STORY: A great leader was killed at the end
of the 20th century. His name was Fame Douglas, and he was renowned as the
sponsor of the legendary Dead or Alive World Combat Championship. Since his
death, and in the absence of his charisma and leadership, the world has become
chaotic. Yet something appears to be transpiring. Amid this chaos, it is
announced that the "Dead or Alive Championship 2" will be held.
However, Douglas's passing has taken with it the purpose and significance of the
tournament. Even worse, the promoter of "Dead or Alive Championship
2", who is fond of conflicts and jealous of the string, is responsible for
Douglas's death. The new promoter is more than a corrupt mastermind, but a man
of pure evil. His involvement in the tournament has brought a sense of terror to
the world, resulting in the infamous Tengu disaster that occurred at the end of
the 20th century. The climax of the disaster is about to begin with a roaring
Gen Fu... are you letting
her do that to you? Perv.
series creator, Tomonobu Itagaki, stated that he was dissatisfied with DOA2
as it was and decided to enhance the title on both PS2 and Dreamcast, working
towards his vision of the "ultimate fighting game". The Playstation 2
version of Dead or Alive 2:
Hardcore was based on the Japanese version of
Dead or Alive 2 for Dreamcast. This DOA2 enhancement features one new
character (Bayman), several new stages, updated / removed animations, more alternate costumes, and a new Gallery
Mode. The North American PS2 version also adds new English voiceovers for the
characters in addition to the original Japanese voices.
More Tag Team insanity...
and bad outfits!
DOA2: Hardcore offers an impressive
selection of modes, including: Story, Versus, Time Attack, Survival, Tag Battle,
Team Battle, Sparring, Watch, UPS (User Profile System), Battle Recorder, and CG
Gallery. The story
mode was slightly updated from the original's, adding in several new cut scenes, but still doesn't
do much for character development. DOA2: Hardcore's story really just
amounts to "a few random / silly cutscenes" for each fighter. Many cutscenes don't even make any sense at all. I guess
Itagaki and crew weren't
going for a "serious-themed" fighting game (which one might expect out
of the quote-unquote "ultimate fighting game").
The DOA characters have potential, but most of their in-game storylines
seem nothing more than afterthoughts or inside jokes.
Gameplay-wise, DOA2 Hardcore is practically the same exact game as DOA2. It's still
a fairly solid gameplay engine, but in my opinion, DOA's gameplay style is still overly dependent on counters
& repetitive strings. As I stated in my previous DOA2 review, some of
the more technical and fundamental aspects that drive most 3D (and 2D) fighting
games, seem to be put on the back burner. I definitely give Team Ninja credit
for offering a different angle on the 3D fighting game engine, but something
just feels "off" and "unrefined" about DOA's gameplay
system as a whole. The control of your fighter isn't quite "there" as much as it is in other 3D (and 2D)
fighters, and sidestepping & overall movement feels slow and sluggish at times. Still,
battles play out pretty smoothly and epically at times, primarily due to the
multiple tiers of each stage and the flashy counter & double
Don't even try to figure
out what's going on here.
The 1-player experience is also very much the same as DOA2. Survival Mode
has returned and is even more fun this time around, featuring random (and silly)
bonus items to collect as you
defeat opponents. Tag mode also returns with slightly faster gameplay, cool
new tag team throws/attacks, and a couple new stages. The standard Time Attack
and Practice (Sparring) Modes are also present. While this sweet looking 3D
fighter may appeal to casual gamers, especially with its purdy graphics (and
trademark bouncy boobs),
hardcore 3D fighting gamers looking for themost rewarding 3D hand-to-hand competitive
action will probably stick with Tekken Tag, Tekken
4, or Soul Calibur.
Arcade, Playstation 2,
Oct. 25th, 2000
Dec. 14th, 2000
Mar. 26th, 2015
DOA2: Hardcore was a decent 3D fighting game for its time. The somewhat
"noob-friendly" mechanics and cinematic-like action will definitely
appeal to the casual crowd. In high level play, DOA2 Ultimate can indeed be
dubbed a "counter fest," which turns out being a repetitive and (some
would say) boring gameplay experience in the long run.
DOA's character roster is still on the small side,
especially when compared to many other fighting games. And for such
a small roster, the characters really lack substance and personality. While
there are some exceptions here or there... and many cool attacks to check out...
the fighters of DOA2 Ultimate still need more time to develop. ~TFG