More like Dead or Alive SEXTREME BITCH Volleyball!!!
Enough about the game, let's talk about me for a moment. I love Tomonobu "Tekken 4 is a piece of shit" Itagaki, producer of Ninja Gaiden and the Dead or Alive series of fighting games. I love his games, I love his gritty cheeks, and I love his smack talk.
When I heard that Itagaki's upcoming project was a beach volleyball game starring the girls of DOA, I decided that not only was it a great idea, but it was in fact the only game I ever wanted to play until the day I died. As a warm-up, I got Sega's Beach Spikers volleyball game for the Gamecube. Lucky me, Beach Spikers turned out to be an excellent 4-player volleyball game that used everything right about Virtua Tennis and applied it to the sport of volleyball. As if excellent gameplay weren't enough, the girls would often hug each other with wandering hands. I was in a bump-set-spike-bikini frenzy at that point in my life. You couldn't talk to me about anything other than volleyball or lesbianism, because I just wasn't listening.
DOAXBV was released, and my world fell apart so completely, I actually hated lesbianism for an entire afternoon. Instead of describing the game, I'll let Tomonobu "fat companies need to hedge their bets with PS2" Itagaki break it down for us, as he did in an interview for Xbox Nation.
Okay, let me break it down. About 30 percent of the game is the volleyball. About two percent is the pool-hopping side game. Another 30 percent is very beautiful, interactive computer graphics. The player can control certain aspects of the CG. I guess about 15 percent is gambling. You can play roulette, blackjack--a number of things in the main hotel. You can win money, but also prizes, extras for the girls. Another five percent is the special trailer archive. And the last 20 percent or so is for shopping. Gift motivated stuff.
The volleyball is so shallow you can play it with one hand. In contrast, Beach Spikers now looks like a masterpiece.
30% Interactive CG
Interactive CG means that for the duration of a 30 second cutscene, you control the camera while your bikini girl lounges poolside. "Control the camera" is, of course, a euphemism for "zoom in, pop boner". Afterwards you should feel silly, stupid, stupid, and a little embarassed.
The manual names these wastes of time the "Gravure System". Gravure is apparently a French word that has some association with photography. When the Japanese don't have sufficient vocabulary to describe an awkward porn moment, and have to turn to the old country of debauchery for the proper language, you know we're treading some new sticky ground. If you take anything away from this experience hopefully it's your new appreciation for cinematography being more diffcult than it looks. Not only is proper framing a challenge, but it's nearly impossible to get a steady shot of both tits and ass simultaneously.
Traditional gambling games are certainly not the reason I have an Xbox. In fact, if the Xbox actually sought out and destroyed games with slot machine portions, I'd consider that to be a valuable feature. But, against all odds, there I was hitting SPIN on a slot machine. I couldn't believe it. Oh hey, I lost 1000 Virtua dollars. Should I give a Virtua shit? As if to illustrate that Itagaki himself didn't care for the gambling component, he developed the best looking 3D breast engine seen to date, and then put no characters into the casino. 15% of this game has you staring at static green Virtua felt, clicking choices that range from BET all the way to QUIT. On the upside there is no dealer to ask you if you're in from out of town, but on the downside I have no idea how many decks are in the Blackjack shoe. Instead of an island gambling getaway, you're faced with the sorriest half-ass casino experience this side of the El Cortez hotel in beautiful downtown Las Vegas.
Shopping! Every boy's dream. Should you buy the white satin pumps, or the pink nail polish? Your answer will speak volumes about your taste in cock. The shopping aspect is intertwined with the other most horrible aspect of DOAXBV: the relationship simulator. Buying gifts for the other girls to sway them into a partnership on the volleyball court is a big part of the game. It's like Valentine's Day all the fucking time! Fortunately the gifts all come pre-wrapped. That's how you know you're on vacation!
Set in a Vacation Paradise
"The key word for DOAX is paradise." says Itagaki. Unfortunately your vacation is mostly spent clicking through menu options. I would not recommend this travel agent to my friends. A store, a cut scene, or an option menu -- what lies behind your button press?
|This is my DOAXBV paradise island vacation simulation. I've renamed some of my Windows Control Panel icons to represent each of the different exciting menu selections you can "visit" in DOAXBV. Keep in mind that in DOAXBV some of these selections lead to a dead end cutscene! Feel that refreshing ocean breeze!|
Ironically for a game with Xtreme in the title -- so Xtreme, in fact, that a letter was burned off during the scorching hot development -- the game's failures all revolve around the fact that no aspect of the game goes far enough or lives up to the potential. The trip to Disneyland you were promised but never took, the car you didn't get on your 16th birthday, and the day you realized that you were closer to the "nerd" character in the After School Special, not the high school quarterback. DOAXBV is one of life's huge disappointments.
Not everyone hates this game though, and in fact it's been a very hot seller on the Xbox. So who is the target market for this game? Relationships, shopping, presents, collecting trinkets, trying on cute outfits, modeling... Contrary to all the marketing, clearly the perfect audience for DOAXBV is actually little girls and gay men. This game is a Barbie doll simulation.
The Insidious Purpose of DOAXBV
The accidental brilliance of DOAXBV is that its real purpose on this Earth is as a STEALTH HOMOSEXUALITY HOME TESTING KIT. They sneak this game into people's lives under the guise of extreme heterosexuality (overcompensation), but after the initial titillation wears off you're left with an assortment of the gayest activities possible. If you stick this game out, or convince yourself that it's actually good, you are by definition a homosexual man or a young girl and you may not even know it yet. You think The Gays are unaware of this? Next time you're in a posh part of town and a man approaches you, asking if you liked Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, he's actually checking to see if you're vulnerable to be brought over to his way of thinking, fucking.
|The initial packaging for the game before Tecmo decided to make it a stealth test.|
One of the DOAXBV fans, "Dave", over at Ain'tItCoolGames.com said "At moments, as I found myself identifying with my chosen character, I bought less-revealing and more athletic swimsuits..." Before the release of DOAXBV, we'd be left to wonder if this closet drag queen is gay or not. Does he lisp? Does he own any candelabras? We'll never know those answers, but thanks to the release of DOAXBV, not only did we learn something about Dave, I think he learned a little something about himself.