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Dead or Alive 2 Hardcore

Developer: Team Ninja | Publisher: Tecmo
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 10/25/00 | Genre: Fighting

The latest in this series has come to us with all the action and the unique fighting technique with which the original game was introduced, plus a few extras. If you enjoyed Dead or Alive the first time, you'll love it this time, too. There were two things that made the first game a hit. Those were the revolutionary graphics, and the style of fighting. Oh, wait! ...and the totally-out-of-control bouncing female parts. *AHEM* Again, the fighting is still awesome, and the graphics are even better (of course) on the PS2. The silliness of runaway bosoms has taken a back seat to the intense combat in this installment.

Not all that long ago, when jabbering on about one of my few complaints about Tekken Tag Tournament, I expressed my dissatisfaction with the infinite fighting arenas and mentioned how wonderful it would be to see your opponent smashing into walls and things of that sort ...and came to the conclusion that that was another game. Well, this is it! There aren't crowds of spectators as in Tekken Tag, but there are plenty of walls, fences, stained glass windows, waterfalls, and multi-level drop-offs that make pummeling your opponent all the more fun. A lot of the levels are carried over from DOA and DOA2 (Dreamcast version), but many new things have been added for the HARDCORE incarnation on the PS2. There are more levels, more tag battle arenas, and Bayman has even come back to visit from DOA. You may be caught by surprise if you've played the Dreamcast version. Let's say you're in the midst of a heated battle, and feel the victory slipping away. Just then, you manage to take advantage of an opening carelessly left by your enemy. You give him the best hit you can manage, and (on the Dreamcast) he SLAMS against the wall and falls to a lump for a moment, only to rise again and redouble his efforts. Okay... REWIND. ... Just then, you manage to take advantage of an opening carelessly left by your enemy. You give him the best hit you can manage, and (on PS2, this time) he SLAMS THROUGH the wall, falling several stories, landing on his back onto a dusty stone floor, at the foot of an ancient dragon statue. What's this??? That's right... there before you is a whole new environment where your battle will come to its end.

The moves are the same, for the most part. Some have been changed simply to make things just a little easier when it comes to those special moves. If you're used to those run-of-the-mill Street Fighter style controls, then you'll have to learn a few new things here. This game isn't about trading blows, it's about blocking and counter attacks. If you don't learn this way of fighting, you may not last very long. You'll need to develop a good sense of timing, as well, because without timing, you're toast. There are ELEVEN different game modes. Do you really want me to name them all? You have the typical modes, Story, Versus, Time Attack, and Survival. You also have Tag Battle mode, Team Battle, Sparring (just practice), Watch, UPS (User Profile System) mode... which saves your battle records, Battle Record mode (saves replays), and Option mode. The characters each have quite a few hidden costumes as in the original, a feature that was suspiciously missing from the Dreamcast version, as well.

There is a down side to this game, at least for those of you who may not be fighting game freaks like me. Much the same as Tekken... if you've played it once, you've played it a thousand times. Tecmo has dressed this game up a bit, but underneath all the pretty stuff remains plain ol' Dead Or Alive. Personally, I've played it a thousand times, and I'll play it a thousand times more. If you like the Dead Or Alive series, then this is the best one to have. I don't think I'd recommend that a person should have the whole series in his/her collection, but if you're going to have one, have THIS one. I think we're all looking for something revolutionary in the fighting genre, and this isn't quite it... at least not anymore. It will remain, however, a classic... as a game, and as a series.

By Jack Blaguar - 08/15/01
ESRB Details:

Screenshots for Dead or Alive 2 Hardcore

Gallop Racer 2001

Bloody Roar 3