Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball

Overview

Dead or Alive 3 was one of the launch titles for the Xbox, which was definitely one of my top games for the console for quite some time. Now Tecmo has taken the girls of DOA and thrown the girls on a beach, give them a volleyball, and bam!, you have DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball.

Gameplay

The winner of the third Dead or Alive tournament is, Zack, who decides to try his luck with the winnings of the tournament in a casino. In the casino he got himself even more money, and then took that money to purchase an island and converted it into a resort. He gets the girls of Dead or Alive to join him on his island, telling them that this is the location of the next Dead or Alive tournament. While all the girls started showing up on the island they found that there wasn’t much to do on this island, but to gamble and play volleyball. So this is where you start the game, and take a two week vacation on "Zack’s Island".

When you start the mode you will be given the option to choose a DOA girl. This can be tricky, as each girl has their strengths and weaknesses in the game of volleyball, so choose wisely.

Once you choose your character you are off to Zack’s Island where you will not only be playing Volleyball, but you will be gambling, maintaining relationships with your partner and other DOA girls, as well as taking in the sights.

So once you get onto the island you will be given an initial partner and a game to play. This one match really is key for your whole two-weeks experience. If you win the match you will be pretty much set with that partner, if you lose, then you’re going to have to work hard to get a new partner. Once you do finish your first match it’s your choice of exactly what you want to do. Each day on the island is broken down into a few sections in which you will have the ability to choose if you want to play or where to relax. Once it gets to late you will be sent back to the hotel to either go to sleep or to try your luck in the casino.

One of my immediate concerns with DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball was how the volleyball was actually going to play out. Well in fact it wasn’t half bad. The game uses a simplistic two-button system, that, while performs decently enough, leaves a lot of room for improvement. After you have played a few matches the game feels quite repetitive, and the fact that you can’t do anything different besides the basic hit and spike loses its flair only after a few matches.

The casino portion doesn’t fare much better either. While in the casino you do get to play some of the best casino games, but in a very poor fashion. They didn’t do anything to make it interesting, so you’re stuck with a bare bone casino experience.

This is one of those games that music could fit perfectly with the mood of the game. Too bad it’s pop music and I couldn’t stand listening to it for more then 5 minutes. For you pop fans out there this is a great soundtrack for you. For those of you who are like me and are anti-pop then you will be happy to hear that you can import your own soundtrack, by going to Radio Station on the map screen.

There is some voice acting in the game but they are usually only two to three word phrases. For example one of the most common one’s in my games is "nice spike", and such phrases like that are prevalent throughout the game. It gets tired really fast, making you wish that the girls can say more than a few token phrases.

Graphics

If you have heard anything about DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball, it definitely wasn’t complimenting the gameplay, but raving over the game’s graphics, and for good reasons. This is definitely a game that is totally into the girls.

The character models of DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball are probably the best character models on the Xbox, or any console for that matter. Never have I seen such detailed and sharp graphics.

Not only are the characters beautiful, the environments are just as impressive. The beaches, along with the jungle area are full of beautiful details that once again are very impressive. Although when you get down to think about it, they really weren’t working with huge environments but actually only a few environments, so actually the graphics are really not put to the test. With all that being said you can’t take away the detail that is shown, and that’s why the graphics receives such a high mark.

Fun Factor

This is a game that lost its fun very quickly. Even with the gorgeous graphics, I wasn’t finding much fun in the game’s main mode, even after a few days on the island. The volleyball action becomes very repetitive, and the casino just wasn’t worth my time.

Overall

The game’s graphics are the only thing keeping this game from failing completely. The volleyball has its highs and lows, but Zack’s Island just isn’t deep enough for my taste, and collecting objects just wasn’t as thrilling as most would think. With that being said, the premise of watching the DOA girls in bikinis will get teens queuing up to buys this game. Seasoned gamers looking for some solid and fun gameplay would best look elsewhere.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.