|Dead or Alive 4|
|Release|| NA December 29, 2005|
JPN December 29, 2005
EUR January 24, 2006
AUS April 13, 2006
|Modes|| Single player|
|Ratings|| CERO: D|
Dead or Alive 4 (デッド・オア・アライブ・フォー, Deddo oa Araibu Fō), often abbreviated as DOA4, is the fourth main installment of the Dead or Alive franchise, and the sixth installment overall.
Developed by Team Ninja and published by Tecmo, it was first released exclusivly for the Xbox 360 in Japan on December 29, 2005, and was later released to other countries throughout 2006. It was originally slated to be a launch title for the Xbox 360, but was delayed until more than a month after the console debuted.
As the direct follow-up to the 2001 title Dead or Alive 3, Dead or Alive 4 introduced three new characters to the main line-up of regular fighters, as well as many multi-tiered and interactive fighting arenas, and a gameplay system that, in some ways, differed greatly from previous installments.
A sequel to the game, Dead or Alive 5, was released in 2012; about seven years after the release of Dead or Alive 4.
The main plot continues with the war between the Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee, and the Mugen Tenshin Ninja Clan. After Ayane successfully defeat DOATEC's last creation, Omega, Hayate returned to the Mugen Tenshin clan, taking over the leadership. Now leader, he goes on a quest; to put an end to DOATEC, for all the suffering it has caused to the world. He is accompanied by Ayane and Ryu Hayabusa; Kasumi, though reluctant, is dragged into the events herself as she follows her brother.
Dead or Alive 4 has a grand total of twenty-two playable characters, 5 of which are unlockable by completing diffirent tasks in-game. Below is a list of all the playable characters in the game.
- Ayane - A kunoichi of the Mugen Tenshin Ninja Clan. She has pledged her life to help destroy DOATEC for all the suffering the company has caused her clan.
- Bass Armstrong - A retired professional wrestler, who wants to stop his daughter from winning the tournament to become discovered by Hollywood.
- Bayman - A former commando, who entered the tournament seeking revenge on Victor Donovan.
- Brad Wong - A master of Zui Ba Xian Quan on the search for the mysterious drink "Genra".
- Christie - An assassin who was hired by Donovan to prevent the clan from destroying DOATEC.
- Hayate - The leader of the Mugen Tenshin Ninja Clan, seeking to destory DOATEC.
- Helena Douglas - The leader of DOATEC, who wants to take out Victor Donovan.
- Hitomi - A Karate black-belt. She joined the tournament to get money for her father's dojo, which is facing financial trouble.
- Jann Lee - A Jeet Kune Do bouncer who joined the tournament to prove his fighting skills, and looking to test himself against worthy opponents.
- Kasumi - A runaway shinobi, trying to convince her brother Hayate to stop the war against DOATEC and return to the Mugen Tenshin Village with her. Her efforts failed, and she reluctantly joined him and the others in destroying DOATEC.
- Leifang - A Tai Ji Quan student, seeking to finally prove herself against Jann Lee.
- Ryu Hayabusa - A master shinobi, who is helping the Mugan Tenshin clan to destory DOATEC.
- Tina Armstrong - The daughter of Bass and a professional wreslter, who enters the tournament to help her Hollywood career.
- Zack - A DJ, who is trying to raise money after losing his island in a volcano explosion.
- Eliot - A high school student, and the sole apprentice of Gen Fu. He joins tournament to prove to himself that he is worthy of being the successor to a great master.
- Kokoro - A "geisha-in-training", whose heart also lies in fighting. She joins the tournement to test her skills against other fighters.
- Lisa Hamilton - A former DOATEC scientist, acting under the persona of the masked luchadora "La Mariposa".
- Ein - A Karate instructor suffering from memory-loss, who turned out to be Hayate in Dead or Alive 2.
- Gen Fu - An old martial art master, who no longer joins the tournaments, as his granddaughter is well, and the medical bills are all paid off.
- Gohyakumine Bankotsubo - A Tengu who wanted chaos to reign over the world, until he was defeated by Ryu in Dead or Alive 2.
- Leon - A mercenary who joined the tournaments to fulfill the expectations of his dead lover Lauren, who said the strongest warrior in the world is who she loves.
- Nicole-458 - A character which was a result of collaboration between Team Ninja and Bungie Studios, based on the Halo character Master Chief.
- Story Mode - A single-player mode which offers the player to play through a number of rounds with a character and learn their backstory through cutscenes. Most Story Modes end with a battle against the game's main end-boss, Alpha-152 or another "personal boss", followed by an ending cutscene. Not all characters have stories.
- Time Attack -A single-player challenage where the player must defeat a set amount of opponents in the shortest possible time.
- Survival Mode - Another single-player mode, in which the player must defeat as many opponents as possible.
- Team Battle - Two teams of characters fighting each other, with a total of 8 characters on each side. Teams fight one-on-one, and members tag in when someone is knocked out.
- Versus - A simple one-on-one battle, in which the player can play against another player or a computer-controlled AI.
- Tag Battle - The player creates a two-man team to try and defeat another. Only one member per team can be in the right at any one time, and they can only be swapped out with a tag move. The player can play against another player or a computer-controlled AI.
As well as new characters joining the cast, the game has a number of updates in reference to previous titles:
- The counter system has been tightened, making the window for counters shorter. and more difficult to execute.
- The amount of damage that counters inflict has also been changed; in Dead or Alive Ultimate, the counters were rather damaging and in Dead or Alive 3, the amount was much less, relying on players to strike or throw more to defeat their opponents. In Dead or Alive 4, is a more balanced amount of damage taken.
- Characters' move lists have been vastly updated.
- Characters now emit cries of pain when hit, much like other fighting games that came before it.
Following its release, two updates were made available for the game, one of which altered the characters' stats to even them out in regards to power.
On May 12, 2005, the first screens from the game were leaked on the internet via the elotrolado.net message boards. The first official screenshots, in-game demos and cinematics were presented by Microsoft at press conferences with the game originally slated to be a launch title for the Xbox 360.
However, the game was delayed many times before eventually being released on 29 December 2005, more than a month after the console debuted. Famitsu Xbox editor-in-chief Munetatsu Matsui pointed to Dead or Alive 4's absence as a launch title as the main factor behind the slow sales of the Xbox 360 in Japan.
Since Dead or Alive 4 release, a demo version of the game has been avaliable for free download via Xbox Live. While the demo showcases the final version of the game, it is a very limited version and only a handful of the features are accessible, while the rest are locked down. Only Versus Mode and Time Attack are playable, there are just five stages avaliable, and only Kasumi, Ryu, Brad, Tina, Eliot, and La Mariposa are playable. Some of the settings are also locked-out.
On its release, Dead or Alive 4 received generally very positive reviews, with a score of 85 out of 100 from Metacritic, based on 76 reviews.
IGN gave the game a 9.0 out of 10, calling it "a move in the right direction for the series," and praised the fighting system as "deeper and more sophisticated." They also praised the look of the game very highly, saying that "one is hard pressed to argue that Team Ninja's final version of Dead or Alive 4 isn't one of, if not the best, looking game on the juvenile system thus far." However, they did note that "the characters have made a significant graphic jump in design above their predecessors," and while "good looking," they felt "more of an amplification of the previous roster's clean looks than a major shift or advancement."
Gamespot awarded the game a score of 88%, with only a couple of negative comments regarding "a few graphical flaws," and some problems with the online mode. The website calls the online lobby system "cute but feels needlessly tacked on," but still praises the online system as providing a "near-limitless challenge for competitive players." Thye also praised the game's "finely tuned, fast-paced fighting action" and "Gorgeous presentation."
However, Jolt Online Gaming UK gives the game an average 6.5/10, calling the single player mode "an exercise in frustration and joypad throwing." They also state that the online mode "is probably best locked away and only spoken of in hushed tones when you think no one who isn’t in the know is listening."
Eurogamer also gave Dead or Alive 4 an average score of 6 out of 10, stating while the graphics are "nice" and the gameplay system "is certainly better than DOA3's, and almost up there with DOA2," they found the online and single-player modes "flawed to the point where they're simply not enjoyable in any way."
Since its release, Dead or Alive 4 has sold 1.2 million units worldwide.
|US TV Spot||E3 2005 Trailer|
- In an interview with Famitsu Xbox, Itagaki remarked that he spent 99% of his time developing Dead or Alive 4, while only sleeping 40 minutes in four days.
- Dead or Alive 4 was featured in the 2012 edition of the "Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition" for being the first retail game on the Xbox 360 to have "zero point achievements".
- Dead or Alive 4 was included in the Championship Gaming Series and World Cyber Games.
- The cover for Dead or Alive 4 features the greatest amount of characters out of any of the game covers, with a total of twelve characters. The people missing from the cover are Hitomi, Brad, Hayate, Leifang, Bayman, and the unlockable characters.
- Besides the spin-offs, this was the first main game that was rated M for Mature.
- After Dead or Alive in the story of Warriors Orochi Ayane has been sent to orochi's realm along with Ryu.
- Besides Spartan-458, who is a guest character, Kokoro and Leon are the only characters who did not serve as bosses in the Story Mode.
- ↑ Elotrolado.com - "Primeras imágenes de Dead or Alive 4" (Spanish)
- ↑ Fileplanet - "Dead or Alive 4 E3 2005 Trailer"
- ↑ Gamespot - "DOA4 delay déjà vu"
- ↑ BBC News - "Slow start for Xbox 360 in Japan"
- ↑ Metacritic - "Dead or Alive 4"
- ↑ IGN - "Dead or Alive 4"
- ↑ Gamespot- "Dead or Alive 4 Review"
- ↑ Eurogamer - "Dead or Alive 4 Review"
- ↑ IGN - "Team Ninja's Tomonobu Itagaki Is Sad"
- ↑ Dead or Alive World - "DOA Guinness World Record"