm talking about? That's probably because you've been reading the PS2 walkthrough ;-) This sidequest is long, but rewarding, and doesn't feel like something extra tacked onto the game. It feels natural, and had I not known it wasn't in the PS2 version to begin with, I certainly would have thought that it was part of the original game. This sidequest took me a good 4 or 5 extra hours to complete, adding more total playtime to the game. The more you play, the better vaule it is for your money right? The guys at Capcom sure know this and went that extra distance to add more stuff to their port.
The actual game itself feels just like a Resident Evil type of game. Backgrounds are pre-redered, but unlike other RE games, these backgrounds are animated. Simple, but it makes a big difference. The camera angles are dramatic without ever becoming awekward. The one big exception that sets Genma Onimusha apart from Resident Evil is that you use a sword and not a gun. This means you don't have to worry about conserving your ammo and you can, and are absolutely encouraged to beat the snot out of everything that stands in your way. This is definately a change for the better since I hate having to run down streets and through halways in RE and NOT shoot things, simply because I know I have to save my ammo.
When enemies die in Genma Onimusha their souls hover around which you must syphon into your magic gauntlet. Once you have enough, you can exchange them for weapon and item upgrades at save points. At the same time, enemies can absorb souls and go berserk, so you have to be fast. This adds a great addition to the battle system and gives you more reason to beat everything up, since later in the game you'll definately need the enhanced power.
Play control in Onimusha is good. The default button settings are just fine. You play with the analog pad, 5 of the 6 main buttons, and the two shoulder triggers.
The puzzle element found in RE style games is alive and well in Genma Onimusha as well. I love solving puzzles after a good killing, and then going back to kill more baddies. The swapping of mental states really helps make the game that much easier to endure.
The game is short however. I played it for about 15 hours, completing every sidequest. Still, no Xbox gamer with a free weekend should go without renting Genma Onimusha, especially if they're the only one who uses the XBox. It's just too much fun.

Graphics: Capcom knows environments. The world that you battle through is expansive, and all connected. Get a key, open a door, move on, but you still have to come back to do other things. Navigating through the levels is made easy by having every "board" very different looking. The map option is pretty useless. I never use it. I rely on my memory and the vast varying environments aid in that.
The backgrounds are pre-rendered, animated, and !&%$@#* good looking. The XBox version of Genma Onimusha uses Bink video technology, which allows for close to DVD quality video to be compressed much smaller. More room on the disc for those extra enhancements. They're really sweet backgrounds which range from destroyed buildings, lavish forests, and a hellacious underworld, all with a fine attention to detail.
Character and enemy models are well detailed as well. I'm not sure if they're using the 480p HDTV rendering feature, but they sure look like it. Well textured and very complex models that move realistically add to the immersive feel of the game. Light falls off of these models very realistically, and there are plenty of moving lights in the game since every soul glows and every hit creates a spark.
The camera angles help add to a visually stimulating experience, although some angles make combat difficult as you skip between the two.
The animation is smooth. Super smooth. I never noticed a frame drop, even with 6 or so enemies on the screen. This means I can kick butt and never stall out. The FMVs are very nice. Most of the cutscenes are engine rendered in-game movies, but they're beyond any engine rendered cutscenes I've seen since the characters all move their lips when they talk. However, if you play the game in english, the sync will naturally be off since the characters were all speaking japanese in the original version. I opted to play the game in Japanese simply to get the intended experience.

Audio: Dolby 5.1 is where it's at with the XBox and I'm glad to see so many game designers taking full advantage of it. Now I can creep myself out even more as I can HEAR monsters walking up behind me, and things breaking and dying all around me in perfectly crystal clear sound.

The background music is very fitting for the game. Old Kabuki style music, mixed with Resident Evil style drama chord BGMs that never overpower the happenings in the game, unless of course the designers wanted to, such as when a monster breaks down a door or something and scares the bejeezus out of you. Then you get a delightful power chord followed by some good high energy fight music. Then when everything's good and dead the music fades, not cuts, but FADES into the calmer BGM again. Nice touch. Totaly seamless.

Sound effects are great. An enemy blocks, you get a clang of metal. He blocks with a wooden shield, it's metal on wood. He gets hit, well, you'll know when you hit something. Especially when you stab an enemy on the ground. You can almost hear the bones crunch under the pressure of the blade as you tear into the enemy's demonic flesh. Graphic? Oh you betcha. Survival horror games aren't exactly all about being censored so if you're killing something, it's gonna sound like it.

The game comes with two audio tracks. One in english, and one in Japanese. Both are in stereo and both are well done. They're well recorded and well acted on a whole. I just wish they could have carried over the dialogue to the FMVs and made them bilingual, and added some audio. The XBox has DVD playback capabilities and game designers should !&%$@#* well take advantage of them. Speaking of FMVs, it sounds like the audio in the FMVs was converted to Dolby 5.1 as well. It's very apparent that stuff is going on in the rear channels, especially in the opening cinematic.


Suggestions: Stretch it out a little more, or give me a good reason to play through the game again once I beat it.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Halo: Combat Evolved

Overall: OK, like ya'll need ANOTHER Halo review like I need a Gamecube (Meaning you guys sure as heck don't need another Halo review ^.~) but you know what? I'm poor so I don't get to play too many games, so I'm gonna review whatever I dang well please!

Actually I don't know why I'm writing a review for Halo. More than that, why are you READING a review for Halo? If you don't have this game, go buy it, then come back and read it so that you can feel all the much better about your purchasing decission making skills.

If you don't own it, you simply have no idea just how good this game is.

It's another first person shooter that promises to "redfeine the genre." Right. We've heard that enough times, and how often has it been true? It wouldn't take very long to count the number of times this catch phrase were true that's for sure. Halo is THE exception. From the second you start this game you realize that you're in for one helluva trip. Hands down, this is the game that you SHOULDN'T be in bidding wars for on ebay. It's not worth the wait. Run out, steal your parents' car if you have to, and buy this game. It's money well spent, and it'll make your PS2 lovin' friends jealous, and there's no better feeling than being able to hike up your pants and state proudly "I HAVE HALO". OK, so maybe I get a little TOO much into my games, but I was born and raised with video games, and I've gone through the good and the bad. There are some games I use for drink coasters, some I've sold, and some I've kept. Halo is the game that I want to be BURIED WITH.

Gameplay: How many times have we read a review of a game that said it "felt like you were in a movie" only to find out that the only cniematic drama the game offers is a few letterboxed cutscenes? The answer: Countless. Enough about the other stuff and let's talk about Halo. Halo DOES feel like you're in a film.

From the second you start off you're "awakened" into a tutorial of gameplay. However, this tutorial is seamlessly integrated into the main story itself. Your HUD is explained as you go through a series of suit diagnostics, but then the ship is invaded by aliens and you're told to "Get to the bridge". From there, your other controls are explained to you as you need them, such as how to use your weapons, or how to use grenades.

Now I've played a lot of FPS games and a recent trend is having BOTs (computer controlled players) playing on your side blasting enemies along with you. However I was always disappointed in the abilities of these BOTs. Their existance in these games always seemed pointless because they were always engaged in one of two situations. The first being the BOTs will shoot at the enemies, but their shots are about as dangerous as a rather brutal sneeze, and I have yet to hurt anyone with a snot-rocket. The other situation I've noticed is that the BOTs will actually deal a decent amount of damage, but they'll only fire like, once every ten seconds. Now they're packing the same weapon as me and you're saying they can't shoot a little faster?!

BOTs in Halo are revolutionary. Instead of supplimenting your game, they are more or less necessary. When you get a squad of marines, it's because you're about to face a rush of enemies. These marines shoot fast, shoot hard, and die easy, JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES! I know it may not seem like that brilliant of a concept on the surface, I mean dude, teamates are THERE to help you, but considering that it's never been done successfully before, this is a big leap forward.

Play control, as with all FPS games on the console, feels a bit awekward. Call me spoiled but when I play a first person shooter I need my WASD keys, a 5 button mouse, and so many hotkeys that'd take me an hour to reprogram them all. Halo doesn't have a true custom controller config, but it does have a variety of layouts. One is where one joystick moves forward, backwards, and turns, while the other does looking and strafing. A second is where one joystick controls walking and strafing, and one controls the heading (looking and turning). The other two are a mixture of the two. Naturally, one would have to spend some time experimenting to find the setup that feels best.

Another great feature is the fact that controller config, player name, and suit color are all saved under your name, so if you like one controller style, your buddy likes another, you never have to worry about having the "weird" controller should you switch controllers for whatever reason.

Graphics: SEXY. There's good reason Halo wasn't released on any other systems. It's simply too demanding on the hardware. When you run, you kick up dirt and leave footprints. Character textures are incredibly detailed and the polygon count looks very high, a shocker for a FPS game where a plethora of enemies and gunfire is on the screen at one time. When you're on a ship or in a bunker, lights flicker and reflect off the walls and your gun. The light falloff on your weapon isn't a crappy vector map or palatte change either, it's real light, and it's really reflecting. Step outside on the halo and look up. If you can see far enough off into the difference, you'll see the rest of the halo, the halo that you're standing on, extending out in front and over top of you. It's just a beautiful detail that lets you know just how big the world you're on is. The game never feels restrictive in it's surroundings. In early games like Quake you were plopped into a series of closed rooms. This was the FPS game keeping the "level" feel and it was a bad idea. Halo flows. If you're gonna go into a building, it's on your own accord. Granted it's on the beaten path, but at least you've got that transition.

One really great effect I liked is that of the night vision on the sniper rifle. It's green, it's staticy, and life-forms glow white, just like they should.

The light given off by your flashlight is also impressively realistic. Instead of just making the flashlight a spotlight and moving on, the game designers put an alpha map of sorts on it so it casts those shadowy rings caused by the reflection of the filiment inside a flashlight. A little touch, but it adds a lot to the realism.

I'm not certain, but it appears that Halo supports the 480p option on HDTVs. It does not however support widescreen play, which is a feature I would have loved to see, and it's losing points because of that.

Audio: Surround sound in first person shooters is a godsend. I don't know how I lived before 5.1. Shots would be fired to the left of me, but "to the left" is a pretty broad area! 180 degrees of looking to do! Supporting 5.1 narrows that gap by giving much more precise directional audio.

If you don't have l33t speakers then you'll be happy to know that Halo still sounds great. The background music is amazing. Simply amazing. I really hope they make a soundtrack available sometime. Sound effects are your standard fare. Weapons fire, weapons make noise. There's not much one can do to improve on this system. Halo does however deliver great voice acting, both during cutscenes and in the field. Marines ask for cover, and they yell "over here!" When they've found other enemies. Taking these audio cues makes it just that much easier to find a good place to hide and return fire if an enemy is sneaking up behind you. some of the marine comments are just plain hillarious and simply have to be heard in action.

The enemies don't get the short end of the stick either. Just because they're aliens doesn't mean their vocabulary has to be limited to grunts and screams. OK, this is usually the case, mainly because most of your enemies are big hulking masses of cannon fodder( albeit very intelligent big hulking masses of cannon fodder) but the smaller enemies actually have an english vocabulary and when they see you, exclaim "They're here!" to alert their compatriots of your presence. Once again, their compatriots, hidden off screen, are the very intelligent hulking masses of cannon fodder.

Suggestions: Add widescreen support and allow for totally free custom button configurations.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Dead or Alive 3

Overall: The most fascinating display of the X-Box's power to date. Visuals are leaps and bounds beyond those of DOA2 Hardcore and DOA3 takes full advantage of the X-Box's high definition capabilities. A move system that anyone can pick up on paired with interesting characters, great music and breathtaking stages is a recipe for success in my book.

Gameplay: Many people criticize DOA3 of being too shallow. These are the people who prefer Mortal Kombat and would rather spend most of their time jittering all over the screen trying to throw special long range moves. The Dead or Alive series, much like Virtua Fighter, tries to do away with the infinately cheap special move system created in so many other games. One fight against the final boss, and you'll be reminded of just how cheap projectiles really are, especially when you can't jump 40 feet in the air to dodge them. Instead DOA capitalizes on combos and various hand to hand moves performed with basic button combinations coupled with presses of the directional keypad. While many will attempt to beat each other in by throwing 4 punches in rapid succession, anyone who invests the time to learn the deep intracacies of the fighting engine will be able to counter those attacks every time. I've spent hours in the training mode learning all sorts of combos, what their effects are, and where they hit. Every character is different, and there are plenty of characters to learn. The throwing system has been tweaked up to increase the chances of it working in battle, which I like. Punches and kicks sure are nice when you know what you're doing but some of the throws, especially the combo throws are amazing to watch.

As for the difficulty of the game, yes, it is easy to beat. But 'beat' and 'master' are two very different words that are very frequently confused with each other. With so many moves to throw, so long as you stay varied the computer will never learn your style so this is why it's easy. The last boss however is a very different type of fighter, although anyone with skill can beat him easily. His projectile attacks are all avoidable and his attacks come in waves that can be reversed by anyone with some measureable degree of skill.

The many modes of DOA3 make it very fun to play. Aside from the single player story mode you get time attack where your goal is to blast through 8 fighters as fast as you can. Dead or Alive 3 also features the Tag Battle mode not dissimilar to Tekken Tag's format, only BOTH opponents must be defeated. There's also Survival mode which has become pretty standard in such games, where you try to beat as many characters as you can in rapid succession( you do get SOME life back at the end of the round so it's quite fair. Experts should be able to clean up about 20 guys. After that, all bets are off ^.~) There's also a new team battle mode where you pick 1-5 characters and you fight one on one until all the characters on a player's team are gone. This is a great way to introduce some variety to the game, and it's pretty fun to watch. There's also a training mode, and while it does tell you most of your moves and combos, it would be nice if we were told some more advanced combos, like those given to us in Tekken 3's training mode. Button config needs some work, but a quick trip to the custom menu fixes it

Graphics: Abso-friggin-lutely amazing graphics. The opening animation is a top notch demonstration of the game's in-game rendering power. Lights come from multiple sources at once, which is a feature very costly in terms of redering time, but DOA3 blasts ahead at an incredible framerate. Character models are the most realistic I've ever seen. Noses are round, eyes blink, hair flows, but the most amazingly realistic feature that DOA3 boasts is when plyable objects, such as belt straps and hair, actually wrap and deform around other objects. Hair will rest on characters' shoulders and slide off it realistically.

The game also features the 640p display mode which is for HDTV sets capable of displaying a progressive image. I am fortunate enough to have such a set and the difference is amazing. The resolution, in a basic sense, is doubled making the characters look just that much sharper.

Backgrounds go way beyond anything that even the highly praised Tekken series has been able to create. Instead of fighting on flat surfaces with objects way off in the distance, players are able to move about freely and interact with anything in the level. A tree standing on a beach makes an excellent makeshift wall to ram your opponent into, ice pillars rising up from the floor shatter upon contact, and candlesticks that actually cast light can be knocked over. Probably the most fantasic feature about the Dead or Alive series is the ability to knock your opponent over the edges of cliffs, or through windows, onto levels below. This is leaps and bounds beyond the MK uppercut system since it's not changing arenas, just expanding them. Shattered glass breaks into tons of tiny fragments and maintains it's transparency, and explosions are to die for (pun intended). Realtime reflections are also a big part in booting the games realism and awe factor. In one level, an ice cave, players will reflect onto the ground with no noticable drop in framerate. When fighting on a street, a puddle of water will not only reflect part of the character, but deform it as well when someone steps in it, creating life-like ripples and a very nice splash effect.

The ending cut scenes are what endings are supposed to be. Tekken endings are typically 30 seconds, while DOA3 endings are 80-110 seconds a piece. The animation quality is superb, some of it on par with Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. No expense was spare in making the cutcenes, and the cutscenes can be displayed in 16:9 format for those of us who have High Definition widescreen televisions.

One other note on visual appeal is the final boss battle. While disorienting, the entire fight is rendered with a motion blur of what appears to be 500% that of normal simulated blur. The XBox does this and STILL renders extremely smooth. It looks very cool and gives the effect that the programmers were trying to create. It will be a while before any game can look this good.

Audio: It's your typical fighting game music. to satisfy the self-centered Americans who demand english in their games, Tecmo turned to bands such as Aerosmith to produce parts of the soundtrack. I'm a big fan of Aerosmith but it's VERY obvious that they're trying to make the music stick out, which is the totally wrong approach. Music should compliment a game, not be a show on it's own. The opening title BGM is good, but it's nowhere on par with that of DOA2.

Each character has his or her own background track, which is a cool feature lost in other games like Mortal Kombat. While none are quite memorable, they compliment each fighter nicely and don't stand out as much as the Aerosmith intro. Quite possibly the best BGM in the game would be Helena's track, which I believe is called 'Blood Ties'. A very dramatic piece that's fun to fight to.

Once again Dead or Alive 3 takes full advantage of the XBox's high definition support by supporting Dolby Digital 5.1, for those of us who have a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound receiver. Not long ago I remember playing games on a small TV with one speaker. Those days are long gone and now companies are trying to further immerse the player into the game by taking advantage of home theater hardware. I was thoroughly satisfied when I turned my back to a waterfall and heard it behind me. 3d positioning is very well done and doesn't make an effort to stand out in the sense of "hey! 3d sound!" Object sounds pan naturally and the audio quality on a whole is top notch. Very clear, never bland. Sound effects change depending on what you land on, or how you hit.

Each character has their own distinctive voice, not your typical Mortal Kombat generic sound banked voices either. Characters yell and grunt in a voice unique to themselves, and fortunately it seems like most of the voice actors from previous DOA games stuck around to do their characters for DOA3. Yes they are all in Japanese. The decission to not dub was a wise one. Characters' mouths move when they speak and their mouth shapes match the sounds they're producing. To dub it would make the animation look flawed and inaccurate if the characters weren't 'speaking' in sync with their voices. Watch a Godzilla film and you'll be glad Team Ninja decided to subtitle the game instead.

Suggestions: If there's one thing this game is lacking it's unlockable stuff. Characters only have 2 costumes a piece, except for a few choice 3 which can be unlocked. There is one unlockable character in the game and unlike Bayman from DOA2, This character is completely unquite in terms of his moves, not a clone of another character in the game. An option for english dubbing would be nice too to satisfy all the lazy people who refuse to read subtitles.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10

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Xbox Playdates Canada July, 2018 playdate info.
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