Dead or Alive 4 – Consumer Guide

According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Violence, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity

Parents will want to note that this game has received a Mature rating, and has essentially earned it. Scantily clad women, bouncing breasts, cheesecake cutscenes with some "almost nudity coupled with the violence and blood makes for a not-so-kid-friendly game. Honestly, though, it's not that the game is so 'over the edge' in terms of material—it's just so cheesy that it would embarrass your kids to see it with you in the room and vice versa. All of which brings us to another question—at this point in the series, why are Team Ninja still playing coy with these characters? They got the M rating and have gone as close to showing their voluptuous fighting babes in the nude as they can without actually doing it…so why not just do it already?

Hardcore fighting fans have long looked down on the Dead or Alive franchise for lacking any sort of depth in terms of the combat. While fighting in this installment is still counter-heavy, there's a lot of tweaking that's been done to the engine. Button mashers can still play, but skilled opponents actually have an advantage this time around.

Casual gamers have always been drawn to the pretty graphics (and no doubt the bouncing breasts) and that won't change with this outing. What is changing is the level of accessibility. It doesn't take long before the computer AI starts punishing players who simply smash buttons with no clue as to what they're doing. Add in a really cheap last boss in most of the story mode matches, and this is the most challenging game in the series to date—and one that could be a little too hard for anyone just wanting to pick up a controller and mash the buttons for a few minutes.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers have nothing to worry about—the game is fully subtitled. Of course, no one ever says anything worth reading anyway, but that's beside the point.