"She kicks high..." - guy from the Dead or Alive 3 commercial (a.k.a. me and my friends in reference to this game)

Title: Dead or Alive 3
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo
Date Published: November 2001
Platforms: XBox

The next fighting game in Tecmo's Dead or Alive series. Very similar to other realistic fighting games, such as Tekken and Soul Caliber, except DOA3 has only been released for Microsoft Xbox. (/me is sad. Release for Gamecube!) It is quite infamous for its counter and throw reward system. The triangle is set up as follows: Strikes beat throws, counters beat strikes, and throws beat counters. For example, if you catch your opponent trying to counter and you throw them, Dead or Alive will reward you by causing 150% of the damage that the move would normally cause. Countering a strike will reward from 100%-150% of the damage that would be given, depending on how well the counter was timed. Striking an opponent who has missed a throw will result in a 150% damage bonus. So button mashers beware: relying entirely on attacking will not do well against anyone who knows the engine.

The story continues after the end of Dead or Alive 2. Ryu Hayabusa has just defeated Tengu Bankotsu-bo but now the entire world is in danger. Dr. Victor Donovan from DOATEC's Development Department has just completed Project Omega. A new superhuman, named "Genra", is on the loose, and time has come to test his, or its, ultimate strength. Thus, the next World Combat Championship is held, known as Dead or Alive 3.

Many familiar characters have returned to save the world or win the cash, as well as a plethora of new faces, all with their own motives. Here's a list of all the characters found in this game:

Ryu Hayabusa
Gen Fu
Brad Wong
Tina Armstrong
Bass Armstrong
Jann Lee
Hayate (Ein in Dead or alive 2)
Ein (secret character)

What really makes this game is how the power of the Xbox was harnessed into every detail and aspect. Normal fighting looks much better than a lot of CG cutscenes in other games on other systems. The animations are wonderful and the character models are absolutely gorgeous. Game Informer magazine gave this game best graphics of the year 2001. I certainly agree. Oh, and gameplay kicks butt too. If you are a "proud" owner of an Xbox, I would highly recommend this title. Added bonus: bouncy bouncy ladies, yum! Special added bonus: expansion pack alternate costumes, YUM YUM!

The game uses three basic buttons in combination with each other and directions in order to perform the plethora of moves. The yellow "Y" button is Punch, the red "B" button is Kick, and the blue "X" button is designated as the "Free button." The Free button is used for mostly defensive purposes, such as ducking, countering, etc. Also, these buttons can be pressed at the same time to create even more combos. Pressing the Punch and Kick buttons is also designated as the white button on the Xbox controller. Pressing the Free and Punch buttons is assigned to the green "A button", and pressing the right shoulder button has the same effect as pressing Free and Kick. The black button is the same as pressing all three buttons at the same time. These shortcut buttons are looked down upon, for they worsen arcade skill, but since this title seems as though it will never leave the Xbox, I guess it's all right in moderation. Personally, I do not use the white button, and I only use the black when playing tag mode. I also use the right trigger because of how horrible the setup of the Xbox controller is (An impossibility to press the X and B buttons ONLY). I guess occasionally I use the A button too, but I should get out of these habits for when I play Tekken.

But what's up next for the DOA crew?

According to several sources, (I guess a spokesperson from Tecmo is a reliable one) it has been decided that Zack was the winner of this tournament. He can now go on his dream Las Vegas vacation. And the money keep on coming. What to do with all that money? Buy an island, of course and properly title it "Zack Island." Zack decides to host a Dead or Alive tournament of his own. But when the fighters arrive, they realize that only the females were invited. Hrmm... So what better to do for a bunch of athletic and muscular hotties with perfect bodies to do on a warm sunny island? Why not play some volleyball? And so they do, and come November 2002, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. Yes.

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