- Publisher: Koei Tecmo
- Developer: Team Ninja
- Release Date 03/24/2016
- Console: PlayStation 4
- Marie Rose
- Helena Douglas
Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 has been the center of a lot of controversy leading up to its release. Fears that the game’s overly sexual depiction of its female cast would be met with protest in the West, developer Team Ninja decided to only make DOAX3 available in Asian markets and through import. I am a huge fan of the Dead or Alive fighting franchise but I have only played the original Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball back in the day on the original Xbox. Call me naive but I bought the original game thinking that at some point a spiked ball would hit one of the girls and then a brawl on the beach would ensue. Nope. I used to play volleyball myself about 1,000 years ago so I found the volleyball aspect of the game enjoyable but not much else. I decided to go ahead and import DOAX3 to see if I could find the answers to the following questions:
- Do the fears and controversy surrounding the game have any merit?
- Is the game any good?
I have now played the game almost daily since launch and it has taken me this long to write this review because I have been struggling with just exactly how i feel about DOAX3. Bear with me here.
First of all Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is not the pornographic destroyer of young teenage wrists that people assumed it would be. While Team Ninja did go out of their way to make the female body in-game look and move more like it would in real life thanks to their new Soft Engine, there is nothing that could be considered explicit here. There was more to get in an uproar over in the intro to Senran Kagura: Estival Versus than there is here. There are some barely there swimsuits in the game but aside from the occasional digital buttcrack there is no real nudity. Crisis averted.
Now let’s talk about the things that matter like the actual gameplay. Just like the previous games in this spin-off series, the girls of DOA (some of them anyway) take a vacation between tournaments on Zack’s Island. This time Zack is AWOL and you are in charge of making sure the girls are happy while on the island. More on how that works in a moment. The ladies spend 14 days on the island engaging in various activities:
- Beach Volleyball – just what it says
- Butt battle (yup)- standing on a platform in a pool back to back using only your butt to knock the other girl off
- Tug of War – traditional tug of war except played on a platform in a pool
- Pool Hopping – hopping from one end of a pool to the other across colored platforms
- Beach Flags – racing down the beach to be the first to grab a placed flag
- Rock Climbing – climbing a rock
- Casino – poker, blackjack and roulette
- Relaxing – aka chillin’
While that may seem like a lot, these activities can get really repetitive doing them over and over with each of the characters. You will most likely end up picking your favorite and just doing those. New to this entry is Owner Mode that allows you to be…let’s face it The Ultimate Creeper. In this mode you stop controlling your chosen character and can opt to take pictures of them engaged in the various activities or simply just stare at them. You can also buy them gifts, gamble in the casino and coax your chosen lady to…perform a striptease on a pole. Owner mode is also where you can purchase the rarest swimsuits for the ladies. Zack Dollars (the game’s currency) are harder to come by in Owner Mode and that is because the swimsuits in this mode can also be purchased with Premium Tickets using real cash in the PlayStation Store.
What it basically boils down to is you have 14 in-game days to increase your girls happiness through gift giving and activities. Maxing out that happiness unlocks your character’s ending along with an exclusive outfit. Everything is actually really fun but there isn’t much to it and that is why I am struggling with this. Fans have already imported or downloaded their copies (the Asian edition has English subtitles while the Japanese version does not) but I cannot recommend that anyone outside of die-hard fans go through the trouble of importing or creating a Japanese or Hong Kong PSN account just to download it. However if you are willing to take those steps you will find a game that is a bit of a guilty pleasure but lacks the depth to keep you interested for very long.
Final Score: 6.5/10
I leave you with what you have all been waiting for: Butt Battle