Dead or Alive: Dimensions
|Dead or Alive: Dimensions|
|Publisher(s)||Tecmo Koei (Japan, North America)|
Nintendo (PAL Regions)
|Series||Dead or Alive|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Dead or Alive: Dimensions (DOAD) is a fighting game developed by Team Ninja and released by Tecmo Koei and in some regions by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011. Originally planned as a launch title for the 3DS but delayed due to 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, DOAD makes use of the console's unique features. The game was well received by critics.
Dimensions can be considered a compilation game rather than a truly new entry in the Dead or Alive series, similar to the likes of Mortal Kombat Trilogy or Tekken Tag Tournament. It offers 26 playable fighters, more than any previous installment in the franchise, and uses a modified engine of Dead or Alive 4. Its plot compiles the stories of the previous four main DOA games with additional details, focusing on Kasumi for 1, Ryu Hayabusa for 2, Ayane for 3, and Helena Douglas for 4.
Dimensions was the first DOA game to be released on a Nintendo system, the first one not fully published by Tecmo (it was jointly published with Nintendo in Europe and Australia), the first DOA fighting game released on a handheld, and most notably, the first released without any involvement from series creator Tomonobu Itagaki. It was also the first game in the series to have a "Teen" rating from the ESRB since Dead or Alive 3 by toning down the sexual content for female characters; nevertheless, the game was not distributed in Sweden and consequently in all Scandinavia, and experienced problems with being released in Australia as well.
In Dead or Alive Dimensions, the action is displayed on the top screen of the Nintendo 3DS, while the special fighting moves are displayed on the touch screen below. DOAD incorporates a Chronicle Mode feature, which acts as a story mode in the game, going through all four Dead or Alive tournaments as the player assumes the roles of various fighters from the series. The other modes featured are Arcade (in which the player fights for additional time), Survival (in which the player fights until he defeats all opponents or is knocked out), Free Play, Training, Showcase (in which the player position 3D models on a stage and takes 3D photos of them), and 3D Photo Album (in which the player views the photos taken in Showcase mode).
The game's stages are mostly taken from Dead or Alive 3 and Dead or Alive 4 (both stage are also taken from Dead or Alive Ultimate). The substantial new content in the game are the Freedom Survivor stage and the inclusion of a stage based on Metroid: Other M – a Wii game co-developed by Team Ninja with Nintendo – with characters from that game appearing as stage hazards (but not playable fighters). The characters Kasumi Alpha, Genra, and Alpha-152 who were boss characters in the previous games are made playable for the first time as unlockable characters. Shiden who first appeared in Dead or Alive Ultimate makes his first playable appearance as an unlockable boss character.
The 3DS's touch screen is used to make the characters execute special fighting moves, while the top screen is used for displaying the fight, in a similar fashion to Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. Dimensions supports in-game frame data that can be displayed on the bottom screen during Training Mode. Dimensions also uses the 3DS' StreetPass feature to make AI representations of the player, based on their play patterns, that can challenge other owners of the game in the Throwdown mode. Dimensions offers a framerate of 60 frames per second with the console's 3D feature turned off. With it turned on, however, the imagery is divided by two for the players individual eyes (30 frames per second to each eye).
Dimensions features a roster of up to 26 playable characters. In the stage based on Metroid: Other M, Ridley appears as a stage hazard while Samus Aran appears at the end of the match; Samus is not a playable character in the game, but only makes a cameo appearance to help the fighters. The list of characters are given below, the unlockable characters being marked with an asterisk.
|Name of character||First appearance|
|Alpha-152*||Dead or Alive 4|
|Ayane||Dead or Alive|
|Bass Armstrong||Dead or Alive|
|Bayman||Dead or Alive|
|Brad Wong||Dead or Alive 3|
|Christie||Dead or Alive 3|
|Ein||Dead or Alive 2|
|Eliot||Dead or Alive 4|
|Gen Fu||Dead or Alive|
|Genra*||Dead or Alive 3|
|Hayate||Dead or Alive 3|
|Helena Douglas||Dead or Alive 2|
|Hitomi||Dead or Alive 3|
|Jann Lee||Dead or Alive|
|Kasumi||Dead or Alive|
|Kasumi Alpha*||Dead or Alive 2|
|Kokoro||Dead or Alive 4|
|Leifang||Dead or Alive|
|Leon||Dead or Alive 2|
|La Mariposa / Lisa Hamilton*||Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball|
|Raidou*||Dead or Alive|
|Ryu Hayabusa||Ninja Gaiden|
|Shiden*||Dead or Alive: Dimensions|
|Tengu*||Dead or Alive 2|
|Tina Armstrong||Dead or Alive|
|Zack||Dead or Alive|
Dead or Alive: Dimensions plot spans the first four main games in the Dead or Alive series. In the prologue, set before the first game, Kasumi is confronted by her father, the 17th and current leader of the Mugen Tenshin Ninja Clan, Shiden, about her skills as he plans to make her his next heir. Originally, Kasumi's brother and Shiden's eldest child, Hayate was destined to be Shiden's next heir, but sometime ago, the exiled ninja Raidou attacked the village, beating Ayane and defeating Hayate. As a result, Hayate was crippled and fell into a coma. Upon learning this, Kasumi decided to run away from the village to take revenge on Raidou for Hayate, even though it meant she would be a fugitive and likely to be killed by her own clan. Kasumi is quickly stopped by Ayane, who was ordered to track her down and kill her, but Christie appears in a helicopter and saves Kasumi. Although Kasumi did not know the woman, she went with Christie to safety. Heading towards Helena Douglas' cruise ship Freedom Survivor, Kasumi is introduced to both Christie and Bayman and is told about the "DOA tournament", with Raidou being there. Kasumi encounters Ayane, now a contestant, and both meet Raidou with Fame Douglas, the founder and head of the Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee (DOATEC). After Kasumi fights her way and manages to reach the final round, she faces against Raidou and defeats him, but then he reawakens more powerful than before. Kasumi uses her magic against him, and with help from Ryu Hayabusa, she finally kills Raidou. However, she gets kidnapped by DOATEC, which prompts Ryu to save her. That same night, Douglas is assassinated by Bayman under the order of Victor Donovan, and although he is successful, Christie leaves Bayman behind as she returns to DOATEC headquarters.
Hayate, still in a coma, is abducted from the village by Kasumi Alpha. Ayane is told by Genra about the return of Tengu and sent to search for Ryu in Europe. After the death of Helena's father Fame, and then later her mother Maria, Helena appears on Freedom Survivor and takes over the Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee and announces the "second DOA tournament", with herself participating as a competitor, determined to find the truth about the murder of her parents. Ryu hears that Kasumi is in DOATEC Germany and goes there. In DOATEC's facility in Germany, where Kasumi is indeed being held, Alpha sneaks Kasumi out of her cell. As the facility burns down, Ryu saves Kasumi and takes her to safety, while Lisa Hamilton and Alpha make their escape with Hayate and place him in one of the helicopters, which gets hit and crashes. In the forest, Ryu and his friend, Irene Lew, learning that Hayate was human experimented on in genetics research in the facility and Kasumi runs off to find him. In another part of the forest, Hitomi is training when Hayate, who survived the crash, stumbles into her and collapses. As Ryu battles through the tournament, he tries to warn Jann Lee and other competitors of the dangers of the tournament but finds them unwilling to back down, so he proceeds to knock them out of the tournament. Ryu encounters Hayate, who is now going by the name of "Ein" and suffering from amnesia. Later, Ryu tracks down Tengu and kills him. Ein arrives at Miyama and tries to remember why he knows the place. After defeating Kasumi in battle and knocking her out, Hayate regained his memories, but Genra reveals that he allowed Tengu to pass into the human world and escapes, leaving a brainwashed Ayane and Kasumi Alpha to fight Ryu and Hayate. Ryu, along with Irene, explain to Hayate that Genra may have been involved with DOATEC, and although Ayane returns to normal, both Kasumi and Alpha disappear.
During the "third tournament", Helena hires Bayman to protect her and kill Donovan. Christie, posing as Helena's assistant, attempts to assassinate her but is caught and restrained by Bayman. Alpha over-hears that Helena wants Donovan dead and attacks her, but Helena manages to defeat her. With Genra turned traitor, Hayate requests to his father that he should hunt him down, making Shiden believe Hayate is ready to take over as the leader of the clan instead of Kasumi. Hayate wants to bring Kasumi home first, but Ayane speaks against it, calling Kasumi a traitor, which enrages Hayate and makes him slap her. Thinking that Hayate now hates her, Ayane attempts suicide, but is found by her mother, Ayame. Ayane is upset believing Hayate only cares about Kasumi, but Ayame reminded her that all four of them are family and asks Ayane to save Kasumi rather than be her enemy. Hayate and Ayane join the third tournament to track down Genra. Kasumi spends some time in the geisha district of Kyoto during her running and disguised herself as a normal high school girl and civilian to get by. She developed a fever and passes out on the road. She is found by local maiko, Kokoro, who offered to help her, but Kasumi refuses and upon seeing Ayane from a distance, Kasumi panics and flees. Ayane ask Kokoro where the girl fled to, but Kokoro quickly caught on to Kasumi's fright and refused to tell Ayane, and Ayane tried to beat the information out of Kokoro. Hayate arrives shortly after their fight, and Ayane informs him that she saw Kasumi while Kokoro fled the scene. While on Freedom Survivor, Hayate meets up with Hitomi again since his departure when he was Ein, and Hayate tells Hitomi the truth about his and Ayane's ninja identity, much to Hitomi's surprise. Later, Hayate and Ayane come across Gen Fu, who is giving his apprentice Eliot rigorous training. Gen Fu then asks the two ninjas for a friendly tag duel so that his apprentice can experience different fighting styles. After the fight, Eliot proclaims that he is still inexperienced and not yet ready to succeed Gen Fu as xing yi quan master. An annoyed Ayane slaps Eliot and tells him to stop putting himself down and toughen up. Eliot thanks her for the advice and they all hope that they can meet each other again. Sometime later, while Hayate and Hitomi were training in Freedom Survivor, they were interrupted by Leifang's crash by Jann Lee. Hitomi steps in to defend Leifang from Jann Lee but Leifang tells Hitomi to stay out of it therefore starting their rivalry. Jann Lee thinks Hayate is a worth competitor and asks him for a fight. Sometime later, Hayate meets with Helena, who recognizes him as the subject of Project Epsilon. Hayate demands she tells him why Genra joined DOATEC, but she claimed she does not know and both Genra and herself are just puppets of DOATEC. After defeating Helena in battle, he tells her that she should leave DOATEC for her own safety. Later, Hayate and Ayane meet up with Ryu and Irene, but Irene gets kidnapped by Christie. Ryu runs off to save her, while Hayate and Ayane are confronted by Genra, who he transformed into his Omega form. When Ryu realizes that Christie was just a decoy, he returns to aid them, and runs Genra through with his Dragon Sword, giving time for Ayane and Hayate to perform a duel magic attack that strikes Genra before he could regenerate, killing him. When they return to the village, Ayane watches Genra's body cremated as she walks away in tears.
After Helena became head leader of DOATEC, Donovan discusses with her the biological weapon cloning project, Project Alpha. With the "fourth tournament" on the way, Hayate and his clan are planning an attack on DOATEC's main headquarters, the Tri-Tower. Fearing the worst, Kasumi finds her brother and tries to convince him not to start a war, but the plea falls on deaf ears. One night, Hayate, Ayane, and Ryu attacks the Tri-Tower with Irene and the CIA aiding them. Inside the tower, Ayane and Ryu are intercepted by Christie. Ayane engages Christie in combat while Ryu tries to regroup with Hayate. At the same time, Kasumi infiltrates the Tri-Tower and confronts Helena, pleading with her to stop the war, but Helena replied that the ninja would stop at nothing to destroy DOATEC, and the final product of Project Alpha, Alpha-152. Helena attempts to shoot Kasumi, who is saved by Ryu. Hayate is approached by Lisa Hamilton, now a luchadora going by her ring name "La Mariposa". She reveals that she had something to do with his vendetta against DOATEC. Hayate merely replied that she had done him a favor and repaid her with a fight. Afterwards, Hayate meets with Hitomi again, who pleaded for him to come back with him to the dojo. Hayate told her that he couldn't, and the fourth tournament was no tournament at all, but a war between DOATEC and his people. He then asked her to spar for a warm-up, for old time's sake, which she happily accepted. After the fight, they told each other to take care before Hitomi departs. While Kasumi makes her way to fight an awakened Alpha-152, Hayate and Ayane use their magic to destroy the Tri-Tower, only to have to face Alpha-152 themselves. With the Tri-Tower in flames, Helena faces Christie one last time, and learns that it was actually her who killed her mother Maria. After finding out the truth, Helena sets of the building's self-destruction and plans to end her own life, with Kasumi and Ayane helplessly watching from afar. However, she is saved by Zack, who sweeps in by helicopter and pulls her to safety. The final scene shows Donovan taking off his white mask, and putting on Genra's mask.
Development and release
Dead or Alive: Dimensions was first revealed as an official title on June 15, 2010 at E3 under the working title Dead or Alive 3D. Dimensions is the fourth Dead or Alive game to feature English voice overs; most of voice actors have been recast. Yosuke Hayashi took over as the director and producer following the departure of the series' creator Tomonobu Itagaki.
DOAD was scheduled for release at the Nintendo 3DS launch on February 26, 2011. However, due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, the release was pushed back by two months. It was eventually released on May 19 in Japan (by Tecmo Koei), on May 20 in Europe (by Nintendo), on May 24 in North America (by Tecmo Koei), and on May 26 in Australia (by Nintendo).
Nintendo Power review praised the "top-notch" cutscenes and the "fast and furious as ever" gameplay, but warned against the 3D effect, as well as having problems with the Tag Mode feature. According to VideoGamer.com, "the Street Pass feature is nice and the controls work well, but the framerate suffers online, and the Chronicle Mode is a narrative mess." GameZone opined that "loads of modes, plenty of unlockable extra goodies, and a very functional multiplayer make Dimensions a series that not only fans must buy, but any gamer with even the slightest itch for a quality portable fighting game. If you’ve been waiting for the next must-buy 3DS title, this is it, folks."
Due to a Swedish controversy, Dead or Alive: Dimensions is not being sold in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The concerns were raised when an internet forum user commented that three underage characters in the game could be viewed from angles that could be considered lascivious.
Concerns in relation to the game also rose in Australia, when certain media outlets criticized the PG rating for the game. After careful consideration, the Australian Classification Board came to the conclusion that it was not given sufficient information at the time to give it a correct classification. The game's PG rating was subsequently revoked. Nintendo has then resubmitted the game with a more detailed analysis of the game's content. The game was subsequently given the next rating after PG, the M rating, which allows any age to still purchase the game, but is recommended for more mature audiences.
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Besides Sweden, the game was also prohibited from being sold in Norway and Denmark, and the stores that offered the game are now eliminating it from their databases and returning players their money if they reserved a copy of the game.
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The case stems from a forum poster who noticed that three Dead or Alive: Dimensions characters - Kasumi, Koroke and Ayane - violated Swedish law by being under 18 and in a pornographic situation. The "pornographic" situation in this case being the Figure Mode, where the posing girls can be photographed from every angle.
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It said the Classification Act provides that the Board must not reclassify a game within two years. There had been no requests to review the rating of this particular game. In its 'decision report' on the game, the Board makes no reference to concerns about child pornography.
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