Import Briefiew – Dead or Alive Xtreme 3

It’s funny the reason I came to own this game. I did never own any of the previous DOA Xtreme games because I wasn’t really that interested about them but something made me change my mind for this game in particular.
Games that oversexualize female characters nowadays are always involved in controversy and criticism (mainly by people that don’t even play games in the first place, but whatever). The thing is that Koei Tecmo, the publishers of this game, decided to avoid that controversy completely by refusing to release this game in the west, which is where all of those “offended critics” seem to be from. But that right there is the reason why I bought it.
There’s nothing to draw me more into anything that for that thing to be forbidden. Westerners aren’t supposed to get this game? Then I have to have it at all costs. So I imported it from asia where an english version actually exists and here were are. The review for Detto’r alivuh Xtreme thooree!

The Dead or Alive series is a 1 on 1 3D fighting game series which I consider to be kind of underrated. Yes, there’s plenty of gorgeous ladies to look at but the actual fighting foundation of each game were actually pretty good. There’s fanservice, but they’re good fighting games on their own. Now, the game we’re going to be talking about isn’t about the mainline of fighting DOA games but from the “Xtreme” spin off series.
For those Xtreme games they changed the whole fighting for volleyball and they also turned the fanservice to 11 by making the gorgeous DOA ladies spend the whole game in swimsuits. That’s what this spin off is about (mostly).

I find this DOAX3 to be a mix between a dating sim and a single player party game because of the multiple minigames that compose the bulk of the gameplay. Starting the game you’ll have to select among 10 different graceful ladies one to be your main characer and then in the span of 14 game days you’ll have to make sure that she has the best vacations ever. Making her play (and win) games she want and gifting her stuff. How does that reward the player? Well, you get a silver trophy for achieving the max satisfaction with each girl but I guess the main draw of the game is just watching these attractive women bouncing around in swimsuits you get to buy and gift to them.

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Let’s talk in detail about the core gameplay of the game which are the minigames. The main dish would obviously be the beach volleyball. It’s clearly the game that’s been given a bigger focus and a bigger effort. Gameplay wise is simple but it requires you some knowledge on the timing to strike more effectively and I found it easily the most fun game of them all.
If you enjoy very easy minigames then you have the rock cimbling which simply can’t be lost. You’ll have some qte’s you’ll have to press as your lady climbs but if you fail (which is rare anyway) that only results in losing some time. In any case your lady will reach the top sooner or later and feel satisfied about it no matter how bad you are at pressing the buttons.
Another thing you can do on the beach is playing beach flags which are a 1 on 1 race to get a hold of a flag. Gameplay wise it requires you to button mash the X button until you’re close enough to hit the O to dive for the flag. On easy it’s braindead easy, on normal is easy if you’re used to button mash while on hard is almost impossible.
Moving to the pool there’s also another 1 on 1 race you can play in the form of pool hopping. This races however are much more fun with actually requiring some precision at choosing buttons and having to adjust the distance of the hops the character has to make. The difficulty also is much better leveled which makes this minigame my second favourite.
Another two minigames that are similar but not quite would be tug of war and butt battle. In both games two ladies on top of some floating platforms will try to make the rival fall into the water below, in one case pulling from a rope, on the other, pushing them off with the rear. I prefer the second minigame but not because of the added fanservice but for how much strategic it is. Tug of war plays similarly to rock paper scissors with an AI, you choose your move and if depending on what the other chose you win or lose.
Then, during night time, you can play at the casino. There awaits three more minigames. The roulette which is all about luck. Blackjack which is also mostly about luck. And poker which also has some degree of luck but there’s more strategy to eat as you can throw bluffs and such. One interesting detail you’ll notice while playing poker is that the rival girls you’ll be playing against all seem to have a determined personality that reflects while playing. While some girls will back out quickly as soon as the stakes get a little high others might be throwing bluffs left and right for example. I found that discovering each of the girl’s personalities through this to be quite entertaining.

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Let’s talk about the game’s story now or, the lack of one. There’s a reason why each of the girls go to the island to have these vacations but each of the motives and plotlines could be explained on a single sentence. Nobody will believe that you’re playing this for the plot this time.

Now, on the graphics department this game isn’t a 10. This isn’t The Order or Uncharted 4 but what they aimed to achieve, which is to make the girls look really appealing, they accomplished. You could argue that the facial expressions, and more specifically the mouth movements when talking, could have been better. That being said, the average player won’t be looking at this ladies at the face most of the time.
On the sound department it should be said that while the game menus are all in full english, the voices of the girls are in Japanese. While that doesn’t make much sense considering that some girls are from france or germany… the voiceacting is pretty good. I don’t understand much japanese but during the minigames the girls would say different things that would totally fit with the stuff happening on screen which is a good detail.
The songs that compose the music for the game can be divided in two categories. There’s the passable happy go lucky kind of songs and the completely terrible cheesy ones that for some reason are the ones that get stuck in your head for the rest of the day. In any case, I won’t be buying the game’s soundtrack.

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Things I liked

  • Pretty women: There’s no denying that they’re the main draw of this game. The models for the different ladies are all very well made. They don’t strive for a hyperrealistic look, but they sure are enticing.
  • Little details: This is regarding all of the little details you’ll notice through the game like the girls getting tanned (and even getting tanlines that you’ll notice when changing swimsuits), the different personalities that translate into their likes and dislikes, the way how they sweat if they get into exhausting activities or wet if they fall into a pool and then they keep that state on the next activity as well…

Things I didn’t

  • Music: This is very subjective of course but I absolutely hated some of the music tracks of this game and ironically enough those were the ones that I couldn’t get off my head afterwards.
  • Multiplayer: More specifially, the lack of one. I feel like a mode where you can just play volleyball with a friend outside of the whole dating sim style campaign would have been a great addition.

Things that eh…

This is a category which I never used on previous briefiews but I feel like I needed it for this one as there are some stuff in this game which isn’t bad, but they aren’t completely good either and I felt I should mention.

  • Content: There’s 10 girls and that’s not a bad number but the DOA series has many more that were forgotten so there certainly could be more. In the same vein there’s also that problem regarding the swimsuits. There are a ton of them really and purchasing all of them will take you very long but, at the same time, there could be more (and actually there are more but they’re DLC).
  • Minigames: I really enjoyed the volleyball, the pool hopping and the butt battles but at the same time, I found beach flags and rock climbing to be pretty dumb endeavours so the minigames are actually a mixed bag.
  • Grinding: In this game you’ll be grinding for everything. Grinding girl’s satisfaction to get a good ending, girl’s closeness so they get along better, money to buy swimsuits and items and owner level to unlock more stuff. It does make the game last longer but it can also get unnecessarily repetitive.

Who’d like this?
I’ve noticed that some of the minigames featured in DOAX3 can actually be played by holding the Dualshock with just one hand and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. What I’m trying to say is that this is a game for fanservice fans looking for some beautiful ladies to stare at.
The volleyball doesn’t even play that big of a role within the game, it’s all about the Dead or Alive girls and their swimsuits.

 

<This is a review on the PS4 version of the game. There also exists a DOAX3 Venus available for the Vita which I haven’t had the chance to play> <You can also check this game in motion here>

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