Dead Or Alive: Paradise ReviewGreg Knoll
There are a lot of things I could say about the originality, style and luster of Dead Or Alive: Paradise. That - as far as casual games go - this one stands out. It's over-all factor is reminiscent of the original Xtreme Beach Volleyball , where as you buy gifts for the lovely ladies of D.O.A., try to persuade them into teaming up, and battle - however briefly - on the courts against two other players.
I could mention that they've included other laid-back entertainment options for you to enjoy, including a casino, capture the flag and their own unique twist on jousting. And when you're not playing games, you can relax on the beach or poolside, and take an almost unlimited amount of pictures and - with the amount of characters and environments - you'll rarely see the same thing twice.
I have no problem mentioning that all this is done with a good over-all structure. The controls are tight and responsive, collision detection and camera angles are flawless. Whether you're playing beach volleyball, or even trying to center the perfect photo, Paradise provides you with great mechanics, and very little frustration. And it should also be noted that even for the PSP, the definition and character design is striking, and the over-al graphics are some of the best I've seen on the system.
There's not much in the way of story, but that's common with any casual game, and it's almost better that it draw back, and allow a player to make their own decisions, and escape into a world they control, rather than dictate constantly what they must do. I appreciate such, and have not seen a game as lenient as Paradise in a long time.
Based solely on a gamer's perspective, the graphics, controls and fun-factor make Dead Or Alive: Paradise a great casual game, and definitely worth the money.
But that's not why you're reading the review is it?
You want to know if it's worth purchasing for the same reason I did: The bikini clad girls.
It is, but it's not as shallow as one may initially think, and that only leads me to have more appreciation for it. Even I felt a little lurid when I purchased the game, and was immediately asked for I.D. by the guy behind the counter. I imagined I was in for a game filled with nudity, smut and debauchery, yet I have to say as sinful as Paradise comes across, it's also done with a touch of class.
I know that may sound crazy, but Paradise doesn't ever go past being overly suggestive. It's not blatantly raunchy, only gives you the idea it could be and leaves the rest to your imagination. It's up to the gamer how they want to take it. One could watch the opening scene, see Hitomi and Leifang sharing an ice cream cone and think nothing of it. Others may use their imagination to come up with something else entirely.
Yes, some of the swimsuits are so tiny they barely serve a purpose, the jiggle factor is a bit over-emphasized and some of the character's relaxing on the beach can wander into very suggestive positions, it still is not something I would consider graphic unless you want it to be. You can turn the camera any which way, zoom in and immortalize a number of things you won't see in the swimsuit issue, but you can also draw back, focus solely on the background and render some very unique, tasteful photographs as well.
The choice is up to you, and the wonderful thing about Paradise is that you have them. It's a fine line between seductive and vulgar, and the game treads that very well. It gives you the option of living out your desires with an island full of beautiful women. What you do with them is up to you.
And for both reasons, I loved Dead Or Alive: Paradise. The gamer in me enjoyed the casual nature, the structure and over-all fun factor; the adult in me appreciated the beauty, the undertones and the seductive connotations. It's still aimed at a certain demographic, yes, but those that fall within it should consider themselves very lucky.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
May I have the strength to lead with compassion. May I have a resolve strong enough to inspire it in others. May my heart be true, my motives virtuous, my spirit valiant. And whether I fail or succeed, may I at least be brave in the attempt.
About the Author: Greg Knoll
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