Dead or Alive Dimensions, developed by Team Ninja, is a fighting game that takes players on an extraordinary journey of battles and skill, where they will fight their way through the entire story of Dead or Alive one straight through to Dead or Alive 4 in single player mode. Although I’ve never been a huge fan of fighting games due to their repetitiveness and constant button bashing, I have found myself returning to this game with a sense of enthusiasm. My initial thoughts were that this would be ‘just another’ fighting game, where the characters have no personality and you kicked or punched your way through various enemy characters with no real direction.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Dead or Alive Dimensions is a truly absorbing game. Although based around fighting and the storyline being a bit sketchy in places, it provided enough entertainment for me to experience a fighting game on a level that I had not found in previous fighting games, such as Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition.
The game is structured around chronicle, arcade, survival, freeplay, and training modes. In Chronicles, you can experience the complete Dead or Alive saga. You start off playing as Sweet and sassy teenager Kasumi, who has been in the DOA series since 1996. You’ll also play as Ayane, Hayate, Hayabusa and Helena during that first chapter and there are 25 playable characters within the game. You’ll be looking for disappearing family members, trading kicks and punches with old friends from the past and finally unraveling the truth behind the DOATEC organization. The game doesn’t drop you in the deep end, but provides a brief insight into the fighting skills needed to combat your way through each character interaction battle. Although these proved to be useful, I did find them a little bit annoying as they inevitably distracted me from the ongoing storyline. I personally found the storyline confusing, leaving me feeling like I had been a little short changed throughout the game. I felt as though I was switching back and forth from character to character and location like a ninja on Red Bull. I enjoyed trying out each character, but found myself playing as Kasumi, Christie and Hayabusa the most. The fighting side is all about combining the right selection of combos, punches and kicks at the right time, whilst preparing for counter attacks. Special moves are displayed on screen, showing you which buttons to press and in what order to pull off some impressive moves and beat the hell out of your enemy. When I competed in battles, it was great to see enemy characters flying through glass, hurtling down stairs and being electrocuted in 3D. The environments and screens are rich and polished leaving a fullfiling experience.
In challenge mode you basically play against a non stop stream of opponents and see how long you can last for. If you want to keep your mind and thumbs plaster free, I suggest strongly you have plenty of uninterrupted time to play this mode, it’s difficult but fun. Arcade mode allows you to fight for the best time against a series of AI controlled components, which is a great to experience the different levels of play. The game offers plenty of multiplayer action over wifi, allowing you to test your skills against your friends. I recommend the training mode, if you wish to get in some practice before you begin the game, as it gives you a rough insight into what is expected of you. The game keeps a great record of your fight information, which lets you see how many wins you’ve accomplished in local, Internet or throwdown play and marks you with a grade. The matches section enables you to see how many times you’ve played and with which character and also the longest and current streak for each character and fastest time.
Throughout the game you’ll be able to unlock a selection of awesome figurines and be able to create epic dioramas. I’ve unlocked quite a lot of the characters and they look really impressive in 3D. You can even take 3D photos of them and adjust their background environment in the showcase. You can view all of the 3D photos you’ve taken in showcase in the 3D photo album, which is great for anyone that wants to build on their own personal collection. There are literally thousands of figurines to unlock, from which my favorite so far is Alpha-152, and it gives the game a good vibe along with a terrific investment value. The last point I want to mention about is Throwdown mode and this takes on fighters that you’ve encountered in StreetPass. If you’re wandering around with your Nintendo 3DS, you’ll be sent a character of a passerby to battle in the background, which is pretty epic.
My resounding thoughts of Dead or Alive Dimensions is that it offers a different style of fighting mixed together with the storyline of the main DOA characters from the series. There are plenty of modes to button bash in, tutorials to keep you on your toes and plenty of collectibles on offer. While the storyline is a little sporadic in places, the various characters to play, each with their own special moves and skills, leaves you with a good feeling of value. Once I had completed the game, I was taken back by one of the best cutscenes I’ve seen on a 3DS game and it’s certainly worth progressing through all five chapters to see that. DOA Dimensions has certainly given me a better insight into fighting games and I’ve come away feeling deeply satisfied.
Dead or Alive Dimensions shows a good level of 3D images throughout the game and within the ‘Showcase’ which features the figurines. Highly recommended.