Repost: Dead or Alive: Paradise Review

Most players remember Dead or Alive Extreme Volleyball on Xbox and the sequel that hit later on the Xbox 360. Paradise is meant to be a portable version of the title with the visit to New Zack Island using many of the same mini-games that the previous titles used, except that some of the content is questionable to be shown in public. Not because it’s inappropriate, but a lack of pride is necessary.

The Plot

Dead or Alive: Paradise has a very basic plot. Players choose one of the girls from the series and has a two week vacation on the island. Broken up into morning, daytime, afternoon, and nighttime, each mini-game or relaxation experience takes a chuck of that time. One of the goals is to be friends with all the girls on the island, through the purchasing of swimsuits, items, and food all tailored to their interests.

Earning money through winning mini-games or the casino at night provides the funds for these items. As for a story, there really isn’t one and the laid back approach feels that way on the surface, but for those who want to befriend every single character, the days fly by quicky.

The Look

Dead or Alive: Paradise looks both good and bad. During scenes that only have the chosen character, they look good, but during mini-games and other scenes with multiple characters, the quality overall takes a dive. It’s strange also because the landscape nature of the PSP screen is smaller than that of a console, but the character models sometimes don’t look complete.

The expected “boob” physics are present, but at the same time totally disturbing because it looked like the physics centered around them were programmed independent to the character model. This resulted in some comical scenes, but also was a little disappointing that the semi-realism of the title took a bit of a dive.

The Sound

The soundtrack to the title is a bit boring, though the title does support music from a memory stick or internal memory, adding a bit of personal flavor. Dead or Alive: Paradise features both English and Japanese audio with subtitles and while there isn’t a lot of spoken lines, having the option was a nice touch.

If you ever heard 80s beach music, you know what to expect so adding your own music is the better option.

Function

With the core of the title based off of befriending all the girls on the island, there aren’t as many mini-games in the title to keep a lot of variety. Pool-hopping and beach volleyball are the main two options during the day and at the casino at night; it’s blackjack, poker, and slots. Pool-hopping takes some practice to become proficient and volleyball is both luck and skill. The casino games are fun and can earn a lot of money, but at the same time can wipe the wallet out. There are other mini-games as well, but will take multiple plays to experience all of them.

The mechanics of the relationships are very surface level with purchasing gifts that way to the heart of the character. The large amount of items that can be purchase lead to multiple plays and since the fourteen days goes by quickly, most of the time can be spent in the casino.

Decisions

While I was expecting something more tongue-in-cheek and humorous, Dead or Alive: Paradise falls of the cusp of that ideal. It brings the title to the portable, but doesn’t fully grasp all the possibilities. Even if the previous titles were similar, releasing the title onto the PlayStation Portable needed to have something special to make it worth the purchase.

Dead or Alive: Paradise is amusing, but strictly mature. It feels more like a prototype than a full release, but it is still a title that wouldn’t be on the handheld otherwise.

It’s provides something different and in that sense, it’s worth it.

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