Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore
One of the corner stones of console gaming is fight games. I doubt that if it hadn’t been for games like Tekken, Virtua Fighter or Super Street Fighter, the console market would have been as big as it is now. All those that used to love fighting each other in the arcade halls were for the first time ever capable of doing the same in their own home and that’s what makes this genre so important.
When Sony’s PS2 was launched, alot of big names were thrown at people but for fighting games, only Tekken Tag Tournament was available and the overall opinion wasn’t all too great of that. It was time that Sony’s own major license was beaten in its own game.
That’s where Dead or Alive 2 comes in. DoA2 takes almost full advantage of the PS2’s capabilities and gave fight-lovers graphics they hadn’t seen on a console ever before.
There are several modes to play in DoA2 but except for multiplayer where you fight a friend they aren’t really worth mentioning.
Single player “story” mode (there is hardly a story) has you fighting against 6 out of the 12 characters, after which you finally get to kick the arse of the “mysterious bad guy”. Between fights you get nice cut-scene movies, but having only to fight 6 characters before the endboss is a bit easy if you ask me. Why didn’t they get you fight all characters like in Tekken 3 ?
In Time Attack you fight various opponents against time and if you succeed you’ll get your name on the scoreboard while Survival will have you kick butt one opponent after the other but without you getting new health and having to stand up to new opponents with full health every time you beat one.
Not really exciting if you ask me.
Tag Battle and Team Battle might get some people interested because the first allows you to play together with a friend against other opponents at the same time (IF you’re clever enough to make some special tag team move) and the second has you pick a team of characters that you can play one by one untill all are dead.
Now to the important part : how about me kicking my friend’s arse ?
That’s the great stuff of games like these : you can beat the crap out of everyone without actually hurting your best friend
Dead or Alive 2 has some great characters with special moves that make you go “WOW” witouth any problems. While fighting there are combinations of kicks, hits and even counter-block moves that will astound you and leave your opponent with almost no health left.
Also you can sometimes beat your opponent so hard that the whole screen will just start shaking which is a VERY nice effect.
I remember the first time I played this game I was beating the crap out of my colleague from Gamespot who was playing with Zack and by accident he triggered a special move that made Zack take my characters head and slam-dunk it to the ground until I was dead !
Imagine my surprise when I saw that !
Another nice thing about DoA2 is that the surroundings aren’t static but that you can for instance kick someone out of the window after which you follow him to another part of the area to do some more martial arts moves.
The only thing where DoA2 can’t compete with Tekken 3 is the brutality. While Tekken 3’s characters really impress you with their fighting skills and just spread an air of violence, DoA2 is more polished. You wouldn’t suspect the characters to be violent. Even a huge biker looks like a wuss in DoA2 and that’s really a shame.
Anyways, overall I can say that DoA2 is currently the best fight game available on PS2 and now that it’s gone into the Platinum range there’s really no excuse to not go out and get it