Dead or Alive 3
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|Dead or Alive 3|
Japanese cover art
|Series||Dead or Alive|
Dead or Alive 3 (Japanese: デッドオアアライブ3 Hepburn: Deddo Oa Araibu Surī?, abbreviated as DOA3) is a fighting game in the Dead or Alive series, developed by Team Ninja and published by Tecmo in 2001 exclusively on the Xbox console as one of its launch titles.
The basic gameplay controls and commands remain essentially unchanged from Dead or Alive 2. Some minor tweaks have been added to the game system in the form of increased counter periods, unrestricted 3D-axis movement, and less emphasis on juggling combos. All these gameplay enhancements make the game more suited for beginners, and makes the artificial intelligence much more forgiving. Finally, the game incorporated less damage percentiles in counter maneuvers, added four new characters to the roster, and game's tag controls were changed to insert Attack Change, a new tag system feature where the fighting character can switch places with his or her tag partner, which can then unleash an attack while a character is jumping in.
As with previous entries in the series, it took advantage of the system's power to push the range of the graphics and stage sizes farther than DOA2. However, it lacked in unlockable content compared to DOA2 Hardcore and controls are more lenient to allow players new to the series to adapt to gameplay.
Dead or Alive 3 features a total of 18 fighters, including 17 playable characters and the boss character Genra. The characters returning from the previous installments are Ayane, Bass Armstrong, Bayman, Ein (unlockable), Gen Fu, Helena Douglas, Jann Lee, Kasumi, Leifang, Leon, Ryu Hayabusa, Tina Armstrong, and Zack. Playable newcomers are Chinese drunken master Brad Wong, British assassin Christie, Japanese ninja Hayate, and German-Japanese karateka Hitomi.
The hero ninja Ryu Hayabusa put a stop to the evil doings of Tengu, but it was too late to stop him from triggering a massive worldwide collapse. A dense cloud covered the entire planet in a shroud of darkness and fear. DOATEC has gone astray, turning into the hunting grounds for power-hungry scam artists. This is when DOATEC's development department (a fortress for state-of-the-art military technology) witnesses the success of a genius. Following Project Alpha and Project Epsilon, the ever ambitious Dr. Victor Donovan completes the Omega Project, producing a new superhuman: Genra. This man, who was once leader of the Hajin Mon ninja, is no longer human, but a force of singular and unprecedented capabilities. Eventually, Hajin Mon's Ayane wins the third DOA tournament and kills Genra.
The European and Japanese versions of Dead or Alive 3 feature more content such as extra costumes, new attacks for characters, a time attack mode, and a new cinmatic introduction for the game. Because of its early release, the North American version does not feature any of the above. In June 2002, Official Xbox Magazine provided a 'Booster Disc' for DOA3 which included all of the extra costumes released on the EU and JP versions of the game, but it did not however contain the extra fighting moves or general game balancing tweaks that the other versions brought. The booster content continued to be provided with the Official Xbox Magazine demo disc from June 2002 to September 2002; each disc featured the same content but gave magazine buyers multiple times to acquire it. The Platinum Collection edition of the game was released in 2003.
A soundtrack CD for the game, titled Dead or Alive 3 Original Sound Trax (KWCD-1006), was released by Wake Up in 2002. Three guide books were published in Japan in early 2002: Dead or Alive 3 Guide Book (デッド オア アライブ3 ガイドブック) by Famitsu / Enterbrain, Dead or Alive 3 Kōshiki Kōryaku Guide (デッド オア アライブ3 公式攻略ガイド) by Kodansha, and Dead or Alive 3 Perfect Guide (デッド オア アライブ3 パーフェクトガイド) by SoftBank.
Upon its release, Dead or Alive 3 received mostly very positive reviews. In Japan, Famitsu scored the game a 37 out of 40. IGN stated that it "represents the new standard of excellence that only the Xbox can deliver," praising the game for its great attention to detail and its vast improvements on its predecessor. On the other hand, GameSpot's Greg Kasavin opined that "once you get past its graphics, you'll find that Dead or Alive 3 doesn't offer much of anything that hasn't been done in other 3D fighting games."
Dead or Alive 3 was one of the best-selling installments in the series. In 2002, Tecmo announced the game had reached sales of over one million copies in the first five months after its release. The game became the third best-selling launch title next to Microsoft's Halo: Combat Evolved and Project Gotham Racing and the first third-party Xbox game to garner Platinum status.
In 2008, Cinema Blend ranked it as the eight best fighting game of all time. In 2011, Complex ranked it as the 15th best fighting game of all time. GamesRadar included it among the Xbox games "that shaped the generation," and later included it in their list of "best original Xbox games."
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