Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
by Microsoft Game Studios
Dead or Alive 3 caused an almighty stir when it was released on Xbox last year. The game was a sensation not only because it was a great beat 'em up but because it looked gorgeous and even a year on nothing has come close to equalling it's graphical splendour. The greatest talking point about the game though was how good the ladies looked. The game showcased some super female physics (especially in regards to the bounce of the boobs). Such physical detail in a game was a big attraction and to capitalise on its appeal Tecmo have created Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball to further showcase their graphical greatness.
During the wait between the games announcement and its release, we have had the very good Beach Spikers from SEGA that appeared on the GameCube. Beach Spikers showed that a volleyball game can be fun and having enjoyed that game myself, I eagerly awaited DOA XBV. After around ten days of playing the game though I was disappointed to learn that the volleyball is only a very small part of the gameplay and it's very obvious that the game has been created to tantalise rather than to entertain.
As the introduction begins, your jaw will once again hit the ground as the featured females look very realistic (and it has to be said, teasing). The intro features provocatively dressed girls, who for some reason are winking at each other; it all looks very saucy. Sauce aside though, the graphics are gobsmacking. Why can't other developers achieve what Tecmo have with the Xbox?
Anyway, the thin veil of a plot is that the girls have been lured to Zack's Island for a fighting contest only to find that it's a hoax. You choose the girl you want to play as and take your place on the island. The idea is that you have to battle for the other girls affections in an attempt to please them enough so that they will partner you at volleyball. If that last sentence made the game seem like it was a little bit kinky well that's because it is. You go to one of the island's locations and ask one of the girls if they will be your 'partner' for a game. They give a response that looks like you were asking for something far more adult, as they cavort on the sand or against a tree. You can buy gifts for your intended partner. You begin the game with $10,000 which will soon disappear. To earn more you can play the hopping game or go to the casino in the evening. In the casino you can play poker, blackjack or slot machines amongst other things. These games are passable but do nothing to hide the shallowness of the game.
If you're looking to play volleyball then you're better off with another title. More often than not the girls will refuse to play volleyball with you unless you lavish expensive gifts on them (with the exception of the new girl Lisa who plays a game with you on your first day). It's a lot of work to earn the money needed to buy the gifts and frankly it's not worth the effort. You can play a single game from the main menu but after playing several games you'll find that it's actually quite poor as a beach volleyball game. The graphics are great but the gameplay is nowhere near to that found in Beach Spikers.
The game is fine for deaf gamers but it's worth noting that the only part of the game that isn't subtitled is the introduction which contains English speech. The rest of the game is in Japanese and is therefore subtitled with English text.
If you were expecting a good beach volleyball game then Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball is going to disappoint you. On the other hand if you're looking for a virtual Playboy island then you're in luck because that's exactly what we have here. It looks stunning, contains little gameplay and is as shallow as a paddling pool.
Game Rating: 4.0/10