Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 is a rare example of when a game knows exactly what it is and doesn’t try to do anything past that. This game knows that it’s nothing more than blatant fan-service, and it embraces that. About 5 seconds into the opening video, you know exactly what you’re in for as your screen is completely filled by a pair of boobs. The game is a lot more comfortable with what it is than its predecessor, as anyone who saw the pole dancing in the trailer can attest to. The question is, does the game have anything to offer other than a bouncing pair of breasts?
The Gameplay in DOAX2 is pitiful. Somehow, I actually think that the volleyball gameplay got worse from the first game. The partner AI got better and is a nice improvement, but the controls seem a little sluggish this time around. I kept wondering why there wasn’t some sort of system for either you or your partner to call a shot, which would’ve saved me from diving all over the court because my partner looked like she wasn’t going after any ball that wasn’t hit directly at her. There were too many instances where I would give the command to hit the ball only to see it fall at my feet. The controls in the jet skiing portion of the game I found to be much more pleasing. While they were not perfect, I never found myself getting angry at them like I did with the volleyball portion of the game.
There are several new mini-games to join the Hopping Game from the first DOAX. After purchasing the appropriate ticket from the shop, you will be able to engage in the Tug of War, the Water Slide, the Beach Flag game, and the completely shameless Butt Battle. These games are immensely frustrating and almost impossible to win. To date I have yet to win any of the competitive games other than the Flag game, and I still have not been able to finish the water slide. I guess I’m not 1337 enough for DOAX2. The competitive games, especially the Butt Battle and Tug of War, seem completely unfair, and suffer from the same sluggish control issue that volleyball suffers from. The Casino is also back in this game and is a much easier way to make money than actually playing volleyball or the other games. Most of the Casino is your standard fare, but I need to talk about the absurdity of the poker game. The AI is absolutely atrocious. I’ve seen opponents call my maximum bet with absolutely nothing in their hand. The betting is erratic to the point where each hand is literally a crap shoot.
There are some very nice visual aspects in DOAX2. The opening cinematic is quite impressive and shows just how well the 360 can render hot chicks. The majority of the character motions are rather realistic, with one obvious exception, the boobs. I was actually shocked to see just what kind of physics had been applied to the breast motion in the game. Several times while playing the game I actually had to sit back and marvel in the absolute ridiculousness of it. There are some pretty amazing things happening on these ladies’ chests, ranging from the two breasts moving and bouncing completely independent of one another to a character standing still and having her breast start to move and jiggle spontaneously. Now I’m not complaining about it, I knew what I was getting into when I bought the game, but at times it’s downright unsettling. One thing that was taken out of the game that disappointed me was the zoom during the replay, considering the other shameless additions to the game, I figured they would have left them in. There’s also the nifty new addition of the girls being able to get tan lines. There are some problems with the visuals however, my main one being the hair. As some of you might have noticed in the various trailers to the game, there are issues where the hair tends to clip through a girls body at times. While not major, it is noticeable enough to distract you from the main attraction .
I wouldn’t have to devote a section to this if the sound in the game wasn’t so bad. The music in the game is just as bad as in the first. This isn’t be a very hard problem to fix, but its annoying none the less. The American voice acting in the game is absolutely horrible. I left it on for about an hour during my first play through, before having to change it to Japanese before I went completely insane. The voice work is poorly written, my favorite line was when I was playing Poker with Christie and when it came time to show our cards she exclaimed “Time to DIE!”, and is acted with an equal level of crapitude. I’m certain that after having some of the Japanese lines translated that the dialog is no less infuriating in that language, at least it sounds cute when they’re saying it.
I’m not really sure how to approach this review, should I treat this game as a sports title because it involves volleyball and jet skiing, or should I go with my gut and put this game in the same category as Baywatch? In the end it doesn’t really matter. This game is poorly executed at almost every turn. The gameplay doesn’t enhance the visuals like it should, rather it significantly detracts from them. The gameplay is the desert you have to walk through to get to the oasis of the boobs. There are not very many positive aspects to the game. The most disappointing thing about this game is the unrealized potential of the game (yes, I’m actually serious). Team Ninja could’ve easily improved the gameplay from the first DOAX and made this game pretty fun, but instead they put some polish on the first game and somehow made the gameplay worse. When you get right down to it, this game just isn’t fun. In the end there’s only one reason why you should buy this game, if you REALLY like boobs and are willing to sit through a lot of crap to get to them.
Final Score: 3/10 - Extremely Poor (How do we rank games?)