Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 Preview

We get our hands on Tecmo's upcoming follow-up to Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and get more than we bargained for.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 is the upcoming Xbox 360 sequel to Tecmo's Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball for the original Xbox. However, as evidenced by the game's title, the second entry in this new branch of the DOA family tree is set to offer a more diverse experience than its predecessor. While you'll still play beach volleyball, DOAX2 is serving up a host of mostly fast-paced games that offer breezy fun. We had the chance to spend some quality time with a work-in-progress version of the upcoming game recently and were pleasantly surprised at what the game is evolving into: a minigame collection.

DOAX2 boasts seven minigames and a plentiful supply of flesh.

Before we go over the various minigames we played, we'll need to fill you in on the game's epic story of love, loss, and betrayal--well, not really. Come on, people, this is a pack of chicks in bikinis frolicking around--does there have to be a story? Well, in fact there is a bit of narrative to provide a thread for the vacation. When last we saw the ladies of DOA, they were all wrapping up their unfinished business with the evil DOATEC (Dead or Alive Tournament Committee) corporation. Helen in particular was going through a rough patch, what with being stuck in a burning building and all.

The work-in-progress version let us try out six of the seven minigames set to be in the game. The minigames will pop up in two ways, either as part of the vacation mode, which will find you engaging in a variety of activities with your fellow ladies, or as quick stand-alone games you can play independent of vacation mode. The demo featured beach volleyball, marine race, pool hopping, butt battle, beach flags, and tug-of-war, as well as an unlockable pictorial mode that will require a hefty amount of dedication to open up.

Beach volleyball is a returning sport that should be familiar to fans of the original game. The version we played dropped us into a match set up between some cabanas and the ocean. We were put in control of everyone's favorite ninja, Kasumi, and paired up with Nubian princess Lisa to take on Kokoro and Ayane. As in the original game, DOAX2's volleyball is all about carefully timed button presses and positioning. However, while the original game was pretty brutal, DOAX2's volleyball has a tighter feel to it. The controls already felt a bit better than those in the original game. The basic scheme lets you move your character with the left analog stick, pass or set to your teammate with B, return the ball and spike with A, and change your formation with the right analog stick. A single press on A lets you do an overhand serve. Pressing the A button while the left analog is pushed right lets you do a jump serve, while holding left and pressing A will let you do an underhand serve. When receiving the ball you'll rely on the B button--a single press lets you do a normal pass, and holding it down lets you set an attack.

Sometimes the women do more than just strut around in their bikinis. Sometimes.

Marine race is a new Jet Ski mode that feels like equal parts Wave Race and Splashdown. The demo dropped us into a five-woman race to be the first to complete two laps around Zack Island. The race isn't as straightforward as it sounds, as you'll need to make your way through a series of markers set inside the course. By doing so you'll be able to earn a precious speed boost, which is key to winning. You'll earn your boost by passing through a set number of markers; the catch is that if you miss one, your tally clears, so you'll need to be precise. Fortunately, the control scheme stays pretty accessible, although performing actions while racing takes some getting used to. You'll control your craft with the left analog stick and accelerate with the A button. The left and right triggers will let you bank, which will help you take some of the tight turns necessary to get through the course. Once you get the hang of things and get the urge to show off some, you'll be able to perform different actions that will increase the number of points you earn over the course of the race. You'll be able to change your riding style by holding a direction on the analog stick and pressing the X button. Holding down and X lets you perform a back-foot stance, right and X is a back ride, and up and X is the "cowboy." You'll hold the pose for as long as you keep the button pressed. The benefit of holding the pose is that you'll earn more points as you race. You can also earn points by performing actions off of jumps. The demo let us do two--a barrel roll by pushing the analog stick while we were in the air, and a backflip by pushing the stick down.

The remaining games were much more casual and favored pick-up-and-play action in the manner of Mario Party. Pool hopping is a jaunt across a pool by hopping from different floating cushions. The control is a simple one-button system that lets you do short and long jumps depending on how long you hold down the button. As with volleyball, timing is key to success in the race--the computer-controlled players did not falter. Though the game is deceptively simple, there's an added challenge for those eager to test their skills. Each of the cushions is color-coded to match the Xbox 360's face buttons. If you're fast, you can use the appropriate button as you race and earn bonus points.

Butt battle is a mighty test of skill that requires you to knock your opponent off the floating platform the two of you are currently occupying. Now, while fans of such reality TV shows as Flavor of Love would think the most obvious way to go about winning would be to start throwing down and pulling hair, the game takes a more subtle approach. You'll simply haul back and "bump" your opponent with your bikini-clad buttocks until you edge your opponent off the platform. The game's control rests solely with the left analog stick, which lets you move and attack. Tapping right on the stick triggers a weak attack, while a left-to-right motion unleashes a strong attack. Pushing left lets you dodge incoming butt attacks, while pushing up or down lets you sidestep. It's all very easy to do and more than a touch goofy, but it's also pretty fun.

We really should've captured more screenshots showing actual gameplay.

Beach flags is a Track-and-Field-style race to nab a flag before your opponent does. The race starts with both you and your opponent on your stomachs. When you get the cue to start, you'll have to mash on the A button repeatedly. When you get close to the flag, you can hit B and jump for it. The move is perfect for pulling off a dramatic upset if your opponent is ahead. It's all a bit absurd, but it somehow manages to be pretty addictive.

Lastly, tug-of-war is another test of skill, with you and your opponent facing off on floating platforms. As in real-life tug-of-war, your goal is to pull your foe toward you. In the case of DOAX2's version of tug-of-war, this means yanking your foe into the water. Your main control revolves around using the analog stick to pull. Pushing the stick left pulls the rope, while pushing it right feints to throw off your opponent. In the instances when you're about to lose your balance and take a plunge, you can mash on the A button to regain your balance.

The last element we were able to try was the virtual pictorial mode. The unlockable mode will let you string together different provocative clips of the 10 ladies and watch them. The work-in-progress version of the mode featured a seven-slot strip you could put clips into. Once you've arranged everything properly, you can just sit back and watch the gals perform such everyday actions as riding an inflatable killer whale bareback, straddling enormous tree stumps, or splashing around in the pool. Absurd? Yes. Creepy? A little bit. Funny? In an absurd and creepy way, yes, very.

Now while the various mingames and pictorial mode let us get a sense of what to expect when playing the game, there's a lot that we didn't see but were able to get more information on. The seventh minigame is the slide game seen in the game trailer that finds the lovely ladies heading down a watery sluice. The adventure mode, which is set to debut in a few weeks at the Tokyo Game Show, will feature the same gameplay mechanics as the first game, and find you buying gifts and trying to bond with your fellow island dwellers. You'll find a comparable number of bathing suits and items to collect as in the original game. The big difference will be a greater amount of variety for the assorted gear. The game's balance is being tweaked and, as a result, will offer a more rewarding experience for those who were disappointed by the original DOAX. Independent of the adventure mode, you'll find a casino with a range of card games to try out just like in the original game. The bigger deal for many, however, will likely be the online mode, which will borrow elements from DOA4. Basically you'll be able to go online and take on people in volleyball and Jet Ski matches. The mode will use a streamlined version of the lobby system seen in DOA4 and will cast you as the animal avatar of your choice in an island lobby. The game's achievements, for those wondering, appear to revolve around collecting the plethora of bathing suits in the game.

The game's visuals are looking really fit…erm, sharp.

The visuals are looking quite sharp thanks to a modified version of the DOA4 engine. The character models are on par with DOA4's, although they're now a good deal bouncier than they were in the fighter. The game's producer, Tomonobu Itagaki, pointed out that due to the fact that this year is DOA's 10th birthday, DOAX2 is going back to the franchise's bouncy roots. Therefore, you can plan on bounce-age of the highest order. The environments we saw looked great and featured a high level of detail. However, the game also features a robust new addition in the form of the tech behind the Jet Ski portion of the adventure. The water sequences merit mention for their stylized water, which is flashy and gorgeous. The frame rate moved along pretty well, though there were some moments of inconsistency.

The audio provided just the kind of accompaniment you'd expect from a DOAX game. The ladies are all in fine voice as they cheer, cry, or screech their way through the various games. The tunes we heard to accompany the sassy action were catchy and well suited for the goofy action.

Based on what we've played so far, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 is shaping up to be a more robust follow-up to its predecessor. The minigames are fun and are funny to watch. The one interesting thing to note is that Tecmo may well find itself in the same position it was in when the original Dead or Alive shipped 10 years ago--despite the fact that the game was a solid fighter, people fixated on the breast action. While DOAX2 isn't in the same league as the first fighter in the series, it is still a solid game that has the potential to be very fun. We'll be anxious to see more of the game, especially the adventure mode, in the coming weeks. Look for more soon.

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115 comments
gta11
gta11

Naaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh Mortal Kombat For Me Thanks.

L1qu1dSword
L1qu1dSword

Umm Shenmue may be the best Dreamcast game...but Xbox? You guys are nuts. I can name at least five better games.

deejaye82
deejaye82

shenmue_18 said "Guy below me doesn't know hat he's saying.Poor moron." - - - LOL, Check your English before you call someone a moron =)

luisnunezjr
luisnunezjr

I played the first one but never figured out the point to it or how to beat it....i guess this is going to be more of the same, not my type of game i guess. Maybe in my prepubecent years, but definitely not now.

wlcm2atl
wlcm2atl

w00t! virtual boobs =) ohh wait i have a girlfriend... huh guess i dont need this game ok really how many of u r getting this game for the great gameplay and soundtrack???

shenmue_18
shenmue_18

Guy below me doesn't know hat he's saying.Poor moron. V V V V V V V V

deejaye82
deejaye82

Anyone who thinks Shenmue 2 is the best XBOX game has some issues and can not be taken seriously............

Seankichu
Seankichu

why is it embarrasing to be caught playing? Are you embarrased someone might catch on that you find hot women attractive? I'd be more embarrased if someone caught me playing The Getaway or something equally ****

xtrememorph
xtrememorph

cute girls, fun, sexy bikini, nice sound track, i could see myself enjoying on weekends. I had tons of fun with the 1st one, by the look of it this gonna be more fun. With wave racer included. Only part just hope they can pump up a bit more polygons and texture. Give the girls a more realistic look

frankfurter209
frankfurter209

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

frankfurter209
frankfurter209

What I don't like about this game is that its using up Team Ninja's time and talent and it makes me wait longer for Ninja Gaiden 2. Dammit if Ninja Gaiden Black isn't one of the best games on Xbox. Not the best though, that honor is for Shenmue 2.

txmethod
txmethod

honestly, a lot of the appeal for this game is the breasts. there's nothing wrong with that.

LsTr_Of_SmG
LsTr_Of_SmG

I actually liked the first game, mind you I am a bit sad and enjoy volleyball, and the first game was really the only volleyball game to capture the simplicity yet excitement of volleyball. It's neither here nor there that excited 12 year olds get off on it, it was still an enjoyable game. Plus, at least said 12 year olds are getting SOMETHING out of it. Stop acting like retards and focus on the game not the breasts. (However difficult this may be to some of you idiots.)

Seankichu
Seankichu

im not 12, im 22, and i happen to enjoy PLAYING the first game. It just so happens to have some nice eye candy to sweeten the deal ;) and who are you to make such baseless assumptions about who will, or should, buy the game just because you think the game is cheap or shallow looking. It's probably better for anyone with this frame of mind to not post at all.

goose_uk
goose_uk

Why are they even discussing the supposed 'gameplay' here, its pretty obvious the 12 year old kids who are buying this aren't buying it to actually play it.

wildsoul0509
wildsoul0509

you're right r_win this is a game site. so let's concentrate on the games... the girls can wait (one just said me NO to be mi girlfriend, but let's the drama out and concentrate on the videogames)

Kupo03
Kupo03

"can't believe how many ways "i can't get a real girl" was said in the posts. sad." Actually, I can. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy this game. You are just an ignorant idiot.

viewtiful_joe99
viewtiful_joe99

Now I understand that "Games as Porn" bill that was getting talked about... >_>

Seankichu
Seankichu

I play the DOA fighting games regularly. I think that for 3D chicks, DOA's lineup are pretty damn hot (Kasumi in particular). I bought and played the original xtreme beach volleyball. As expected it was a sexy piece of software but surprisingly fun to play as well, the volleyball was tense! That being said it looks like this will be a definite preorder for me! It might be a cheap sometimes shallow thrill but Kasumi waits patiently for me to escort her back to paradise, and I can't leave a lady waiting ;)

r_win
r_win

Paullywog: of course you'd get better entertainment with REAL girls, what a sad distillation of life that would be if a game would top your interactional fun with the females. BUT this is a games site, not? So lets talk about games and software then...

wildsoul0509
wildsoul0509

you're right paullywog da real girls are better

shaymarx
shaymarx

GS complained that Rumble Roses XX was creepy and perverted (they forgot to mention that the game was in someways far more enjoyable than Smackdown VS RAW 2006). Yet I predict they will give this game at least a 7.8, no matter how it plays.

V-Nine
V-Nine

Hmm... IMO I really can't say anything as I have partaken in some activities listed... and it was fun. Only difference is no catfights or sand in unmentionable places :p. Now if they would put the fighting mode in just for the heck of it, all would be perfect.

LoWpS
LoWpS

lol hahahahahahahah you guys are arguing about this hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahha lol lol ahhaahahaahahah this is pretty much as dumb as discussing evolution in the Spore comment section. hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah If youre offended by this game, dont play it. If you arent offended by the concept of playing a game where perfect girls in bikinis run rampant and do your bidding... i dont have anything to say to you.

paullywog
paullywog

wildsoul, do you still think girls are "gross" or have cooties? because it sounds like it. but i agree i can get better entertainment with real girls not animated ones.

wildsoul0509
wildsoul0509

lets see... girls in swimsuit and on the beach. is all that this game has? booooredddddd

S_o_G
S_o_G

well Lik the guy game sucked it was a worthless peice of crap. It had no taste, no wit, no good mini games and was tedius and stupid and most of the girls we're uglier then a brick wall. where as this is a good game, its put together good it has taste as in its not blantant look at my BOOBBIES! is got wit, the mini games are great... and the girls don't look like some one shot them with a 5000 round ugly gun...

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

lol probably will do better than last game but probably won't win any awards

enzima
enzima

Hell ya!!!!!!!!!!! More huge boobs!!!!!! when a porno game?

KillCoos
KillCoos

they might as well put on the old xbox as well, graphically it could easy handle it, this is nothing new

LiK
LiK

yummy. it's like a dating sim in 3D form except there's no guys. is that so bad? this game is a guilty pleasure, nothing more. people complained about The Guy Game and that had REAL girls, pfft. get over it guys...

ecno13
ecno13

why is it their feet always look retarded.....

twilight-X
twilight-X

lets face it this is more like semi-hentai video game

gamesofall
gamesofall

I wonder how much they make from the people who just love to see women in perfect beauty in tiny outfits (ummm) well it should please alot of guys in the next year or two

MSG-Deathscythe
MSG-Deathscythe

can't believe how many ways "i can't get a real girl" was said in the posts. sad.

STARS_Splinter
STARS_Splinter

whatever your thoughts about the abundance of underdressed female characters in the game- and lets face it, everyone has an opinion on this- the fact remains that the original DOAX was surprisingly good fun, particularly multiplayer. I've had some really intense games against some of my friends, rivalling the intensity of some fighting games, and the game just oozes that fresh, summer theme thats actually quite refreshing. Its not the sort of game I'd pay full whack for. But I'd certainly pick this up when the price drops, since I know it'll be a fun, breezy game that'll be great to relax with.

JHG6784
JHG6784

this should keep me busy until fable or mass effect

ghangiskhan1
ghangiskhan1

This may just be another graphical showcase. It doesn't look worth the $60 because I play my games for quality. if I cared about cute girls in video games I'd just look at them in real life instead of some virtual simulation. The minigames look decent but nothing worth full price. Give me a fighting game or Ninja Gaiden 2 and then I'm in.

Lord_Satorious
Lord_Satorious

Even if you have a girlfriend (or several), every man likes to look at cute girls. Doesn't matter what your occupation or hobby is, if you can fit in women into it, you will. The women of DOA are perfect representations of what most men would want all women to look like. They're physically flawless. And on top of that, since this is a video game, you control them. They do your bidding, regardless how shameless (butt fighting? come on!). That's a good combination for guys--beauty and obedience. If you look at it another way, male gamers are basically playing the male equivalent of Barbie--interacting with unrealistic depictions of adult women, shopping for clothes and accessories, and playing games. The only difference is, girls play house with their dolls, boys play volleyball and ride jet skis with their virtual dolls. Twenty years ago, this would never have flown (remember the surprise of, "Samus is a girl?!"), but in modern gaming, boys play female characters all the time. I don't think it's hurting anyone, DOAX is eye candy, nothing more. No amount of video gaming, even with the DOA girls, is a good substitute for an actual relationship, if the gamer actually wishes to pursue one. I, for one, prefer to play games rather than chase women. I think it's more rewarding for the time and money spent, but that's just me. Depending on your personal sex drive, women may take priority over any hobby.

burninator85
burninator85

Hey, dude, I'm just saying. Games like this are garbage for $60. I got lucky. My girlfriend has a brain in her head and realizes how trashy this crap is AND she likes Mortal Kombar. W00T

NinjaSpunk
NinjaSpunk

Burninator, seriously, come off it. If you were so concerned about what girls thought of you, you wouldn't be playing videogames in the first place. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a voyeuristic game like this. I personally enjoy playing fluff like this, and find the excessive violence in most games distasteful. The girl I was dating when the original DOAX came out wasn't much of a gamer, but she enjoyed buying clothes and accessories in the game stores and the pool hopping minigame. However, throw on Doom or something and her eyes would glaze over. I cant say I blame her.

RealSkyDiver
RealSkyDiver

YEAH!!!! Let's bounce those BOOBIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! gadongadongdong

burninator85
burninator85

What if instead of buying this game you actually asked cute girls to go to the beach with you? What if instead of buying this game you asked someone out? What if instead of buying this game you took someone out to dinner? You wouldn't be objectifying women AND killing your social skills AND your sex appeal at the same time? Look, I understand that some people (2%) will buy this game for the "game play" but the rest of you are just pornographers. All pornography does is ruin your sex life with false fulfillment. addiction and objectification. I think is super hypocritical of sites like Gamespot to say things like "There are so many great games but because they're not well publicized they get buried! It's killing the industry and design!". Then they willing go out and plug crap like this. I know they're out to make money, but it's one or the other. You can't have it both ways. BTW, I'm not christian or super-virtuous. Just concerned. I'm also not trolling. I want real answers. I'll just ignore your flames. --- GT: Tornaydo

fireblazer236
fireblazer236

Looks good, but I hope they are also working on Ninja Gaiden 2.

finalfantasia
finalfantasia

Let's face it, this game is essentially SOFT PORN. Not that I'm complaining, but I reckon once u play it for a hour or so and get over the nice female 'body parts' and I'm actually talking about genuinely playing the game (not 'other' uses why 'some' male gamers will buy this game...) u'll get pretty bored as the actual gameplay mechanics would be pretty average...