Dead or Alive: Dimensions Review
Dead or Alive: Dimensions is a fun version of an arcade classic that offers some of the fastest fighting on the 3DS.
- Simple controls are easy to learn
- Deep battle system makes for fast and fluid fighting
- Well-designed arenas offer plenty of tactical scope
- Impressively detailed visuals.
- Baffling story
- Annoying AI can ruin tag team battles
- Laggy and limited online play.
Dead or Alive: Dimensions' cast of impossibly proportioned females makes it all too easy to dismiss it as a form of mere titillation, rather than a serious fighting game. Yet underneath its busty exterior lie fast-paced 3D battles that eschew complex button combinations in favour of agile reversals and counterattacks. It's a battle system that's easy to pick up, and offers plenty of depth. There are a host of exciting new modes to play through too, all of which are wrapped up in great-looking visuals that take advantage of the 3DS's powerful hardware. While Dimensions is sullied by a story mode thatís more difficult to penetrate than a copy of War and Peace, and online play that's mired in lag, there's fun to be had in this slick and exciting fighting game.
While most fighting games shoehorn their storylines into their arcade modes, Dimensions tackles things differently, with an ambitious mode called Chronicle. It tells the story of the first four Dead or Alive tournaments via in-engine cutscenes and prerendered videos, which are split across five separate chapters and interspersed with one-on-one battles. Trying to make sense of the story is a nigh-on-impossible task, though. You're thrust into various characters' worlds, jumping between cutscenes that reference companies, villains, and mystical legends with little explanation. You might be having a conversation with one character, only to be randomly thrown into battle with another. It doesn't help that parts of the story are intentionally left out, supposedly to be filled in by subsequent chapters. Even when you reach the end of the narrative, though--complete with its laughably wooden voice acting--you're none the wiser.
What it lacks in coherent storytelling, Chronicle mode makes up for with a seamlessly integrated tutorial. Early bouts teach you the basics of fighting by displaying commands that light up when you hit the right buttons. The battle system is very simple, using just two attack buttons, plus one for block and one for throw. Because there are no complex directional inputs to learn, it's easy to chain together impressive-looking combos just by alternating between the two attack buttons and left or right on the circle pad or d-pad. While this might seem like a recipe for button-mashing mayhem, a deep counter and reversal system lets you stop would-be mashers in their tracks. If your opponents are spamming punches, you can grab their arms mid-punch and fling them into the air, or if they're too kick-happy, you can grab their legs and body-slam them into the ground. Deft timing is required to perform reversals, so there are always opportunities to launch attacks, and not just play defensively. By reading your opponents well and identifying breaks in their attacks, you can launch tactical reversals followed by devastating counter combos.
More tactical options are available by making use of Dimensions' many multilevel arenas, which are set across a range of beautiful-looking environments. Whether you're fighting in a blossom-filled garden, on a snowy mountaintop, or in the fiery depths of hell, you're treated to some impressively detailed visuals. Towards the edges of most arenas you can knock your opponents off using a well-timed combo, causing them to fall gracelessly to another beautiful area of the level and lose health. This, coupled with Dimensions' swift combos, reversals, and the ability to juggle your opponents in the air, results in a refined battle system that's fast and fluid and has tactical depth. If you're looking to refine your skills to take advantage of the system, a Training mode lets you battle against a dummy AI opponent, while an input display lets you know if you're pushing the right buttons. Also helpful is a dynamic command list, which is displayed on the bottom screen in all modes. It displays different combos and changes depending on what buttons you've pushed so far, making it easy to learn different moves.
- Player Reviews: 15
- Game Universe:
- Dead or Alive 2 (DC, ARC, PS2),
- Dead or Alive (PS, SAT, ARC),
- Dead or Alive 5 (PS3, X360, VITA),
- Dead or Alive Online (PC),
- Dead or Alive Code: Cronus (X360),
- Dead or Alive: Dimensions (3DS),
- Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (X360),
- Dead or Alive 4 (X360),
- Dead or Alive Ultimate (XBOX),
- Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (XBOX)
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
2 Players Online