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Dead Or Alive Dimensions Review

Your next must have Nintendo 3DS fighter

Dead Or Alive Dimensions review: Tecmo Koei's ninjitsu-themed fighter stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Capcom's Super Street Fighter IV 3D as one of the best to grace any system.

Just like Street Fighter, Dead Or Alive: Dimensions is a 3D game that plays out primarily on a two-dimensional plane. There are just two buttons for basic attacks in DOA: Dimensions (in contrast to Street Fighter's finger-dislocating six). But don't mistake the game's relatively tight vocabulary for simplicity.

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As you string different combinations of button inputs together, new, screen-filling combos play out, with a gigantic array of different animations depending on the order in which you choose your attacks.

Likewise, each character has a variety of different throws that can be tagged onto the end of certain combos.

Battles flow with speed and elegance, dazzling the eyes with their balletic grace and challenging the mind to know when to select the most appropriate move for any given situation.

Move On Up

The 3DS's bottom screen is used to display your character's entire move list. What elevates this from being a simple instruction read-out is the way in which the list changes as you commence combos.

Start a string of hits against an opponent using a punch, for example, and the list instantly hides all of the character's moves that begin with a kick. As the combo progresses, the list reduces in step, showing all of the available options as you develop your attack.

This is an ingenious way in which to teach each character's moves to a newcomer. For those players who are feeling lazy, it's possible to tap one of the moves in the list to send the character into a flurry of action.

While this feels a bit like cheating, it's actually a more difficult way to play the game on anything but the easiest levels, as you're often so busy looking at the list of move options available that you stop concentrating on the fight itself.

See, you do need to block at opportune moments, as well as counter-attacking. If you do get knocked to the floor at any point, you'll need to get to your feet as quickly as possible by tapping Y. Alternatively, pressing the kick button will execute a rising attack, allowing you to cause some damage as you get to your feet.

Arena Tour

The expansive arenas in which battles take place are one of DOA's unique aspects. Work an opponent towards the edge of the dam on which you are battling, for example, and a well-aimed throw or roundhouse kick will send them tumbling down towards the ground below.

Not only will this deplete some of their health bar but, as your character leaps after them, the battle moves to a different area, which gives each battle a sense of journey and destination.

Using different environmental features against your opponent - such as electrocuted walls that will cause sparks to fly if touched - adds a further layer of strategy.

Loads Of Modes

The core Chronicle mode offers a sizeable campaign through which to play, one that's far more interesting and thoughtfully structured than in the majority of fighting games. It's also supported by a host of other options.

Arcade mode presents a series of 'courses', these being predetermined sequences of opponents through which to battle. Here, the emphasis is on speed, with the challenge being to see how quickly you can complete a run which provides a strong incentive to replay each course.

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11 comments so far...
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  1. bananaoomarang Thursday 19th May 2011 at 15:49

    oooo.... The 3DS fighter plot thickens.

  2. retrotoad Thursday 19th May 2011 at 16:01

    Looks like a very good game indeed, but I have always prefered Street Fighter as a fighting series (even if it's less technical). I'm still very tempted to get this, but I think I can hold out until next month. Maybe I'll get it one quiet month in the future.

  3. Joe_Crow Thursday 19th May 2011 at 16:15

    Getting it tomorrow :)

  4. Eragon Firesword Thursday 19th May 2011 at 16:56

    I'd like to try this - it seems like Soul Calibur minus the swords. I like Soul Calibur. Especially the one with Link in it. :D

  5. KrazyBean Thursday 19th May 2011 at 17:23

    Getting this baby tommorow! Can't wait :D

  6. imbusydoctorwho Thursday 19th May 2011 at 21:13

    Looks absolutely brilliant,I really really want this game I just hope Tesco will sell this.

  7. Sonic56 Friday 20th May 2011 at 00:37

    Can't wait to get this. It looks amazing. Really looking forward to kicking some1 of a building, jumping after them and delivering hell a whole other way :D :D

  8. ArkAngel04 Friday 20th May 2011 at 03:29

    I personaly love the DOA series to bits and this is looking to be one of the best yet
    cant wait to get my dirty paws on this!!
    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  9. TaleOfTheToaster Friday 20th May 2011 at 18:53

    All right! Early birthday present ordered! (Birthday's on June 19th, but Grandma understands that with only owning Super Monkey Ball 3D, I'm at a lack of things to do on the 3DS)

  10. BrokenGeode Monday 6th Jun 2011 at 16:27

    Probably not gonna get this one when I buy a 3DS but still looks like a fairly decent 2D fighter. I'm getting the Zelda OTS remake and SSIV3DE with a 3DS if your wondering.

  11. CoffeeGamer Tuesday 21st Jun 2011 at 07:21

    OMG! DOAD is awesome, and I have never played any street fighters or DOA games in the past, I am not going to bother getting SFIV3D, waste of money, next games the new zelda and asphalt

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