Little more than a rejection simulator.
This time around you pretty much have the same thing but with a few extras thrown in. To my surprise Tecmo decided to forego the "Volleyball" portion of the title, a move that should indicate right away that volleyball this is not. Sure it's there, but only in the sense that a paper tray that holds a TV dinner is a plate for your meal. It's adequate, dissatisfying, and serves a very basic purpose.
Resident Dead or Alive dork Zack has raised his lost island from the depths of the sea and lured the girls (yet again) to the island to play and frolic and complain on it's sandy shores for no apparent reason whatsoever. No, there is no more story than that, you see a really corny video and then proceed to descend into gaming hell.
As mentioned before this is really not a volleyball game. It's not really mentioned much, but while it is actually there, it's a miniscule activity you will likely grow tired of long before you've played through at least one vacation, which lasts for fourteen in-game days, each day consisting of three times to play any of the mini games, volleyball, a mediocre water jet ski race, "relaxing" (you watch your character do something like sit or walk or whatever for about 20 seconds), or giving gifts to any one girl, and a nighttime reserved for giving gifts to all of the girls at once, viewing or managing your collection of items and swimsuits, or visiting the casino.
The casino itself has some slot machines, roulette, five card draw, and blackjack. Should you get a jackpot on one particular slot machine you will be treated to a pole dance by Christina, the white-haired lady in the snakeskin bikini (sounds better than what you actually get). Mostly though, this will be where you try to earn some Zack Dollars in order to buy gifts, items, and swimsuits to collect and give.
The aforementioned day games are how you will earn most of your cash. A lot of these do not offer nearly enough to really cover the expenses you'd end up accumulating over the course of your play, but that is how it was meant to be played, and it's pretty much where this game totally fails.
In fact calling this a 'game' would be entirely too generous. Let's face it, nobody likes being rejected in real life by others, so why spend long (impossibly long) periods of time being constantly rejected by virtual women who's sole purpose appears to be sunbathing and turning you away when you offer them gifts?
There is no object to the game in any technical sense, not unless you want the achievements, in which case I emphatically warn you against trying this out as those are all but impossible to complete.
Graphically this game gets a lot more credit than it deserves. At first the ladies of the game will seem fairly impressive, with their impossibly fit bodies and mercilessly skimpy outfits, but the gloss peels away pretty fast, especially considering the time you might spend playing to complete this nightmare, and you begin to see just how cheaply put together everything is here. The women, for starters, while able to tan, have next to no texture to their skin, making them resemble shiny plastic dolls. Compounding this are the almost inarticulate hands, goofy looking feet, and mannequin heads. They show next to no expressions other than their default generic semi-grin, and while they speak to you, such as praising you or chiding you, their mouths do not move at all. They really do look like plastic toys most of the time.
Even worse are the hair and cloth effects they stuck into this game. In an attempt to make things look more 'realistic' they gave the hair and loose fabrics some special physics, and for the most part it looks fine as far as the fabric goes, but the hair looks goofy, almost comical at times. Mostly it'll animate strangely and appear as though it were really only ribbons attached to their heads. For an Xbox 360 game, it's pretty pathetic. I know graphics don't make a good game, but when that is about all you are counting on to sell the game in the first place it stands to reason that graphical splendor would be the first priority. The backgrounds and landscapes also look poorly made. Trees look cheap when they sway and animate as though they were simply stretched like a photo rather than manipulated like an object, the ripples in the waters of the beach have an oversized appearance against the island, giving the island a tiny toy-like appearance in a pool or pond, and speaking of pools, the swimming pools look really bad. The water effects are hokey, and like everything else seems plastic and fake. How can water look plastic, it's hard to explain, but think of it like clear light blue Jell-O with a layer of plastic wrap pulled over the top of it. That's about the best way I can describe it.
Finally, the most vaunted and laughably bad part of the game are the so-called (by Tecmo no less) "Breast Physics". This is a technology they have been talking up for many years now, going all the way back to the very first Dead or Alive fighting game. These ladies are all pretty well endowed, and while an ample bosom might be more than enough to appeal to most that play this at least once, they take things a step further by giving them bounce. Sounds great, but they went that 'xtra' mile (sorry, couldn't help myself) and made each of their breasts bounce independently of the other. I grew up in southern California, so I know what a generous cup size and gravity can do in a flimsy bikini top, and it's never done anything like this! They sort of just bound around wildly as though they are trying to run away from the women they're attached to, or maybe they're angry, probably for being in this game. Anything will set them off, if a girl jumps they fly around all over the place. If a girl does a turn they bump around in all kinds of strange directions. Even if a girl tilts her head aside, takes a tiny step, or giggles slightly their superbreasts blow with greater fervor than balloons in a hurricane. It definitely shows what the world would be more like if gravity were lunar and implants were made of silly putty.
As a whole, this game reeks. There is nothing going for it. It is not very good looking beyond a few well chosen screen shots, it's mortifyingly devoid of fun to play, and it's packed with a horrid soundtrack you will hate by the end of your first 'day'. Yes, you can put your own music into the Xbox 360 to play during the game, but you risk associating it with this tripe and may hate your songs as they will remind you of this game.
Avoid this game unless you like pain, and even then avoid this game!