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Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball is a very relaxing game. There is no hard goals to complete, story is of little importance, and the games doesn't seriously penalize you for making mistakes.
[ Game Mechanics and Controls
Having tried a few other volleyball games, I like the game mechanics in Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball the most. The perspective is a little odd and the camera sometimes exclude one of the characters controlled by players, but the overall flow of a match is very fluid. Camera tracks the ball as characters bump, set and spike following a smooth curve. It doesn't seem to require very precise timing, so even people who doesn't play game often such as my wife can play volleyball against me and have a match going. For those can can time their controls, they are rewarded with more powerful spikes or better placement of their shots.
All of the playable characters have different sets of swimsuits you can purchase, some of the designs are very attractive. These swimsuits, in addition to other accessories enables a lot of customization for the characters you are working with. This this a major selling point of this game and I think the developer has done a great job.
Game Mechanics and Controls
- Casino, simple activities to earn credits.
- Play volleyball matches and defeat another pair in a match to earn more credits.
- Use credits to buy swimsuits or accessories to collect or give away as gifts.
- Other girls on the island will gradually change their attitude towards the character you are playing, based on the gifts they receive or the result of volleyball matches.
Extreme 2 adds:
- Better graphics and interesting physics.
- Jet ski racing, other pool activities and mini games.
- Poker and Black Jack games now have other players on the same table.
- Money does not carry over per save data, rather it is per character.
- I think the volleyball game is good. It's not perfect, as I am having trouble with juding where the characters should be for a few shots because of the camera motion. But I think the serving, spiking and blocking mechanics are very intuitive, allowing nice flow of attack and counter. Here the camera that makes it difficult to judge some shots provides great visual continuity as characters on different sides of the net make their moves.
- Many swimsuits to collect. This is like playing Barbie, I think. That's one way to make people play, especially when many people like to collect stuff.
- Graphics is excellent, I think one of the best looking games on the Xbox. Environment is detailed and the characters are well-animated. The time-of-the-day effects aren't obvious, but those and other subtle effects such as sand deforming as players interact with them really adds to the visuals.
- Camera is a good addition, but its controls is terrible. Still, being able to save pictures to a photo album does add more game play elements.
- More details for everything, from the environment, to the swimsuits or even the tan lines.
- ESRB rating indicated there is nudity, but I didn't see any. Maybe I should look harder.
- Gifts can be rejected. While there seems to be some patterns of what certain characters may or may not like, I think it's harsh to see expensive gifts wasted. Sigh.
- Some swimsuits are not really different from others, only color or texture changes.
- That pool-side hopping game is just not fun for me. Probably because I am not good with the analog buttons.
- The new volleyball camera is not nearly as dynamic as before, and there is no two-player option locally.
- I think the opening movies should be rendered real-time instead. The pre-rendered movie characters look different when they appear in-game.
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