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06 July 2010

Dead or Alive Paradise [PSP]

Plot Synopsis: 5/10
Plot? Seriously? The plot is that Zack resurrected his island paradise and invited all the girls back for another two-week stay, during which, they all strip down to their swimwear and play volleyball against each other, the ENTIRE TIME.
Honestly, I don't know if I should be disappointed that they didn't at least TRY to come up with a little more story, or impressed that they didn't even bother trying to hide what the game really is. So, a 5 out of 10 it gets.

Game Play: 8/10
If you've played Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, for the Xbox, you've essentially played Dead or Alive Paradise, too. The differences between the two games are so minimal, they're not worth mentioning. This was basically just a chance for Team Ninja to make their premiere pure fan-service title portable.
Over the course of your 2-week stay on the island, you have four opportunities per day to play a match (assuming you're paired up with a second character). There is no big boss-battle type of match at the end of the two weeks. You simply stay for 14 days, then leave. You win money for winning the volleyball matches, which you can then use to buy more swimsuits, accessories, or random other items. You can also take your hard-earned money to the hotel casino and play blackjack. In addition, there are a couple of mini-games that can be played at the hotel's pool area.
I'll give the game play an 8 out of 10. Bonus points for having ├╝ber-intuitive controls, but loses a couple points for not challenging me at all. Sometimes you win the match, sometimes you don't. Plain and simple.

Graphics: 7/10
I'll give the developers credit. They concentrated hard on making sure they rendered fit, well-endowed women as realistically as possible. Except in one particular area…
Now, I understand that the Dead or Alive franchise, as a whole, is rife with fan service. And I also understand that a game that consists of a number of almost unrealistically-built women running and jumping around, playing volleyball in swimwear that could never, in the real world, withstand such strenuous activity, is the very definition of "fan service". But seriously. The jiggle mechanics, in this game, are downright absurd.
I'll give the graphics a 7 out of 10. Everything is fairly well-rendered. I'd even say it's a notch or two above the original DOAXBV. But the jiggling… Good god, the jiggling…

Audio: 9/10
The voice acting is perfectly acceptable. A tad over-acted, at times, but what do you expect? Par for the course, in the realm of video games, unfortunately. For the most part, it's fine, though. I was a little disappointed that they couldn't secure the rights to a handful of songs, or include a feature where the game would simply play selections from the music the player has stored on the system itself, like the original game did. But, oh well. The developers did include some fairly generic upbeat original compositions that go well with the whole "let's relax and have fun on the tropical island getaway" vibe, though.
I guess I'd have to score the game's audio an 9 out of 10. Everything works fairly well, for the game, with very minimal issues.

Overall Score: 7.25/10
You don't go to Hooters for the quality cuisine. You don't read Playboy for the articles. And you don't play Dead or Alive Paradise for the compelling story and challenging gameplay. Anyone who says otherwise is in denial. That being said, the game can still be fun, as long as you don't take it too seriously.

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