Dead or Alive 3

STORYRyu Hayabusa, the Super Ninja, put a stop to the evil doings of Tengu. Nevertheless, it was too late to stop the Tengu of Destruction from triggering a massive, worldwide collapse. The collapse churns up a dense cloud that covers the entire planet in a shroud of darkness and fear. DOATEC has gone astray, turning into the hunting grounds for power-hungry scam artists. This is when DOATEC's development department (a fortress for state-of-the-art military technology) witnesses the success of a genius.

Following Project Alpha and Project Epsilon, the ever ambitious Dr. Victor Donocan completes the Omega Project, producing a new Superhuman: Genra. This man, who was once leader of the Hajin Mon Ninja, is no longer human. He (or it) is a force of singular and unprecedented capabilities. A slaughterhouse has now been provided as the exclusive domain of the Omega superhuman. It is a realm that has come to be known as the world Combat Championship.

DOA3 character select screen.

Dead or Alive 3 introduces three new characters to the roster, those being: Christie, Hitomi and Brad Wong. Additionally, a non-playable boss known only as "Omega" awaits players in story mode. Naturally, DOA3 presents some brand new interactive environments to explore, all of which are simply gorgeous on Xbox. DOA3 also brings along some gameplay tweaks, including: increased counter periods, unrestricted 3D-axis movement and less emphasis on juggling combos. While the new gameplay elements actually cater more to beginners, DOA3 does manage to provide the most detailed gameplay experience of the series thus far.

Hitomi brings the traditional kicks and punches.

is easily one of the best looking fighting games of the time period, showing off incredibly lush 3D environments and smoothly rendered character models. The only noticeable flaws are some low quality background textures here or there, but the action of the combat does a good job of taking your attention away from the background imperfections. The single-player story mode is a satisfying playthrough, featuring some decently challenging AI opponents. The story mode fares a bit better than DOA2's, but that's not saying too much. Just like in the prequels, a lot of the cutscenes are just bland, silly or nonsensical.

Once again, where DOA3 shines most is in the visuals department. Characters and backgrounds are some of the best-looking to date and the animation & "ouch factor" is well done. The way your opponent smashes into a tree, or through a wall, looks especially painful and cringe-worthy. While the hit-effect animations in DOA never fail to make you cringe (in a good way), certain attacks don't look quite as amazing or animate as well as they should. In my opinion, quite a few punches & kicks in DOA don't seem to have that "oomph" at times (even though the opposing character goes flying backwards about 10 feet). Most of the martial arts represented in DOA3 are represented better than in the past, but there are still many fan-favorite styles sorely missing. 

Gorgeous graphics... and gorgeous girls.

Those new to 3D fighting games can easily find themselves being drawn in by DOA3's amazing graphics and the innovative environmental interaction. The ability to knock your opponent off of some insanely high places, and continue fighting in a new area, is still the one of the main draws of the game. However, DOA still isn't every 3D fighting game players "cup of tea"...

Like in the prequels, high-level play becomes a "counter fest". The fact that nearly every move can be easily countered with ONE button (and an easy timing window) becomes a bit frustrating and doesn't exactly reward "skill" all of the time. Yes, it takes some basic skill and timing to perform a counter, but the counter window is a little too foolproof... for my tastes at least. Counters aren't even punch/kick specific (like in the Tekken series, for example) so countering in DOA3 is pretty noob-friendly all around. Casual players may not think that's a bad thing, but for a game aiming to "last" in the current era of modern 3D fighting games... it's a flaw. Nonetheless, for a console fighting game, DOA3 is a solid package and easily one of the more innovative fighting games of era.





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Page Updated: March 2nd, 2024
Developer(s): Team Ninja
Publisher(s): Tecmo
Designer(s): Tomonobu Itagaki
Artwork by: Yasushi Nakakura
Hidoyuki Kato
Muneaki Kubota
Yoshiki Horiuchi
Platform(s): Xbox
Release Date(s): Nov. 14th, 2001   
Feb. 22nd, 2002   

Mar. 14th, 2002   
Characters Christie, Brad Wong, Hitomi, Lei Fang, Kasumi, Ayane, Ein, Leon, Tina Armstrong, Bass Armstrong, Ryu Hayabusa, Helena, Gen Fu, Jann Lee, Bayman, Zack, Omega

Featured Video:

Related Games: Dead or Alive 4, Dead or Alive 5, Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate, DOA5: Last Round, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, Dead or Alive 6, Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive 2, Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore, Bloody Roar 3, TEKKEN Tag Tournament, TEKKEN 4, SoulCalibur 2

Gameplay Engine  8.0 / 10
Story / Theme  6.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.5 / 10
Animation  9.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  7.0 / 10
Innovation  8.0 / 10
Art Direction  6.0 / 10
Customization  8.0 / 10
Options / Extras  7.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  6.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  8.5 / 10
Characters  7.5 / 10

 8.0 / 10



Final Words: DOA3 is another gorgeous 3D fighter from Team Ninja... certainly a quality sequel sure to please most fans of DOA2 & DOA2: Hardcore. But what about the rest of the fighting game community? What if easy-to-do counter moves and overly-sexualized women with bouncy boobs just aren't enough to keep you interested?

Indeed, DOA still seems to be focused more on "bouncy" girls and flashy stage interactions than authentic martial arts or technical gameplay. Personally, most of DOA's characters still don't quite hold my interest. While DOA3 may attract more casual gamers with its lush visuals, many serious 3D fighting game players will probably look somewhere else to get their fix.

~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen
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