Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons
Black Magic shall rule over all

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dead or Alive: Dimensions

So lately I’ve been playing a ton of Dead or Alive Dimensions. Got it as soon as the game came out. This was the game I originally bought the 3DS for haha. Quite frankly, the game is amazing. It feels and plays just like its console brothers. Here are my pro’s and con’s:

Pro’s:

1)      The game literally has no slowdown unless you turn on the 3D effect.
2)      It plays exactly like its older brothers.
3)      Japanese voice acting WAS included in the NA version.
4)      Chronicle mode hugely expands the story.
5)      Gives us the options of playing as all the bosses throughout the series.
6)      Gives us just about all the modes that are featured in the original.
7)      Gives us a few kick ass remix’s on some of the best themes in the series.
8)      Portable DOA action. Come on now, that is definetly a plus.
9)      All the characters ever featured in the series are all playable.

Cons:
      1) Probably due to size constraints, every character only has 1 intro and outro sequence.
      2) The game uses the DOA4 system, which might alienate the fans who didn’t like that game.
      3) Chronicle mode focuses almost exclusively on the ninja main characters, so everyone else is almost background.
4)      Chronicle Mode, while being easily the best part of the game for a DOA fan, was way too short and left you wanting more. Easily my biggest complaint.
1)      Shiden ended up being almost a Hayate rip off.
2)      The English voice acting, which is really rendered mute due to the choice of switching out for JP voice acting.
3)      Some players don’t like the flash effect added to each hit, but honestly I didn’t notice it in combat so whatever.

The game in my opinion is one of the best games in the series. It plays exactly how you want it to play and sacrifices nothing in gameplay. Easily one of the best games I’ve seen on the system.
DANGER!!!
From hear on out I’m going to be speaking about the story for the game, so if you don’t want to hear spoilers, skip down.
Well, after playing through Chronicle Mode, I can safely say they added a lot to the story of Dead or Alive without really putting way too much into it.
Chronicle Mode features five chapters and a prologue, each one taking place during each of the four games throughout the series.
The prologue shows the aftermath of when Raidou attacked the Mugen Tenshin clan and nearly crippled Hayate. We also meet Shiden in this chapter, and also find out that Kasumi knows the Reppujinkusatsu, or the Rip Torn Sky Blast, that was previously only mentioned during the expanded opening of DOA:Ultimate on the Xbox 1. In this chapter when Kasumi and Ayane are about to fight, Christie rescues Kasumi on a helicopter, which was the scene shown so commonly in the trailers. This was how Kasumi was taken to and found out about the DOA tournament. As Kasumi fights through the ranks and finally fights Raidou, she was really about to defeated once he turned all raging Akuma status. As the two unleash the Reppujinkusatsu on each other, Raidou began to get the upper hand until he was struck on the arm by a kunai. It’s implied it was Ayane, but in reality they never show. This was the distraction Kasumi needed to finally kill Raidou, as she blasts away her uncle to obscurity.
  The next chapter then goes into Dead or Alive 2, in which we are introduced to the eventual Kasumi cloning project of Project Epsilon. After Hayate was captured and an attempt at making a clone was done on him, he was left with amnesia and was under the care of Hitomi and her karate sensei father. After that, Kasumi was captured by Doatec to try making a clone of her, being that she was the strongest ninja of the Mugen Tenshin. After she is captured, its revealed that Kasumi Alpha, her first clone and the midboss in DOA2, was the one that let her escape as a way to kill her. Kasumi Alpha apparently has become the total mass of Kasumi’s evil, as she has become obsessed with Hayate. It’s revealed that she wanted Kasumi dead as a way to eliminate the competition for him in a sense. As she and Kasumi are battling, they are interrupted by the head researcher for the Epsilon project, Lisa, a.k.a. La Mariposa. She detains Kasumi Alpha with a sedative, and as she’s about to capture Kasumi, Ryu burst through the window with the help of Irene, and they both save Kasumi. Once far enough away from Doatec, Kasumi and Ryu begin to discuss their next course of action. Kasumi immediately wants to go rescue her brother, even though she is injured from her battle with Kasumi Alpha. Ryu reprimands her for her foolish thinking, and Kasumi runs off to find her brother. While this is going on, Hayate is being rehabilitated by Hitomi, and begins to train in German Karate as Ein, quickly becoming a master of the art. Not soon after the second tournament is announced. Here the player mostly plays as Hayabusa, since he is the canon victor of the second tournament. Hayabusa quickly mops the floor with most of the competition until he finally fights Bankotsubou, more well known as Tengu. It is then revealed that in fact it was Genra, already under the control of Doatec, that had released the seal keeping the Tengu in check. At the conclusion, he also places….well , I guess the best thing to call it would be a mind control jutsu, bleh…on Ayane. To make matters worse, Kasumi Alpha also appears, both to take Ayane with her, and also to see Hayate. At this point, the tag team of the newly revived Hayate and Hayabusa must fight against Ayane and Kasumi-Alpha. Upon defeat and setting Ayane free from her mind control, the main characters now begin to wonder just why is it that Genra has decided to turn nukenin, not knowing of his capture and brainwashing.
Once we go through DOA3, the game opens up with the Shiden discussing with Hayate and Ayane about the end of the 2nd tournament and why Genra has gone insane. During the discussion, Shiden decides that Hayate should take Kasumi’s place as leader of the village. Hayate is reluctant to take the position because he doesn’t want to kill his sister. Ayane gets angry at the fact that Hayate is still reluctant to kill her even though she is a nukenin, and in his rage Hayate smacks Ayane across the face and threatens her with banishment. This saddens Ayane so deeply she nearly commits suicide until her mother Ayame steps in. This is where we find out why is it that Ayane has seemingly let up on her hate for Kasumi since 3 and 4: Ayame has basically asked her to stop going after her sister and watch over her instead, since Kasumi is the type to try to do every thing herself. Ayame, trying to show herself to be her mother, comforts Ayane about Hayate and recent events. They also seem to hint that Ayane really does have feelings for her older brother, and Ayame seemingly knows. Its also shown another reason why she is jealous of Kasumi: she’s always been the one that has had Hayate’s attention. It’s an interesting scene because it really epitomizes the fact that the series is trying to take a more story-focused approached to the series as a whole, because this type of scene would probably never have come out had Tomunobu Itagaki still been at the reins. Here there was a scene that not only had drama in it, but also showed the point of motivation for one of the key characters in the story as well as setting up for potential plot lines for the future. In other words, its like they’re actually trying to create a story lol. Not to mention it also happens to be one of the only times where we see Ayane truly emotional, crying even. For this chapter we take control of Ayane for the most part, as she and Hayate enter the tournament together to figure why Genra has gone Nukenin. During this journey we begin to meet more of the characters from 4, namely Lisa, Kokoro and Eliot. Hayate and Ayane have a tag battle against Eliot and Gen Fu as part of Eliot’s training, Kokoro protects Kasumi as Ayane searches for her, and Lisa is still in talks about the Epsilon project. Brad Wong also has a hilarious cutscene where he pretty much molested Ayane completely. I laughed my ass off at that one haha. Finally, we also see that the entire ending to Doa 3 was completely changed. In this one, Hayate and Hayabusa have a sparring match to decide which one of the two is more capable of defeating Genra. Originally Ayane wanted to take her father on herself, but she was defeated soundly by Hayate, who told her that if they were going to defeat Genra, they would have to do it together. As Hayate and Hayabusa have their sparring match, Ayane and Irene watch on until Irene is captured by Christie. Hayabusa gives chase, but Hayate senses something wrong. After casting a jutsu, he sees that Genra is standing on the tower, waiting to challenge the two now that Hayabusa is distracted. Once Hayabusa is finished fighting with Christie, he looks up to see that Genra has casted a genjutsu, which explained the special arena he was fought in during DOA3. Hayate and Ayane prove to be a match for Genra until he unleashes a jutsu that decimates the duo. As he’s about to finish them off, Hayabusa flies in to the rescue, and slashes Genra across the back, and as Genra falls, he stabs him in the gut. While Hayabusa has him pinned, Ayane and Hayate cast their joint ninjutsu and blow Genra away. We also get to see a cutscene in which we get backshots of Victor Donovan, the man who’s been behind pretty much everything in the series, conversing with both Christie and Kasumi Alpha, who refers to him as her “father”. Yeah, I see what you were doing there Donovan, you sick fuck -__-
  Afterwards we then continue on into the dead or alive 4 storyline. Here, the player once again plays as Kasumi, once again coming full circle from the prologue chapter. Here the plays through just about the same story that was played through in the 360 game, with the Mugen Tenshin clan launching their all out offensive against Doatec in the midst of the Dead or Alive 4 tournament. Kasumi is increasingly worried both about her brother and the fate of Kasumi Alpha, while Ayane has become the new leader of the Hajin-mon after defeating her father. She now leads her ninja to support Hayate in the fight against Daotec with the support of Ryu Hayabusa. The fighters are also shocked to learn that Helena Douglas, who always openly hated her position as the head of Doatec, now apparently is openly taking the position and was continuing work on the company. At the Doatec Tri-Tower, where not only is the finals being held, but the main offensive of the attack is being launched, as Daotec’s soldiers fight against the ninja. It is in this location where the player finally confronts Helena, who reveals that the work on the Kasumi clone, Kasumi Alpha, never ended. Alpha was continually experimented on and modified until she became the ultimate killing machine, Alpha 152, the annoyingly cheap final boss from 4 that became famous for the controller throwing rage she induced in people. After Ayane gets split up from Hayate, she meets up with Hayabusa, when Christie jumps in and Ayane holds her off so Hayabusa can help Hayate. He then bumps in to Kasumi and Helena talking together. Kasumi considered herself decent friends with Helena, enough to know that the primma donna hated the company with a passion. She can’t seem to understand why is it that she would want to take over the company after all this time. Helena then reveals to Kasumi the existence of the Alpha project, and as Kasumi is shocked from the news, Helena holds her at gunpoint, telling her she has nothing to do with it. As she’s about to fire, the gun is knocked out of her hand by none other than Hayabusa. Kasumi and Helena then fight, Helena is defeated, and Kasumi must go to fight her clone. Meanwhile, Hayate and Ayane have already charged into the deepest depths of the lab as the Tri Tower is not set on flames, Doatec’s soldiers still trying to get rid of the ninja threat. While Hayate holds the guards off, Ayane begins to cast her greatest ninpo skill, and blows the whole lower half of the tower apart. As they brake threw and make their escape, they are then met by a presumably escaping Alpha 152, and they are soundly defeated. The Tri Tower is destroyed, Doatec is finished, and Alpha 152 continues making its escape.
However, you may be surprised to see that there is another chapter in this game. At first I was thinking, what else could they have to cover? Unlike a lot of other people, I had no delusions that this was in any way related to DOA5. Do you really expect Tecmo to just release that unannounced? And on a handheld even? Please.
No, this chapter continues the story only slightly by basically being Helena’s story path through all four games, including one, even though she actually was not in that game. It shows her rise to power from a girl who did not want to take over the company, to the head of Doatec itself. Funny thing is this chapter really doesn’t change much in the story all the way until DOA 4. Everything up until then is mainly repeats of the same scenes from the other chapters that involved her, except primarily told from her point of view. The story doesn’t really become anything new until about when 4 starts, and even then its not nothing new if you’re like me and have played every game in the series. Here we discover that Helena took over the company and released Alpha 152 because she knew the ninja were coming to attack, and was planning on “going down with the ship” so to speak. The young woman then finally stays in the building as the ninja attack, Ayane’s ninpo blast, and Alpha 152 cause the building to collapse and explode. Here however is where she finds Christie and learns that she is the one who killed her mother, not Ayane like she had always thought. After this revelation, aside from a last battle with Christie, we don’t really learn what happened after that, except it goes straight into the primary ending of DOA4, with the building exploding and falling around her, right up until Zack flies in on a helicopter and saves her. Afterwards, we then get a small cutscene where Helena is looking out to the sea on her yacht and says “the curtain has just risen”, her old 2 win quote, and Victor Donovan is seen walking into a dark room that has a single pedestal. He then takes a mask, the same one Genra had worn, and puts it on. His face glows in purplish energy, and he begins to laugh maniacally.

Overall, Chronicles mode was exactly what I was hoping it would be: a great way to really explore the world of DOA and do something with the great story that Tecmo has had for quite some time. Dead or Alive has always had a great story, but do to Tomonobu Itagaki’s leadership, they’ve never been able to do much with it. He had said himself that in reference to Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, he never cared about making a good story because he was a game designer; if he wanted to make a good story, he’d have become a writer. and then he wondered why so many fans didn’t like him personally. Overall, depending on what work Tecmo does with DOA5, I’m going to start wondering if in fact Itagaki was actually holding them back instead of being their driving force. Who knows? That could be exactly it.

Dead or Alive: Dimensions is in my opinion a great addition to the series, though some people may be put off by its handheld nature. No matter what though I think it is definetly the best game on the 3ds so far. The game is head and tails above Super Street Fighter 4: 3D Edition in any case. Hopefully the story can really be made something special now that Itagaki isn’t involved. What I would like to see is an anime adaption released for the series. Even better, I want the anime to be serious; with just about no fanservice, just so Dead or Alive can brake free from that reputation. If anything I would want the people behind Ikki Tousen to handle it, since they do decent work on their fight scenes. But yeah, I would actually prefer they didn’t include fanservice. It holds the series back in my opinion. If anything, make some OVA’s that are nothing but fanservice, like the ones they released for Ikki Tousen. It would only make sense.

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