Review: Dead or Alive Paradise

If you’ve never seen a real woman, don’t count on Dead or Alive Paradise to placate your desire. In fact, even if you were a fan of the sometimes entertaining Dead or Alive: Xtreme Volleyball, you won’t find much to enjoy with Tecmo’s latest PSP iteration. In a strange bid to attract what I can only assume are the most hardcore fans of the ladies of Dead or Alive, yet another excursion to New Zack Island has been released, this time to a handheld that can’t quite hold up to the standards needed to render the ladies properly. Robotic, stuttery minigames, scattershot gameplay, and a thin plot are reason enough to pass over this travesty of a “game.”
I was initially attracted to the mystique surrounding hanging out with the girls of Dead or Alive while playing decent minigames, building a sort of rapport with them; though I should have known better, as I only felt creepy and voyeuristic any time I partook in the activities. Upon booting the game up you can choose one of ten DOA beauties to travel to the exotic New Zack Island with. There, a few haphazardly slapped-together activities await: basic casino diversions, volleyball, and pool-bopping. If you’re feeling particularly skeevy (perhaps the point of the game) you can snap photos of the girls around the island as they engage in different activities. If the mood strikes, you can waste your time in trying to figure out the correct gift to present to other girls. This usually results in disappointment and hampers the fun in even giving it a go.

The only available activities included in Dead or Alive Paradise initially seem as though they present at least a miniscule amount of fun or challenge, but a closer look beneath the surface reveals how grating and truly poorly-constructed they are. Even the series-touted boob physics are decidedly wonky, as is the artificial beauty of the nymphettes roaming the beach. Let us not forget the fact that interspersed between all of these short-lived methods of entertainment are loading screens that last entirely too long to allow any sort of real, sustainable fun. It’s like dividing one iPhone title up into short segments, forcing players to view loading screens after taking a turn or completing a half of a level. No fun indeed.

Even if the only reason you pick this up is to pay for digital softcore porn rather than digging it up online, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. These aren’t the DOA graphics you’re used to. Sharp angles and jagged edges on the girls ensure plenty of eye-rolling and frustration at the fact that these girls really aren’t what they came to look at.

I’d call it a guilty pleasure, but the only ones feeling guilty about this obviously thrown together collection of shallow minigames are likely the creators. I’m not sure whose bright idea it was to attempt to take these gorgeous girls of consoles on the go on an incapable and watered-down journey, but hopefully they’re seeing the errors in their ways from likely abysmal sales and vitriol-laced criticism.

If you have $40 to drop and you’re desperate to look upon the ridiculous proportions of Kasumi, Tina, or Helena, then by all means pick this up; however I might caution you that you can find what you’re looking for (for free) online if you search up the right venues. If you’re looking for a video game to enjoy while feeling as though your money was well-spent, then please do look elsewhere.

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