Dead or Alive 3 Review

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The Dead or Alive series was officially on a roll and launched the third game in the franchise in 2001 for the Xbox. Developer Team Ninja and publisher Tecmo teamed up and gave Microsoft fans an exclusive as DOA3 was only released for the Xbox. Would the series continue to build momentum? Did the girls still have huge tits that bounced everywhere? They kick high in this Dead or Alive 3 review!

Dead or Alive 3 Plot:

I’m learning that the Dead or Alive franchise likes to dive into the supernatural for their final bosses. After the events of DOA2 where Ryu Hayabusa defeated an evil Tengu who was causing massive havoc throughout the world. (Terrible boss) While the Tengu entity was defeated, his curse continued and caused the world to fall into collapse.

Remember Hayate? The brother of Kasumi who was crippled in the first game and a science DNA project in the second game? Well, the scientific facility that he escaped from that was located in Germany has continued experiments on humans. They started a new test on Genra, the head ninja of the clan that Ayane belonged to as a child. Genra was the adoptive father of Ayane and he’s been turned into an evil superpowered human who is continuing the evil reign that the Tengu started in the second game!

Kasumi won the first tournament, Ryu Hayabusa the second, and for the third tournament, Ayane comes away with the victory and stops her adoptive father in the process. We’ll take a look at the playable fighters for my Dead or Alive 3 review as the roster gets expanded significantly for the first time.

Kasumi – Day after day she is forced to defend herself from attempts on her life by highly skilled assassins. Then, one day, Kasumi learns that Hayate is to be at the DOA tournament. Though she finally meets her long-lost brother in this last tournament, it is impossible for a runaway shinobi ever to return home in peace.

Ryu Hayabusa – He’s the modern super ninja, and best friend of Kasumi’s brother, Hayate. In the last tournament, he successfully brought down the Tenju. But before he allows himself to relax in a new era of relative peace, Ryu must enter the tournament again, this time to save the world from Genra, an evil being created by the DOATEC.

Zack – He’s the funky dude who taught himself, Muay Thai. One day, after spending his winnings from the last DOA tournament, Zack realizes he has a problem. He has forgotten to do what he always wanted to do – enjoy the many luxuries of a Las Vegas vacation! In order to whip up some cash for his Vegas trip, Zack is back in his combat mode, heading for DOA.

Gen Fu – He fought in the last DOA to obtain the money needed to cure his sick granddaughter, Mei Lin, who was suffering the ravages of a rare disease. Thanks to the prize money, Mei Lin is growing better and better every day. However, one last surgery, which will require a vast sum of money, is needed to cure her completely. To save the life of his granddaughter, Gen Fu fights once again.

Tina Armstrong – She’s a superstar in the world of women’s wrestling, and the only daughter of the professional wrestler Bass. She is a woman of boundless ambition who thirsts for even greater fame and celebrity. Although she finally made her debut as a model following the last tournament, she now wants to be an actress. So, Tina decides to enter DOA one more time.

Bass Armstrong – He’s an undefeated bad guy professional wrestler. Although Bass has already retired from his job, he enters DOA to stop his daughter Tina from winning the tournament. Bass loves his daughter very much, but he has always wanted Rina to become a professional wrestler. Hearing that Tina now wants to be an actress, he is extremely upset.

Leon – Rolande, a woman thief of the Silk Road, died saying “The man I love is the strongest man in the world.” In order to justify his lover’s last words, Leon entered the last DOA, only to be defeated. With memories of Rolande still haunting him, Leon declares, “I shall win this time,” pledging his all upon the grave of a woman whose body lies buried beneath the desert floor.

Bayman – He’s back! Bayman was a playable character in the first DOA and was an unlockable fighter in the second but you couldn’t use him in the story mode. He returns to DOA3. A professional assassin who acquired his skills in the military, Bayman, assassinated the founder of the DOA tournament after the first game. Donovan, the man that hired Bayman to do the hit sent a sniper after him but Bayman escaped. In retaliation against his former client, Bayman decides he’ll show up at DOA.

Jann Lee – The fighter without a cause, still walks a lonely path. Though the reputation of Jann Lee – the Dragon, as he is called – is universal, his search for a stronger enemy never ends. His presence is still prominent in DOA, and his battle cry can still be heard.

Leifang – She’s known to many as the young genius of T’ai Chi Quan. Ever since Jann Lee saved her from a gang of thugs, she has entered DOA to test her skills against his. Jann Lee has demonstrated his superior skills in the last two tournaments, but Leifang won’t let that stop her. “This time, I am going to beat him!” (She doesn’t) But she was my favorite again during my Dead or Alive 3 review.

Helena – She is the illegitimate daughter of the coupling between Fame Douglas, leader of DOATEC, and his mistress. Whether she likes it or not, she is dragged into the intertwined conspiracies within the huge DOATEC organization as the only living relative of Douglas. Captured at last by the anti-Douglas faction of DOATEC, Donovan challenges her to win in the DOA Tournament. If she really wants the truth, she has no choice but to fight.

Hayate – He’s the brother of Kasumi and half-brother to Ayane. As the 18th leader of the Mugen Tenshin ninjas, he was the subject of DOATEC’s experimental superhuman project (Project Epsilon) in which he lost his memory. But, in the last tournament, he recovered his memory and was officially ordained as the leader of the Mugen Tenshin. He is now set to enter DOA again in order to defeat Genra, the superhuman created as a puppet of DOATEC’s Project Omega.

Ayane – She’s the half-sister of Kasumi and Hayate. Ayane’s former teacher and foster parent, Genra, the leader of the Mugen Tenshin ninjas that have disappeared. Ayane, now the most powerful shinobi learns that Genra has been turned into a puppet by DOATEC and its dastardly Omega Project. Seeing what has become of her beloved father figure, Ayane realizes that fate commands her to put Genra out of misery.


Christie – Possessed of all characteristics required of an assassin, this cold-blooded woman has undergone the ultimate adaptation – excelling in the art of She Quan, which she employs to the fullest. Christie has been hired by Donovan, leader of DOATEC’s anti-Douglas faction, and enters DOA in order to keep an eye on Helena.

Brad Wong – One day, the old master Chen, the great teacher of Zui Ba Xian Quan, says to Brad: “Bring me the legendary drink. The name is “Genra.” These words are a riddle to Brad Wong, and he begins his journey in search of the mysterious “Genra.” After three years of wandering, he finds himself in a fighting tournament.

Hitomi – She is the daughter of a Japanese mother and a German karate master. She has been practicing karate under her father’s tutelage since she was just a child. Hitomi has always wanted to fight in DOA in order to test her formidable skills against the real world, and her father has finally allowed her to participate.

Dead or Alive 3 Gameplay:

DOA3 takes a big step backward in the voice acting department. In the second game, English voice acting is offered as the default but in the next game, there’s no English available at all when I played through my Dead or Alive 3 review! What the heck, why not offer it if it was in the second game? I looked in the options menu and there’s no way to change it. The only way I knew what was going on was to read the subtitles which isn’t a big deal but I was disappointed.

The opening video is cool with Aerosmith wailing away on the guitar, so at least they kept the rock music theme during my Dead or Alive 3 review. There are a ton more fighters to choose from and I enjoyed learning about the new characters. Brad Wong was my least favorite as he’s just a drunk but Hitomi and Christie have potential. In the second DOA, the environment became part of the fight. You were able to send opponents into breakable objects or knock them off ledges to deal extra damage. DOA3 expands on this. You’ll be sending opponents through windows, cliffs, and more. There are breakable objects in the area to smash the opposing fighter through like icicles, torches, and electric signs. They put a great amount of detail into the areas you fight in. Snow grounds have imprints on where you step or fall, brick tiles break when you land on them and when you shove an opponent against a palm tree, coconuts fall from it! This was a great touch and I’m happy to see that Team Ninja continued to improve the environment.

Genra aka “Omega” is the final boss and once again I was disappointed during my Dead or Alive 3 review. His opening is identical to Darth Maul’s double-lightsaber introduction in Star Wars Episode I. You can bet that Team Ninja was inspired by that sequence. My problem with Omega is that he has very few moves and they are cheap. He’ll shoot energy balls at you that can’t be blocked, the camera angle is different for this fight and the screen is blurry. I’d much rather fight a super-powerful fighter to win the tournament than some weird demon in armor that has very little to do with the DOA tournament. Another thing that sucks about Omega is whenever you can knock him down when his body touches the ground it also damages you. What’s up with that?

The difficulty level was bumped up a bit from the second one but not as tough as the first game. I didn’t have any issues defeating fighters during my Dead or Alive 3 review but when I faced Omega it took me an annoying amount of tries to defeat him on the “normal” setting. At least when you defeat him, you are presented with a cool video for each character. That feature is something that DOA has improved each game. The first was just some dumb picture of the character when you beat the game, the second gave you a small video but the third expands the video and gives you a better idea of the personalities of the fighters.

DOA3 offers a ton of modes including team battle, survival, “watch mode” and movie mode where you can watch the ending videos of each character which I thought was a great idea. As far as I know, there’s no weird option about the boobs in this game like there was in the first two DOAs. Don’t worry, the girls still have quite a bit of skin showing and Christie is nude in her end video.

Leifang has been my favorite fighter to use in the first two DOAs but she has some competition now. Jann Lee is the perfect combination of speed and power for my Dead or Alive 3 review but Leifang is still fun to use and I enjoyed Christie’s weird punches where her hands are like biting snakes.

I have no idea why, but for some reason, my mom bought me DOA3 when I was in middle school. I never asked for it but she was happy with my report card and randomly gave me the game as a “good job”. I didn’t complain as I loved video games (obviously) but it was my introduction to the DOA series. Back then, I was just as disappointed to learn that they didn’t speak English which may have been why I didn’t play it as much as I should have.

A few years later my mom threw her annual Christmas party. My mom and stepdad are very well off and many snobby and artsy people attend. I had attended a few times, it was fun for the most part and they even hired a magician one year to walk around and perform tricks. I brought two friends with me one year and nobody was hanging out with us so we just went to my room upstairs and played DOA3 for the entire party. It was fun! Another 10 years would pass before I completed my Dead or Alive 3 review.

Dead or Alive 3 Review Score:

I prefer the PS2 controller over the old duke of the Xbox any day for any game. The controller made the experience less than perfect for DOA3 but that’s more of a dig at the Xbox than DOA3. Unfortunately, because DOA3 was an Xbox exclusive, it was the only way to play the game. I also couldn’t believe the English acting was absent!

DOA3 offers a large cast of fighters and puts them into detailed interactive environments that are satisfying to fight in. It’s a great game, but I think I like the second DOA better.

Dead or Alive 3 scores a 7.9 out of 10.

What would you write in your Dead or Alive 3 review? Do you remember when Dead or Alive 3 first came out? Who is your favorite fighter to use in this game? What did you think of the English voice acting being absent? What about Omega, could you defeat him? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!


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