Bump, set, stare. Review

DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 2

Publisher

  • Tecmo

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • Xbox

rating

Bump, set, stare.

Valentine’s Day, after the flowers and the dinner.

“So, what do you want do?” I ask my girlfriend.

“I dunno. What do you want to do?”

“Hmmm…well, uh, how about some… Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball?”

I ask behind a smirk as I hand her the game.

She takes one look at the cover, emblazoned with three small girls and six

large breasts, and pauses. I hold my breath, waiting for a cry of annoyance

or at least a lightning-fast wedgie attempt. Instead…

“Okay. Sure.”

I

was hoping for more of a reaction, something along the lines of: “What!?! HELL

NO! I hate you. Die.” You know – something really interesting to write

about. It would have been a great covert sociological experiment!

You can’t blame me for trying. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball

is the video game equivalent of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue. Besides,

my girlfriend is a fan of Beach

Spikers
, Sega’s volleyball entry and the only recent game to compare this

one to.

But instead of gripes or complaints or slaps in the face, she played it and

gave me her honest opinion. Not a traditional way to spend the holiday, but

hey, it got this review done.

Zack, the DOA character that looks like Dennis Rodman, strikes the

jackpot at Vegas. Instead of setting up a charity or a memorial fund, he parlays

his winnings into his very own island paradise. He then invites only the women

of DOA to his tropical getaway for some fun in the sun. I suppose sexist

Zack doesn’t want to see Bass and his man boobs.

The single-player game begins by selecting one girl out of the eight representatives

from DOA 3 (plus a new gal, Lisa).

You then spend up to two weeks on the island honing your beach skills. Each

day, there is a limited amount of time for the different activities. There are

shops to buy swimsuits, accessories and gifts, beaches to just lounge around

(and ogle), and games of volleyball to play.

Two analog buttons control the core volleyball game – an attack and a set.

The harder you press, the harder you hit the ball. The comfortable analog style

becomes second nature.

As in Sega’s Virtua Tennis,

you must move as close as possible to where the ball will land in order to hit

it efficiently. The game automatically nudges you the rest of the way. The closer

you are to the landing spot, the cleaner your hit will be.

In all, it’s a decent game of relaxed beach volleyball. No boundary lines,

no visual overlays of where the ball will land, and no power indicators mar

the field of view. The camera bounds back and forth, showing only the receiving

side. It works, but it could have been better. The game is lighter on strategy

than Beach Spikers, but then again, it isn’t trying to mirror competitive

volleyball.

Unfortunately, there is no 4-player mode. If a 4-player mode can be shoehorned

into the DOA fighting games, it’s outright disappointing that it’s missing

here. You are also limited to controlling only your own character, meaning you

have to rely on the computer for a fair amount of the work.

In addition to the volleyball, there are a few other games here. One mini-game

has you hopping across floating squares in a pool, and a bunch of casino games

let you blow your money at night. The casino games could have been better fleshed

out with some more realistic rules; blackjack is limited to you and the dealer,

and poker is greatly simplified. There’s also roulette and slots.

The first time I played through the single player, I was still adjusting to

the volleyball. My teammate had left me, forcing me to nab a new partner. However,

the other girls kept turning me down. I felt less like a lecher and more like

a lonely High School girl… albeit a lesbian one. “Why do all the other girls

hate me? Will no one be my friend?” I thought, as I languished by the pool.

In order to nourish relationships in the game, you must buy gifts such as

teddy bears or desserts. Each girl has specific interests; Christy the assassin

just happens to be partial to guns. It’s odd how artillery can be found so readily

on an island resort, but hey, reality has already been thrown out the window.

Since

the game lets you send dessert gifts to the other girls, there should also be

realistic weight gain. It would be great watching the mean and snobby girls

bloat up, packing on the pounds. Not going to be my friend, eh? Well then, I

hope you get FAT!

Each girl also has her own selection of swimsuits available at the store.

The risqué ones, such as the bejeweled Venus,

are the most expensive. In order to “complete” the game and collect all the

swimsuits, you must befriend the other characters, get them in a happy mood,

and then hoist your swimsuits over to them as “gifts.” Depending on how they

are feeling, the girls will either accept the present, showing it off, or they’ll

dump it in the TRASH! The nerve!

The sheer number of swimsuits and the many permutations of getting every swimsuit

onto every girl are enough to keep you competing, spending and befriending for

a long time. But if collecting swimsuits and making nice with the other characters

isn’t enough to float your boat, there’s not much reason to keep playing.

The problem is the lack of a real incentive. Money is awarded for each match,

but there is no tally of overall victories or larger goal behind it all. While

the open-ended gameplay is relaxing, mirroring a real vacation, I wish there

was some kind of reward for the gaming – a trophy, control of the island, a

servant monkey…

The girls in Beach Spikers seemed like Barbie dolls. Well, it ain’t

like that here. After all, DOA is synonymous with “physics.” Welcome

to top-of-the-line, digital-cartoon boob jubbling, which can be taken for as

much or as little as you will. During replays, you will have some limited camera

movement and zoom-in capabilities for a short amount of time – again, take that

as you will. The backgrounds are gorgeous, especially the sunsets, and really

capture the island glow.

The music is sugary girly pop, including Christina Aguilera, Reel Big Fish

and even the Spice Girls. While that might sound incredibly irritating, most

of it fits the mood. Thankfully, the ability to play your own music off the

Xbox hard drive has also been implemented.

The girls tend to be on the chatty side, shouting each other’s names, and

offering compliments in Japanese. Zack and all four of his lines are actually

voiced by Dennis Rodman; while that’s hardly a selling point, it’s definitely

fitting.

My girlfriend’s review of the game is: “I miss the indicators and the ability

to control both players. I feel like there’s less strategy with the inability

to aim the shots and see exactly where the ball is going. I don’t like the way

the camera moves back and forth. But the graphics are really beautiful… even

besides the boobs.”

Which effectively sum up my feelings as well. DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball

succeeds on two fronts: lightweight volleyball action and lighthearted digital

chick eye-candy. The friendship aspect of the game is interesting to toy around

with, and yes, there’s plenty to collect, but collecting can wear thin. Still,

the game is fun in its tongue-in-cheek way and has eaten up hours of my time.

And hey, it’s the first game ever to make me feel like a lonely High School

girl. What a way to spend Valentine’s Day.







REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

3
Rating
Solid analog control style
Check out the graphics on that girl!
Interesting 'friendship' element
Huge number of things to collect
But no larger goal
No aiming, lightweight strategy
No 4-player mode