Dead or Alive 4

Dead or Alive 4

Dead or Alive 4

Dead or Alive 4 is the best looking of all of the Dead or Alive games and the only DoA fighting game on the Xbox 360. It doesn’t look as good as it could, or as more recent 360 games, but I can forgive that as it was an early 360 game. Make no mistake, it does look beautiful.

DoA4 has the same control scheme as DoA2 and 3, but the reversals have been changed again, and this time the change is awful. This is my only real complaint about the fighting in DoA4. Up/back and block reverses high attacks, back and block reverses middle punches, forward and block reverses middle kicks, and down/back and block reverses low attacks. There are other attacks these will reverse as well. It’s not too different from the past, but because the speed of the fighting has been increased, pulling off any of these reversals, other than by chance, would take an amount of skill I just don’t have (though I was able to do it successfully in previous games). Eventually, I may be able to pull these off.

This change in reversal isn’t an issue when playing with friends, but when playing through the story modes, it is extremely frustrating. Not because you can’t reverse the computer, but because the computer constantly pulls these reversals off with ease, even on the normal mode (there is no easy mode). The normal mode for DoA4 in the story mode is also as hard as the hard mode in previous DoA games, so this is a bit irritating.

However, the game is still fun to play with friends. There are more characters to choose from than any previous DoA game, and everyone from DoA3 has returned, though all of them aren’t playable in story mode. Also, Helena, while playable in story mode, must be unlocked by playing through all the other characters’ stories. Doing this also unlocks the other characters for play in all the modes outside of story mode (except Tengu, who is unlocked by playing through Time Attack with all the characters). Helena’s story mode also contains the full canon ending of the game and the credits, though I’m not sure if this means she won the DoA4 tournament. I’m still unsure who won, but because so much of the focus of DoA4 is on her (though it still focuses on the ninjas) I’m pretty sure it was Helena.

Helena in DoA 4

Helena in DoA 4

In the DoA4 story, Helena has officially taken over DOATEC as she is the daughter of Fame Douglas. Donovan (if you’ve been keeping up, he hired Bayman to kill Fame Douglas and then tried to have Bayman assassinated. He also had attempted to have Helena killed (when her mother took the bullet), and he still works for DOATEC) creates Alpha-152 (a super Kasumi clone, who isn’t playable in the game). Alpha-152 is the cheapest of all Dead or Alive bosses, and thankfully every character doesn’t face her in their story mode. Also, the Mugen Tenshin ninjas, under the leadership of Hayate, have set out to destroy DOATEC.

All the characters who are playable in story mode have beautiful cinematic endings. However, some of them have nothing to do with what the character has done in the game at all. For example, Kasumi’s ending involves her dreaming she is a mermaid. Tina’s ending does have something to do with her, because it’s about her succeeding in her new life goal, that of being a rock star. Other endings show pieces of those characters involvement in the final ending (Helena’s ending), such as Ayane’s ending which shows her and Hayate escaping and destroying part of DOATEC. I wish Kasumi’s ending would have shown her involvement in the end.

Helena’s ending is the longest, as well it should be. It’s a great ending that shows Kasumi fighting her clone, Ayane and Hayate fighting their way out, Helena starting the self-destruct of DOATEC with the intention of dying in the blaze, Ayane stopping Kasumi from making an attempt to go into the blazing building (a sign that the rivalry between Ayane and Kasumi is at an end), Hayabusa destroying a helicopter (presumably containing Donovan), and (after the credits) shows Helena being saved from death by Zack. I was very glad they made this epic ending to show what the ending of the game was. I do wish there had been a cinematic opening for the game, though, like the one in DoA Ultimate 2 and DoA 3 (when it’s unlocked).

And now, on to the characters of DoA4.

Kasumi is still an outcast and still on the run. She’s pretty much the same character she has been throughout. I do hope there is a DoA5 and that it will bring Kasumi back into her clan, so that issue can be resolved.

Ryu Hayabusa is the only member of the Hayabusa clan. He joins with his friend Hayate to bring down DOATEC.

Kokoro is one of the new characters in DoA4 and she is in the story mode. She has trained to be a geisha, but she also has trained in Ba Ji Quan and wants to enter DoA4. Her mother, Miyako, is worried about her entering. She is Japanese and, as mentioned, is an apprentice geisha who fights in the Ba Ji Quan style. She likes Japanese fruit cocktail, sweet red-bean soup, and playing the piano. During the story mode, like the other fighters, she has special scenes with some of the characters. One of her scenes is with Helena, who knows Kokoro’s mother. This is because Miyako was another of Fame Douglas’ mistresses, and so Kokoro is Helena’s half-sister. Kokoro’s ending just shows her geisha training and shows her having become a geisha. It’s a very beautiful ending, though it doesn’t go into any detail of her fighting in the tournament or of her relationship to Helena.

Kokoro

Kokoro

Hitomi returns in her second official appearance in DoA4. Her dad has become ill and their training hall is in financial trouble. She enters DoA in search of Ein, believing he can help. The final boss for Hitomi is Ein (which can’t work with the canon of the game since Hayate has had his memory since he regained it in 2 and he is taking down DOATEC as head of the Mugen Tenshin in DoA4) but finishing Hitomi’s story mode does unlock Ein for play in the other modes.

Brad Wong is back from DoA3. After his search for a legendary drink called Genra resulted in him finding a monster in DoA3, he’s begun to just wander around looking for people to fight. In his ending he drinks something strong enough to send him on what appears to be an acid trip. It’s pretty funny.

Eliot makes his first appearance. He is a 16 year old British High School student who is the only apprentice to Gen Fu. Gen Fu has no need to enter DoA as his granddaughter is well now, but Eliot enters in search of answers about who Gen Fu chose him as his successor. Eliot fights with the Xing Yi Quan style and he likes tea (especially herbal or oolong tea) and playing the harmonica. I didn’t think I’d like Eliot at first, but I found him to be an interesting character, and enjoyed his reliationship to Gen Fu. His ending shows his past training with Gen Fu and ends showing him and Gen Fu’s little granddaughter, which is the first time she has been shown, I believe (she may have appeared in Gen Fu’s DoA3 ending, but I haven’t seen it yet, since I haven’t played that game through with everyone yet). Playing through with Eliot unlocks Gen Fu in the other modes.

Eliot

Eliot

Bass is back to stop Tina in her pursuits outside of wrestling. He discovers through the course of the story mode that Tina plans to become a rock star now.

Zack Island has sunk and Zack is back in DoA. He’s decided to climb the DOATEC Tritower.

Jann Lee is back purely for the fight.

Lei Fang is back to try and defeat Jann Lee. I love Jann Lee and Lei Fang and I hope that a future DoA will expand more on them.

Tina returns and has been successful as a model and as an actress. Now she has set her sights on becoming a rock star, and is back again to fight in the Dead or Alive tournament.

La Mariposa is probably my favorite of the new characters in DoA4. She was actually first introduced in DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball as Lisa, but this is her first appearance as a fighter. She is a masked wrestler, a luchadora, and her fighting style is Lucha Libre, of course. She loves apple pie and scuba diving and is American. In the game we discover she worked for DOATEC, and in fact was a scientist who worked on the Epsilon project (the one that involved Hayate). She is, though, the one who released Hayate for unknown reasons. Most likely it was because she was against the experiments. While her nationality is American her skin is dark, but I always thought, and still do, that she is either just very tan or she is latin-American (I definitely lean more towards her being Latina). I think Zack is the only actual black character in the series, because Lisa doesn’t actually appear to be black, though some people believe her to be. In either case, though, she’s awesome, and I really like the capoeira moves she has.

La Mariposa/Lisa

La Mariposa/Lisa

Bayman is still after Donovan for attempting to assassinate him after he succeeded in killing Fame Douglas.

Christie has been working close to Helena at Donovan’s request. During a scene between Christie and Helena during the story mode, Christie reveals to Helena that she is the one who killed Helena’s mother (not Ayane). She reveals this with the intent of killing Helena.

Ayane is back to help Hayate destroy DOATEC.

Hayate is back, as mentioned, to lead his ninja to destroy DOATEC.

Helena has taken over DOATEC in order to learn what really happened to her parents.

That covers the characters that are playable in the story mode, but as mentioned, there are others playable in the other modes.

These characters are Ein, Gen Fu, Leon, Nicole, and Tengu. Of these characters, only Nicole is new.

Nicole is a Spartan, like Master Chief, from Halo. She doesn’t actually appear in any Halo games, but she looks much like Master Chief and was a result of Bungie letting Tecmo and Team Ninja use a Spartan in DoA4. I believe they originally wanted to use Master Chief himself but weren’t allowed to actually use Master Chief. Nicole even has a stage that is unlocked when she is, that is based on Halo. I was disappointed that all of her alternate costumes are just different colored Spartan outfits, and none of them show her without the helmet.

Nicole vs. Nicole

Nicole vs. Nicole

Well, that covers Dead or Alive 4, the last of the Dead or Alive fighting games. I still have 2 more Dead or Alive blog posts to make, though. One will cover what I would like to see in a future DoA installment and another will cover my thoughts on the Dead or Alive movie. Yes, there was a movie made based on these games, and yes, it wasn’t very good. Surprisingly, they did get some things right in the movie, though (not much) and it was better than the Street Fighter movie, at least.

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One Response to “Dead or Alive 4”

  1. Joe Says:

    Very different from the other dead or alive series :3

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