Dead Or Alive 5 (PS3 – 2012)

Dead Or Alive 5 - PS3 (2012)

The Dead or Alive crew is back in an all-new installment that features MMA fighting techniques blended with the same old Dead Or Alive style we’ve seen in the past. Take on the role of some of your old favorites like Lei Fang, Jann Lee or Gen Fu – or try out some of the newcomers from the Virtua Fighter series such as Brad Wong or Eliot.

Each level comes to life with interactive environments which you can use to your advantage in the right situations. Multiple unlockable outfits and some unlockable characters round out the replayablilty factor while online modes and a robust story mode should keep you entertained for a long while.

Everything I love about this game franchise was still there in this incarnation. The fighting system is still the same as the one found in Dead Or Alive 4, with the “paper, rock, scissors” style mechanics. Button mashers will have a tough time duking it out with more skilled gamers due to this, but the game doesn’t have a massive learning curve.

The graphics are amazing, as usual. Fabric flows, animals move around, sweat glistens as your characters exert themselves and hats fly off heads with strong blows.  The music and sound effects were decent enough, too.

The only thing I didn’t really like about this was that the story mode was a little bit incoherent, but it’s in the same way that a lot of Japanese animation feels. It’s chaotic, you’re not QUITE sure what exactly is going on and then WHAMMO – you finally get it. It didn’t really detract a whole lot from my experience, however.

This installment focuses less on the T&A that first drew attention to the series, although that aspect is definitely still present in the form of constantly-jiggling boobage – and make no mistake, the updated facial models and graphics have the characters looking better than ever. And for ladies who appreciate some man-skin, there are also unlockable outfits for the male characters, as well.

All in all, this is a great title and probably one of the best entries into the Dead Or Alive franchise. Learning the game’s nuances is fun and never tedious. The fights and characters are flashy and likable, and the kinetic pace will have you coming back for more. Hands down my favorite fighting game, ever.

JOE Rating:  ★★★★★

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up (2009 – Wii)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up (2009)

Release Date: September 22, 2009
Developer: Game Arts
Publisher: Ubisoft

In this game, you can take control of any of the TMNT foursome (Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo or Raphael) or some of their allies (April or Casey Jones). In story mode, Splinter decides to have a tournament with the winner being able to pick something from his private treasure stash. As you move ahead in the tournament, however, Shredder (as usual) shows up to put a damper on things.

This game essentially ends up being a Smash Brothers knock-off. While it’s fun to play it, you begin to just start wishing you were playing Smash Brothers instead.

There isn’t a ton of variety in the move sets and when I used different characters, I didn’t really get a feel that any of them were terribly different other than aesthetics.

The cut scenes aren’t even animated, which they could have definitely done more with. It was a perfect opportunity to tie it in to the TMNT movie with the same artwork style. (I have the review for that movie here if you want to read it)

The levels don’t seem to have a lot of punch other than the interactive environments that hurt your characters, and that was a neat addition.

Overall, the game was okay but it wasn’t good enough to be better than Smash Brothers or different enough to make me want to play it instead.

JOE Rating: ★★★

Game Trailer For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up

 

Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (2010 – Wii)

Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (2010)

Release Date: December 11, 2008
Developer: Eighting
Publisher: Capcom

I finally got my hands on my cousin’s Wii (insert joke here) and was the most excited about this game.

Fighting games are one of my favorite things to play, even though I’m not the best at them (except for Killer Instinct (SNES). I was pretty darn good at that one). Marvel vs Capcom is one of my favorite series and I do love me some Gatchaman (an anime superhero team from Tatsunoku) so I really had some high hopes for it.

My hopes didn’t die, at least not completely.

Originally only released in Japan due to a fall in popularity of fighting games a few years back, there was finally enough interest garnered by the community that they decided to give it a shot over here and it was a Wii exclusive and ended up being commercially successful.

The fighting system is simplistic (three buttons) and easily-accessible to noobs like myself. The graphics were decent, even though this was their first shot at rendering fully in 3D. The characters and their animations were really neat, as can be expected from these newer incarnations of the Capcom vs series.

The one thing that prevented this game from being really great was that there is no real storyline or story mode. There is an arcade mode, but there’s not a ton of replayability in that.

It’s a really fun game to play with your friends, locally, or the online variety (it has a decent online mode) but for Forever-Alone gamers like myself, the fun doesn’t last forever.

It’s definitely worth playing if you’re a fan of Tatsunoko, though, because there aren’t that many games featuring their characters. (And who doesn’t want to play as Jun, The Swan at least once? She’s hawt!)

JOE Rating: ★★★★

Game Trailer for Tatsunoko VS Capcom: Ultimate All Stars