I'll admit that I'm not much of a fan of fighting games on consoles. I usually spent my time playing the Street Fighters and Tekkens in arcades because I believe the experience of a fighting game is much more exciting when you're actually playing against a human opponent. Considering that most of the people I hang around don't really care for video games, it's been hard for me to ever have a good experience with a fighting game at home. I always end up convinced that the computer cheats and is out to get me (which aggravates me to no end).
But that doesn't mean I don't have any fun with console fighting games, or that I can't appreciate their worth. Although I don't consider myself anywhere near as versed in the genre as Mike is, I would like to think I know a good fighting game when I see it and Dead Or Alive 3 is a good fighting game. Even though I spent most of my time with the game alone, I still managed to get a kick out of it.
Being a newbie to the Dead Or Alive franchise, the one gameplay element that really stood out to me was the expansive and interactive environments. Just when you think you've seen the whole level you'll pummel your opponent through a wall and open up something you've never seen before. And with new environments come new obstacles that you can use to your advantage. I was always looking for that tree or light post that I could back my opponent against and knock them out. It's all great stuff, and it really adds a deep element of strategy that is lacking in most fighting games. Not to mention that it also does a great job of immersing you into the game.
I would definitely agree with Mike that Dead Or Alive 3's fighting engine is complex, yet it's very easy to pick up. I started out mindlessly mashing buttons in the beginning, but slowly began to see that it's probably the worst tactic you could use in a fighting game like Dead or Alive 3. The actual fighting is very precise, and I started to see the great advantages of counterattacking and reversals, which are impossible to accomplish with button mashing. Dead Or Alive 3 invites everyone to give it a try with open arms, but like any martial art it takes dedication and concentration to become skilled at it.
In the end, Dead Or Alive 3 is a little shallow, mainly because their isn't much to do when you're by yourself. The gameplay modes become repetitive and quickly run out of steam. Like I said before, I find that fighting games on consoles lack the social interaction aspect that really makes these games shine, and Dead Or Alive 3 is no exception. If I had a bunch of gaming friends who were willing to come over and play all the time, it probably would've been more fun. Dead Or Alive 3 is the kind of game that I wish I could walk around the corner to an arcade, change out five bucks and start taking turns around the cabinet with.
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