The digital delights of Sony’s scrumptious PlayStation Network service know no bounds. Aside from letting punters compete in online gaming, stream films, browse the Internet and more, its premier attraction rests in the copious supply of downloadable games ripe for the picking. From PSN exclusives to PSOne Classics, minis and plain old add-on content, Sony’s online space is chock full of goodies battling it out for your hard-earned digital dollars.
Welcome back to another installment of Inside PlayStation Network, where every Monday – Friday we’ll pluck a PSN release—be it new or old—and put it in the spotlight for a thorough dissection. Fancy getting a new PSN game but don’t know what one to plump for? Perhaps this feature will help. Didn’t realize that a game was available in your region until now? We've got you covered. Or, perhaps you were musing over what those lucky Japanese folk were tucking into over in the Land of the Rising Sun? You can be sure our coverage will extend to those rare regional exclusives as much as those firmly embedded on the public consciousness.
For our latest entry, we go toe-to-toe with the classic beat ‘em up outing, Dead or Alive.
Developer: Team Ninja
Region(s) available: Japan
As one of the direct competitors to Namco’s mammoth-selling Tekken franchise in the late 90s, boob-tastic brawler Dead or Alive calved out its own unique niche thanks its emphasis on speed and comprehensive countering system. Arriving on Sony’s grey box of tricks back in 1998 following an arcade and Sega Saturn release, the voluptuous fighter offers up a total of eleven combatants and a meaty 84 costumes to unlock. New costumes are unlocked as you rack up victories, so you’ll have plenty of reason to keep pummelling away at your adversaries.
DoA carries a simplistic control system, having taken much of its influence from venerable Sega beat ‘em up, Virtual Fighter. Essentially, there’s three functions you’ll need to be concerned with: punch, kick and hold. The latter opens up a plethora of strategic-base shenanigans, allowing you to not only grab your opponent, but perform some flashy counter holds and reversals. These can last a fair amount of time, hopefully culminating in your foe mucking up the chain to your advantage. In comparison to its contemporaries, DoA’s meatier manoeuvres are a little easier to pull off.
One of the most significant elements that DoA brings into the ring is the ‘Danger Zone’ feature. This environmental-based addition surrounds any given arena, and should a combatant collide with it, lobs them into the air leaving them susceptible to an air juggle. Unlike the likes of Tekken, where being flung into the air is like a death sentence, DoA gives its high-flying victims a chance to extricate themselves from an air-bound beating thanks to the application of the handy Ukemi – or defensive roll. As with the reversals and grappling however, you’ll need some pretty immaculate reaction time to save your bacon here.
Anyone who is familiar with the franchise will no doubt be acutely aware at the amount of tits and arse that are thrown in your direction, and the inaugural outing is no different. Ladies’ assets bounce around in a comically outrageous fashion, so much so that Team Ninja’s even given you the chance to turn the feature off if it proves a bit…distracting. Still, the characters themselves are a varied bunch, including sultry series staple Kasumi and slippery ninja bloke and Ninja Gaiden hero, Ryu Hayabusa. As mentioned, there are eleven characters on offer in total, with two brawlers – namely, Ayane and Bass Armstrong – being exclusive to the PlayStation version. However, you’ll have to embark on the usual grind to flesh out the roster’s initial nine playable brawlers.
Join us again tomorrow for another poke around Inside PlayStation Network.