Team Ninja and Tecmo took the leap and launched Dead or Alive 4 for the Xbox 360 in 2005. Our favorite girls are back in action as the evil DOATEC organization is under fire for their terrible human experiments. Join the jiggly cast of beautiful girls and help win the fourth Dead or Alive tournament exclusively on the Xbox 360. There’s plenty more TNA action in this Dead or Alive 4 review.
Dead or Alive 4 Plot:
In my very humble opinion, Dead or Alive 4 presents the best plot from the first four games in the series. It makes sense for once and includes various characters and subplots. You basically have two warring factions. DOATEC (Dead Or Alive Tournament Executive Committee) and the Mugen Tenshin Clan. DOATEC has been snatching up ninjas from the clan to experiment on and create a superhuman fighter. Returning fighters Helena and Christie represent DOATEC while Kasumi, Hayate, Hayabusa, and Ayane represent the Mugen Tenshin. DOATEC wants to unleash their newly created superhuman weapon, a clone of Kasumi with enhanced powers in liquid form and the Mugen Tenshin want to bring down DOATEC for good after the damage they have inflicted against the clan.
You have other characters fighting in the tournament with their own intertwining subplots that are just as interesting to discover so without further ado, let’s take look at the roster for this Dead or Alive 4 review.
Kasumi: She chose to abdicate her position as leader of the Mugen Tenshin clan and become an outcast, overcoming a vast number of trails to survive. If only it were possible for her to live in peace with her brother, Hayate, the current clan leader…However, storm clouds are already brewing, and the next epic battle of Kasumi’s life is about to be set in motion. Alpha-152…Kasumi still has no idea of the nightmare about to be unleashed on the world by her own clone. Winner of the first DOA Tournament ***
Ryu Hayabusa: It is not known who first uttered the phrase, but people have come to know Ryu as “Super Ninja.” He is the lone surviving Ninja of the Hayabusa clan, a lineage that traces its roots back to ancient times. Tales of his extraordinary exploits and incredible ability are well known. Now, having heard reports of his dear friend Hayate’s rise to arms, Hayabusa lends his sword to the destruction of DOATEC! Winner of the second DOA Tournament ***
Bass Armstrong: Pro wrestling is the kind of thing that you can stake your entire life on and still not completely master…that is what he taught his daughter. “Yeah, but look at Tina now… first its modeling, then acting; what’s with all this flashy crap! I’ll have to take her on again in the DOA tournament and teach her once and for all the true worth of wrestling!” However, Bass had no idea that his precious Tina had already set her sights on a new conquest…
Zack: The infamous Zack Island, a tropical casino resort, has sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Now all that remains is a mountain of debt, one hundred times the size of the original investment. Even the normally aloof Zack will have a hard time recovering from this blow… or so everyone thought. Zack’s sights are already set on his next conquest: the DOATEC Tritower, three enormous pillars stretching up to the sky… “I gotta climb this thing!”
Jann Lee: There is one thing that Jann Lee knows: a show-down between two truly powerful men is like an inferno! The heat that burns the soul and the scorching that says you are truly alive; these all come from the power of the fist. What Jann Lee is really searching for is the elation, the heat, which comes from trading blows with one who is truly powerful. The Dead or Alive martial arts tournament… This is the only reason that Jann Lee attempts to breach the strongholds of the victorious.
Leifang: It starts with a 6-year old memory, always accompanied by battle cries that sound like they come from a strange bird. The gleaming blade rushes toward her as she feels it may be too late. Then, in an instant, the young man with the embroidered dragon leaps on the scene. He massacres the hoodlums with a single blow, accompanied by a piercing yell. Since then, she has committed herself to reaching the highest plateau of ability, all so that she may exist in the same world as that young man. She must defeat him! (For those that don’t know, it’s Jann Lee)
Tina Armstrong: It may have been because of her father Bass’ special training, or simply her natural talent, but either way Tina has become a well-established superstar in the world of women’s pro wrestling. She has also been amazingly successful at everything else she has done, both as a model and as an actress, always following her motto “success breeds success.” Now, she has her sights set on a new dream…
Ayane: She is the kunoichi prodigy of Hajin Mon, the dark side of the Mugen Tenshin Clan. Although she is the half-sister to Kasumi and Hayate, she is doomed to the shadows because of her cursed birth. While she has an intense hatred towards Kasumi, who was brought up in a privileged environment unlike herself, she also feels strongly drawn toward Hayate. She has pledged her entire existence to the task of assisting Hayate in his plan to destroy DOATEC. Winner of the third DOA Tournament *** She is also the last original DOA fighter from the first game that is featured in every DOA story mode.
Gen-Fu: He’s unlockable in versus mode but not available for the story. Sounds like the old man has retired!
Bayman: The man personally responsible for Fame Douglas’ assassination after the first DOA tournament. However, Donovan’s payment for the deed came delivered in the form of a killer hired to shut him up. Such a misguided client must not be allowed to live. Now, the vengeful Bayman is infiltrating the Tritower, DOATEC’s base of operations, and he won’t be leaving until he has Donavon’s head.
Hayate: He is a young Ninja in charge of a powerful group of warriors in his role as the leader of the Mugen Tenshin clan. He cannot allow himself to look away any longer as DOATEC continues its orgy of indiscriminate violence. With the red-hot forge of fury burning within him, Hayate gives an order to his brethren: “DOATEC must fall! Let us eradicate them with the cleansing flames of justice!”
Helena: The daughter of Fame Douglas, the founder of DOATEC, Helena has sworn revenge after losing both her father and beloved mother, Maria, to a whirlwind of conspiracy. Now, she has chosen to throw herself into the storm by assuming the mantle of the president of DOATEC. Where does she intend to lead this giant organization, the source of all her misfortune? No matter which path she chooses, she will not find happiness at its end… Winner of the fourth Dead or Alive Tournament ***
Christie: She has served at Helena’s side, a poisonous needle slipped in by Donovan. Christie views this elegant woman, so completely opposite from herself with feelings that she cannot quite understand. What is this fixation? She won’t allow anyone else to harm that frail body… No, that is a privilege reserved only for her blood-soaked snake-hands.
Hitomi: A sudden illness has befallen Hitomi’s father, a karate practitioner, and prominent member of the German martial arts community. Although his life was spared, the family’s training hall is in financial trouble! Hitomi’s days are so busy now… but one of her greatest strengths is not letting the seriousness of the situation faze her. “I’ll just have to rebuild the dojo! But I’ll need somebody’s help. Only one person comes to mind: Ein. (Hayate) I wonder where he is and what he’s doing…”
Brad Wong: His journey to find the illusive liquor “Genra” came to an end, but not in the form of a drink, but as a confrontation with a monster. He followed his master’s wishes and searched for three years. Three years is such a long time, and to have it turn out to be for nothing! Now, with nothing to lose, Brad continues to wander, if he roams enough, certainly he will run into someone to fight…
Leon: He’s not available for the story mode but he is unlockable in versus.
Kokoro: “It’s not that I don’t like training to be a geisha. It’s just that there’s something that I enjoy much more than any of my lessons. I really put my heart and soul into my Ba Ji Qua, and that’s what I’m truly confident in. I want to test myself. I want to enter the DOA Tournament!” And so, despite the worries of her mother Miyako, who knows all there is to know about the criminal underground, Kokoro takes her first steps on the path to bloodshed.
Eliot: He’s the only apprentice of the legendary “immovable fist” Gen Fu, but he has doubts. Why would Master Gen Fu, who had never taken an apprentice before, choose him as his successor? Eliot seeks the answer in the form of the DOA tournament. If he cannot win the tournament, he has no right to carry on Gen Fu’s legacy.
La Mariposa: A masked wrestler who hides her identity underneath her flamboyant costume, La Mariposa rose like a comet to the peak of stardom only a short while after her debut. She has never lost a match, and like so many other masked wrestlers, her past remains a mystery. It seems that she has special expectations for her entry in DOA.
Whew, okay that’s enough character bios for this Dead or Alive 4 review.
Dead or Alive 4 Gameplay:
Usually, I say how much the graphics have improved in each Dead or Alive game but for the first time in the series, I was left very unimpressed by the graphics for my Dead or Alive 4 review on the Xbox 360. I know it was an early entry on the system, but wow the graphics and fighters look like they belong on the PS2 or Xbox. I think DOA Hardcore might have better graphics than DOA4! Particularly, the hair on the fighters looked terrible. The strands slid around on the shoulders like spaghetti noodles.
My first fight was Kasumi vs Tina. The difficulty in the gameplay was ramped up and there was no “easy” mode to select during my Dead or Alive 4 review. The lowest difficulty is “normal”. Tina quickly beat my ass and put Kasumi into a hold before riding her down stone stairs like a toboggan! Holy shit, that was awesome to watch! I immediately knew that I’d have to bring my A-game to this tournament after Tina quickly disposed of me.
I still don’t know why there is no English voice acting! Why? I don’t get it. I loved the voice acting in DOA2 so why is it absent in DOA1, DOA3, and DOA4? The environments have continued to become more and more a weapon in each entry. I loved sending my opponent into a wall or window and watching them crash below a few stories doing extra damage during my Dead or Alive 4 review. It’s great fun and even when it’s me getting sent down stairs or a fence, it’s cool to watch. There is one fighting area that takes place with dinosaurs. I don’t get it, there’s literally a T-Rex and other dinosaurs wandering around the area. Where did they come from? Did DOA rent out Jurassic Park Island?
Boss fights have been stupid in the DOA series. The first game was fine, but DOA2 and DOA3 featured supernatural demons with the screens blurry or weird camera angles. Finally, DOA4 has a respectable end boss. It’s still on the supernatural side, but at least it makes sense. Most fighters will fight Alpha-152, Kasumi’s clone for the final fight. She fights just like any other fighter, with no weird angles or blurry vision. Good! What I loved during my Dead or Alive 4 review was the final boss changed depending on the character you played as. Not everyone fought Alpha-152, some fought other characters in the game that had more to do with their character arc. Great job Team Ninja and Tecmo! I loved that change because it made sense that not everyone could fight Alpha-152. These fights connected the overall story and made it much easier to understand.
My favorite part of my Dead or Alive 4 review was the ridiculous and bizarre end videos for the characters. Almost every character featured a crazy end video that was hilarious. I loved it! I beat the game with every character but the first one I beat the game with was Kasumi. In her end video, she appears as a naked mermaid swimming around in the ocean and gets caught in a net. She wakes up in a dream and is trapped by her sheets. The video was so weird and had nothing to do with the tournament, it made me want to beat the game with all the other characters just to see how crazy their end videos were and I wasn’t disappointed. I couldn’t help but show my wife some of the more weird videos.
DOA4 has been sitting in my closet for a few months. I ordered my copy from eBay where it sat on the shelf for some time before I got through the first DOAs. My Xbox 360 has taken a beating over the years and I’ve needed to do some serious maintenance on it. I didn’t have a reason to do so until now, so with a fork and paperclip, I was able to get my Xbox 360 going again for my Dead or Alive 4 review. Hooray!
For once, my favorite fighter wasn’t Leifang. I think she lost a step in her quickness. Instead, my champion is Jann Lee. He toned down his weird bird calls but can still kick ass.
Dead or Alive 4 Review Score Overall:
This is the best game in the series despite the poor graphics for the platform. Fighting motions are smooth, the gameplay is easy to learn and for once the plot makes sense. Pick it up if you see it!
Dead or Alive 4 scores an 8.7 out of 10.
What would you write in your Dead or Alive 4 review? Do you remember when Dead or Alive 4 first came out? Who was your favorite fighter? Did you laugh at the hilarious videos? What did you think of Alpha-152? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!