Dead or Alive Xtreme 2

Harmless brand extension, or utterly misogynistic waste of time and talent? We get our hands dirty...

The first Dead or Alive Xtreme's storyline was as preposterous as a flowerpot sandwich. Zack, having won the third Dead or Alive tournament, decides to spend his winnings on his own personal paradise, New Zack Island. And what did he do first with his new island? Naturally, he invited every woman from the DOA series to hop aboard - on the basis of a fictional tournament, of course. Once the ladies discover there's no scrapping to be had, well, they decide to make a vacation out of it, and life-long enemies patched up their differences with little more than a game of volleyball and a kitten-gift as the catalyst. That was then and this now, so the plot for Xtreme 2? Er, well, following the events of DOA4... exactly the same thing's happened all over again! Plainly, these ladies might boast independently-bouncing breasts, but they definitely have a small polygon count when it comes to the 'upstairs'.


Like its predecessor, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 is unusual because it focuses on the social relationships between your character and the other girls. Years of fighting to the death has understandably strained relations between many of the girls, making it difficult to find, say, a volleyball partner you can trust. To smooth things over, you've got to earn money in the casinos and use it to buy nice presents to try and make amends for past discrepancies. This is beyond ludicrous, of course. We can imagine Ayane now - "Hey, Helena, sorry about killing your mum and stuff, but here's a nice bikini with the word 'Fresh' written across the buttocks. Friends?" - but making-up will unlock a huge dollop of cut-scenes, featuring the two featured femmes canoodling up close and warmly reminiscing about that time they went and brutally punctured each other's kidneys in a fight to the bloody death.

If this all seems a rather tenuous excuse to wheel the DOA lasses out in bikinis no bigger than a couple of liquorice laces, you'd be mostly right. The six minigames mentioned overleaf are of... varying quality, with the best two also being the ones that feature online play - a sub-Wave Race-a-like marine battle and the new, improved volleyball mode. But aside from that, how many hours you're likely to get out of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 will most likely correlate with your appetite for taking pictures of fictitious babes with more facial right-angles than Red Dwarf's Kryten. Which is fine if all you're after is some DOA-flavoured virtual lady action you can stare at for a couple of hours... before getting bored.

The verdict

This is gruesome internet fan fiction in game form, despite what Team Ninja might tell you. DOA Xtreme 2 exists only to convince horny teenagers to temporarily pull their hands out of their trousers and into their wallets. It's fun, but a curious difficulty level that makes Ninja Gaiden look like Barbie's Horse Adventures might put some people off.

Xbox 360