Dead or Alive: Dimensions 3DS Review

The Nintendo 3DS is shaping up to be a fighter’s handheld. First came Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, now we have Dead or Alive: Dimensions as well as BlazBlue. Considering the amount of support from developers through the fighter genre, it’s inevitable that comparisons will occur. This is exactly what will happen between Dead or Alive and Super Street Fighter.

It’s amazing that Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition is getting more praise than Dead or Alive: Dimensions. Starting up DoA: Dimensions will right away show that more time and effort was put into it. For starters, the 3D effect is used on EVERY scene and not just the player-controlled fight scenes. The opening video is included in this. More importantly, any scenes in Chronicle mode will display not only in 3D (which is used to a great degree by changing the angles of scenes to show it off), but are also fully polygonal and running off of the hardware. If you can remember, Super Street Fighter IV 3D’s few non-fight scenes were comic book-style artwork. This is all fine, but the console versions were more developed which means a lack of dedication was given to SSF IV 3D. The rest of the graphics of DoA are amazing. The backgrounds are fully alive with polygons and are part of the stage you are fighting on. On top of this, each stage has multiple levels which fighters can be knocked down to, causing more damage as they fall. More still, the fighting plane is more like a 2.5 D plane since characters can roll and move around one another. Each character model has flowing hair and clothing that brings them to life, not to mention the certain woman parts in full 3D come alive more than usual. Lastly, having the 3D effect turned on, seems to drop the frames-per-second less than in SSF IV 3D (yet there is more going on).

Speaking of characters, there are a ton to unlock and only a couple to start off with. Most characters from the DoA franchise are here including Hayabusa, Tina, Kasumi and more. Each character starts off with 2 different costumes, but more can be unlocked by simply playing different modes or even by starting the game up. That’s right, anytime you turn on the game, you’re likely to receive some type of reward. This goes for figurines and stages as well. Figurines can be viewed in the ‘Showcase’ mode and allows for creating dioramas and taking 3D pictures. There are well over 900 trophies, so no worries about getting them all too fast.

I mentioned the ‘Chronicle’ mode earlier and this is where most players will want to start off. Not only does this mode throw together the last 15 years of Dead or Alive (happy anniversary!) and its story together, but knowledge is gained here. That knowledge includes not only how to play and put together combos, but it also includes learning about each character’s backstory, what different things are in the Dead or Alive franchise and even a little bit of knowledge you can use in the real world (like what commodities are).

Other modes include arcade, throwdown, tag challenge, free play, training, internet play, local play and survival. Throwdown mode is all about using StreetPass. Once you pass someone else on the street who has played DoA: Dimensions before, you’ll encounter a new challenger to throwdown with. It’s a really cool mode and allows for random encounters like never before. All other modes besides local and online play are against the AI including tag challenge which allows the player to team up with an AI character and battle it out with another tag team. Survival mode is exactly as it sounds and allows players to see how ling they can survive against a non-stop onslaught of opponents.

As far as controls go, Tecmo and Team Ninja definitely tried the SSF IV 3D route and allowed for a more accessible control scheme. However, there is still more emphasis on challenge and technique. The touchscreen once again has move lists laid out and ready to be touched to send the fighter into action doing those moves. Combos are easily touched and occur quickly (probably quicker than you could pull off by pressing buttons); however, the biggest combos have to still be manually done and the finesse moves in certain situations like grabs and blocks still need to be timed and done manually, too. And, just because the combos are there to press easily, doesn’t mean they have to be. Combos are the name of the game in every DoA game (even spinoffs), and Dimensions doesn’t disappoint. All characters have a multitude of combos to learn, get perfect and figure out a technique of when to use them.

Dead or Alive: Dimensions does not get enough credit. This game is good, real good. From the massive amount of unlockables to the awesome 15 year long story in chronicle mode, and then the effort put into the graphics and 3D effect in EVERY scene, Tecmo and Team Ninja show just what fighting games can accomplish on a handheld. No shortcuts were taken in this game and the flow and smoothness of pulling off combos makes you feel like you are playing a console version and is even as addictive. This game is a must own for any Dead or Alive fan, fighter fan or 3DS owner in general.

GGC Score: 10 out of 10
Click here to buy Dead or Alive: Dimensions for 3DS from

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