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Dead or Alive Xtreme 2: Dear Kasumi

Developer: Team Ninja | Publisher: Tecmo
Players: 1 to 4 Player Game | Release Date: 11/13/06 | Genre: Sports

Dear Kasumi,

Honey, I wish you wouldn’t look at me like that; sometimes these things just happen, I’m only being honest with you. This isn’t what I wanted for us and I certainly didn’t plan for it, but we have a problem. I’m not saying it’s over between us; maybe we can work things out, but I have to know…what the heck happened to Dead or Alive Xtreme 2?

I had watched other critics give you low scores as they discussed the lacking gameplay mechanics and I thought that they just didn’t know how to review the game. As games evolve, so should the way we review them. It is apparent that one cannot review DOAX 2 on the same elements that one would review the new Zelda game; I mean just take a look at our cousin media: movies. Does one review Jenna Jameson’s latest flick based on the same criteria that one would judge the next Peter Jackson smash hit? Is the quality of the acting a factor? The plot? The special effects? The answer to all of those is a definitive “no.” It’s more about camera angles, positions and the money shot. And so it is with this mind set that I began to dig into your latest title my dear.

doax2.jpgMy heart began to grow heavier and heavier as I painfully discovered that all the rumors I had heard about you turned out to be true; you did in fact fail to deliver the meaningful gameplay experience that so many relationships are based on. Imagine my surprise when I jumped into the volleyball matches to find that, despite a closer camera angle, the ball is somehow much harder to hit than before. Is it due to the poor angle? Or is it the clunky, unresponsive control? More than likely, it is the sickening combination of the two. The defensive play has been upped a bit and that is nice to see, but it is far from enough to make the experience enjoyable. The volleyball in the first title was genuinely fun, it is regrettable that the mechanics somehow got lost along the way.

I also must confess that the new activities you wanted to try with me were just not all that great. Please, it’s not you…it’s the same horrible camera angles and lifeless play control that are to blame. The water slide, the tug of war, the beach races…the butt battle…how do you manage to mess that up? I will admit that I had fun playing the pool hopping game and also racing on the jet skis. However, those two activities alone do not justify spending an inordinate amount of time together.

doax1.jpgI’m also having a tough time adjusting to your friends’ new found attitude problems. Shower them with gifts though I may, they simply throw it back in my face and send it right back to me…at least a good portion of the time anyway. Why should I waste my hard earned money to please your friends if they are going to be so ungrateful? I’m tired of trying to please everyone…I just can’t do it any more. You won't let my friends come over and play at all...instead we can only play over Xbox Live. Drunken parties just aren't the same over a cable modem.

All of the things I’ve mentioned bother me, but perhaps the worst part about all this is that you even fail to fulfill the shallow desires to which you played so well in recent years. If I try to get close, you push me away; no more blatant zoom feature? I don’t even know what to say. Again, those horrendous controls have somehow managed to infect the camera system ruining those special moments we once shared together.

I’m not saying there’s no future for us, baby, you still look as beautiful as ever. Your feminine charms have lost none of their youthful bounce and I would love to spend more time with you on the gorgeous beaches or racing through the incredible waves of the majestic ocean, or even sleep soundly together in the new hotels on Zack’s new island. Unfortunately, I think you need to step back and pull yourself together before we can see each other again.

doax6.jpg
I really am sorry about this. I’m sure this wasn’t easy for you to read, but these things had to be said. There are issues that need to be addressed. In the meantime I’m going to spend some quality time with my new friend Gears of War.

Sincerely,

Ryan Schaefer

By Ryan Schaefer - 11/21/06
ESRB Details: Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Simulated Gambling
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