Having just logged some serious time with Dead or Alive 5 (it being among the several games I have beaten recently - Halo: Anniversary and a pair of PSP games also got topped this week) - I thought this was a good time to look back at one of my first 3DS titles.
I do not have as long of a history with the Dead or Alive series as I do with others like Tekken, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. The only other game in the Dead or Alive series I have played to date was number four on the Xbox 360 a few years ago. However, two of the first games I got for my Nintendo 3DS were this and Super Street Fighter IV.
Considering both this and Street Fighter are one-on-one fighting games that I acquired at the same time for my 3DS, the natural thing to do mentally is compare the two. That being said, I believe it is a mistake to do so. I really enjoyed Super Street Fighter IV on my 3DS, but the style of combat is really quite different.
An example of how different the games are can be seen in my son, who absolutely could not stand Street Fighter, but got through pretty much everything Dead or Alive had to offer and said it was one of his favorite 3DS games.
Graphics - 8:
Very good graphics. They are fluid in animation while still having a nice amount of detail. Super Street Fighter IV had very good looking characters, but lacked in its backgrounds. Not the case here as Dead or Alive Dimensions also has very nice scenery. The 3D looks as good, if not better, than most other games I have played for the system as well.
Sound & Music - 7:
The sound is alright - you get the appropriate impacts and grunts. The music is nice if unspectacular. I never found any of the songs to be grating, but I never felt the need to run off and listen to any of the tunes online either. There is a fair amount of voice acting, and it is generally good if not great as well.
Gameplay - 8:
This is a different type of game, more akin to Tekken than Street Fighter. Street Fighter tends to rely on very precise inputs to pull off special moves, and relies on those moves more than combinations. Fighting games that allow for combinations tend to let you button mash a bit more. I know that was one of the reasons my son like this game over Street Fighter, which can be a bit more demanding. Touch controls in Dead or Alive Dimensions bring very little to the table, but the actual combat is excellent and easy to pick up.
Intangibles - 9:
There are a lot of things to do here. There are several modes of play, including online. There is also a trophy or figurine collection built in for doing certain things. The cast of characters is impressive and whether you want to participate in the storyline mode or just have arcade-like battles, there is plenty of combat at your fingertips.
Overall - 8:
My son and I tend to have very diverse tastes in games, but Dead or Alive Dimensions is one of the games we have both played quite a bit of. In fact the only 3DS game the both of us probably spent more time on was Kid Icarus Uprising. It is visually excellent with lots to do and more approachable than a lot of other fighting games on the market.