In the hierarchy of videogame fighting titles, Team Ninja's Dead or Alive series (DoA) has always languished somewhere near the middle of the pack. Known more for its jaw-dropping visuals, scantily-clad female combatants, and the phenomena of "breast physics" than its fighting engine, the games have always been looked down upon by fans of loftier fighting series like Virtua Fighter, Soul Calibur, and even Tekken. However, that hasn't stopped the franchise from developing a loyal following.
Game Description:Dead or Alive 4 takes advantage of the superior technology of Xbox 360, to redefine 3D fighter games. Go wild with a new fighting system, larger tournament groups, detailed scoreboards and more. Form clans, or just enter the lobby areas to talk with other DOA fans. Best of all, the fighting system allows even more mastery and strategy of your favorite character—including the most complex DOA countering system yet!
Considering the anemic status of the PSP's library at the moment, it pains me to see UMDs with potential that end up being mediocre, one right after another. Every time something new hits shelves, I wonder if it's going to be the thing that kickstarts Sony's shiny black portable into being a valid take-along option, but besides Lumines, I'd be hard-pressed to pick a game that has less than a handful of problems and rough edges. A perfect example of this consistent failure to thrive is the all-new intellectual property (IP) from Tecmo, Tokobot.
Game Description:Tokobot is unlike any other PSP game you've played before. Exploring some ancient ruins, you discover small and friendly creatures called "Tokobot". The Tokobots have incredible abilities called "joint-acton" that help you past obstacles—and you'll need it, as you'll have to reveal mysteries and save the world from a horrible plot!
Ninja Gaiden has become some strange sort of initiation rite for self-proclaimed hardcore gamers. "You don't like it? You're simply not good at it!" seems to be the tagline. While that might be true in some cases, it's also a very annoying rhetorical trick to turn every criticism of the game into a proof of the reviewers assumed wimpness.
I agree with Mike in finding that Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly is one of the scariest, most unsettling game experiences around but only when I wasn't being bored out of my mind by the game's busywork and glacial pace. I do share our horror maven's sadness at seeing such a promising title go astray, but I'm not quite as forgiving as he is.
Of all the hideous monsters and hellspawn that haunt Tecmo's third-person action game Ninja Gaiden—mace-weilding zombies, giant fire-breathing worms, faceless samurai—nothing frightened me more than demon hunter Rachel's ridiculously oversized breasts. No kidding. When I first encountered them—they're seriously the size of small Third World countries—I let out a ninja-like cry—something like "Aiieeeee!"—then braced myself (left trigger! left trigger!) for their attack.
Game Description:Ninja Gaiden—the classic 2D action series has returned with bleeding-edge graphics, intense fighting action and thrilling gameplay! You take on the role of Ryu Hayabusa, a young ninja who survives the massacre of his family. The Vigor Empire is responsible for their deaths, and he'll use his ninja skills to make them pay. Experience even more combat action as you go online for multiplayer ninja battles. Also includes the 3 original NES Ninja Gaiden games.
Game Description: Based on a true story, Fatal Frame, a horror adventure game, leaves its victims breathless as they become immersed in a world full of supernatural spirits and sheer terror. Guided by her sixth sense and armed only with an antique camera, Miku sets out to solve the mystery of her brother's sudden disappearance. As the story unfolds, she discovers gruesome details about the Himura mansion's troubled past. The property and surrounding area have a dark history involving grisly murders, an evil cult, and restless spirits.
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