Dead Or Alive Paradise
If this is paradise, we can't wait to go home.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "if it's too good to be true, it probably is"? Well, that's definitely the case with Dead Or Alive Paradise, Tecmo's PSP remake of the 2003 Xbox release, Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. In it, you guide scantily clad bikini girls from the DOA games through Zack Island, a beach resort with plenty of volleyball, pool activities and card games. That sounds like it should be fun, but this game feels more like paradise lost.
Let's start with the story, which is incomprehensible. After being sunk to the depths of the sea in previous games, Zack resurrects his island with the help of a missile, a UFO and a buxom blonde co-pilot. From there, the DOA girls head over (inexplicably) to romp around, making friends and competing in events.
This game merely exists because of the eye candy, and Tecmo exposes this to the full extent. No matter which girl you select, you've got plenty of opportunities to ogle them in their lovely bathing suits, and even take pictures for later viewing in a photo gallery. If you don't like what they're wearing, you can purchase new threads in a virtual shop, along with accessories such as hair bands and other goods. There's actually a ton of variety in these suits, even going as far as imprinting the word "Fresh" on the buttocks.
Unfortunately, the girls are the only thing the game gets right. There's very little to do, save for some boring volleyball matches (you serve, bump, set, spike and block with little energy) and hopping on floating platforms around the pool. In addition, there are some casino games, with little reward for playing them. For some reason, Team Ninja opted not to include the jet ski and water slide events from DOA Xtreme 2. On one hand, we're relieved, but it means there's even less content.
You could go to the trouble of making friends, but the match system is flawed. The first encounter really ticked us off. You run across Lisa, a girl who seems friendly. However, within a few seconds of meeting her, she starts asking for a gift and practically stops the game in its tracks until you give it to her. You then have to spend the rest of the game trying to match up the right gifts to the right girls, or else you end up going solo. That means no volleyball matches for you. Even worse, you can't invite a friend to join. The game is strictly a single player affair.
What really disappoints us with Paradise is the presentation. It's bad enough that the game takes forever to load. When it does eventually start, the visuals never rise above average. The girls look OK, and their boob physics will no doubt make fanboys swoon, but the surroundings seem unfinished, and the frame rate constantly shifts around.
The audio comes up short as well, with tremendously annoying U.S. dialogue (on the same level as the spoiled brats from various MTV reality shows) and repetitive techno beats.
Only Tecmo could produce a game with bikini-clad hotties on a tropical island and make us loathe it. Dead Or Alive Paradise fails due to its lack of content, unpolished visuals, ear-grating audio and lack of anything beneficial to the Dead Or Alive series. You may enjoy it for a little while, but there's no reason to stay long. Not even for Tina.
What's Hot: Plenty of hot babes to ogle and take pictures of, a plethora of swimsuits and other goodies to buy.
What's Not: Few activities to take part in, below-average graphics, screechy dialogue will get on your nerves, no online connection means no trading girly items with others, constant loading issues.