Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2 (DOAX2) (デッドオアアライブエクストリーム2 Deddo Oa Araibu Ekusutorīmu 2) is a video game for the Xbox 360 game console. Developed by Team Ninja, it is the sequel to Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. The title expands upon the activities available in the original, supplementing beach volleyball with additional beach-related mini-games.
Developed exclusively for the Xbox 360, the title runs on a heavily-modified version of the engine used in Dead or Alive 4, allowing for new inclusions such as self-shadowing and new cloth simulation techniques. The Marine Race mini-game, however, uses a completely new physics engine, although with similar graphics.
As well as the gameplay tweaks (as compared to the original), various cosmetic modifications were made. For example, the female characters' individual breasts now have their own "physics." This allows each breast to behave differently, although this has been criticized for making the breasts move in an exaggerated fashion (i.e., they often continue moving for an unnaturally long time after a character has stopped moving;and sometimes one or both breasts will freeze in mid-bounce.). Additionally, the game adds a new "tan line system" in which swimsuits realistically block tanning; changing swimsuits frequently will prevent tan lines from appearing.
Instead of relying on a single game mode, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 contains a number of different sub-games. Starting with an initial pool of 42 different mini-game ideas, a total of 7 games (counting beach volleyball) actually made the final cut. During the development process, creator Tomonobu Itagaki stated that he would not be adding activities like trampoline games and wet T-shirt contests to the series. He indicated that he felt that this would come off as vulgar and "show the women in a negative light".
The background story to the game is that Zack has resurrected "Zack Island" from the depths of the sea, where it was buried following a previous volcanic eruption. He has re-dubbed it "New Zack Island", and has once again tricked the girls into coming to his island. The instruction manual details the differing reasons for which each girl has come to the island, while cut-scenes further flesh out the plot details.
Much like the original, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 features a two-week vacation mode, where the player can indulge in a variety of activities (listed below). Each day is broken up into three segments (morning, afternoon, and evening), where players can perform a single activity during each.
Partnership & Friendship
The game puts a strong emphasis on friendship; players (playing as one of the women) must befriend the other girls by buying them gifts they enjoy from the various stores on the island. Doing so will increase the bond between the two characters. If the friendship between the two is at a sufficiently high level (represented by red musical notes next to the girls portraits; the quicker they flow, the stronger the bond), the character can be convinced to become one's volleyball partner. After this is done, players must then ensure that the bond is kept strong to avoid the partner subsequently abandoning them. This can be done by giving additional gifts, spending time with the partner, and winning games. When you ask another girl to be your partner when you already have one, two things can happen. If she declines, your current partner becomes jealous and may want to leave. If she accepts, you split with your current partner and become friends with the girl you asked.
When a new player plays for the very first time, she is given a tour of the island by Lisa, who automatically becomes the default partner (if you chose to be Lisa, Tina will be your partner, although you show her around the island. From that point forward, any new vacations which are taken (without making use of the optional tour) will begin with a random girl approaching and requesting to become partners, although the player can refuse them if desired.
Players can bestow swimsuits as gifts to other girls, regardless of whether they are the current partner or not. However, the more revealing a suit is, the harder it is to get a girl to accept the gift. Again, players must ensure that the friendship level between their character and the target girl is very strong to avoid having the gift returned. It is fair to say that the successful gifting of swimsuits is the main point of the game (as well as the most frustrating), as every achievement involves holding a certain complete collection (or several collections) of suits.
The former "main event" from Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, beach volleyball is once again present. Similar to the original, players must have a partner in order to compete in a two-on-two 7-point volleyball match. The gameplay has been modified to make the game slightly more difficult and to add variety. While there are still only two buttons necessary for gameplay (pass/block and bump/spike), greater manual control is required as, unlike the original, girls will not automatically maneuver themselves into the best formation. Deuces are allowed, but should the score become 9-9, the team to score the 10th point wins. In the online mode, two players can compete against each other, each having a computer-controlled partner. Lastly, the camera has been slightly modified to address the criticism that the one in the original game moved erratically or too frequently.
The offline two player "Exhibition" mode from the previous game has been removed, forcing players who wish to play against other players to do so via Xbox Live.
An all new game mode which allows the girls to race on jet skis, either offline or on Xbox Live. The game has been compared to the Wave Race series. Players earn nitro boosts (which give them a substantial, but temporary, increase in speed) by navigating through seven consecutive buoy gates. Players can earn in-game currency by winning the race and by doing tricks. The latter has led to an exploit where players can choose to lose the race, and simply navigate the track indefinitely without finishing, pulling off tricks to earn cash. If you win on the hard courses (usually by Days 10 - 14, depending on how many times Marine Race has been played throughout your vacation), this is the only way to get the most money possible (excluding the casino) in activities.
Aside from the main beach volleyball mode, this is the only mini-game which supports multiplayer play via Xbox Live, making all others single-player only.
Another mini-game carried over from the previous title, although with slight modifications to account for the lack of pressure sensitivity on the Xbox 360 controller. In this game, players race another girl, hopping across multi-colored floating pads. To successfully hop to the next pad, players must conduct the correct jump; tapping any face button results in a short jump, holding it results in a long jump. Pressing the correct face button that corresponds to the next pad's color results in bonus points being earned (Color bonus).
A new mini-game to the series which is simple in nature, but can be quite difficult and frustrating. It requires the player to repeatedly press a button as fast as possible in order to reach a flag at the end of the beach before their opponent does. To successfully grab the flag, the player must not only be fast, but also correctly judge the distance before pressing the "dive" button. If the player is too slow, falls short, or overshoots the flag, they lose. False starts also result in an instant loss. To participate, the activity ticket can be purchased for 100,000 Zack dollars.
Also dubbed the "Hip Battle", this mini-game challenges the player to knock her opponent off a shared floating pad before the same can be done to them. It involves feigns, dodges, normal attacks, and strong attacks, which the girls carry out using only their rear-ends. It is played in a similar fashion to Rock, Paper, Scissors, in which one must correctly guess or deduce the opponent's next action and respond appropriately.
This new mini-game is very similar to the "Butt Battle" in the manner in which it is played. The player must attempt to make their opponent fall off of their distant floating pad. Player victory can be achieved either by pulling the opponent into the water, or by tricking the competition (using a feint) into accidentally throwing themselves in. This requires correctly guessing the countering move, much like Butt Battle. To participate, the activity ticket can be purchased for 150,000 Zack dollars.
The final mini-game involves successfully sliding down a water slide at high speeds. The basic gameplay revolves around keeping the player character from falling out of the slide as it twists and turns. Pushing forward on the left joystick speeds the character up, and pulling back slows them down. Left and right are used to prevent the character from falling out of the slide. To participate, the activity ticket can be purchased for 150,000 Zack dollars.
Hotels & Accommodation
In the game, there are also hotels for the girls to stay. Three hotels are spread throughout the island. These are:
- Moonlight Reef - A hotel on Bass Island, popular with women for the designs of the rooms, such as a fish tank in every room.
- Seabreeze Cottage - A hut-like hotel located on the east coast of the island, near the Marina. This hotel provides a cozy atmosphere with log walls and a giant bed.
- Gemstone Suite - A first-class hotel situated in the middle of the island, near the pool. It has very spacious rooms, a balcony, and is located near the casino. This is perfect if you want to spend an elegant vacation.
Similar to the original, the game features a casino which players can visit during the evenings. Once there, one can partake in several games, including poker, blackjack, roulette and a variety of slot machines (themed after each woman).
By betting the maximum amount and hitting the jackpot when playing Christie's slot machine, the player unlocks sequences of her performing a pole dance in the casino. After accumulating nine jackpots, the player is gifted with a "Secret Ticket" the next night, allowing their chosen character to perform this dance.
Shopping is an essential part of the game, buying accessories, swimsuits or food and drinks. The shops are:
- Zack of All Trades: This is a shop-boat. They sell the girls' favourite food, various drinks, and all sorts of items (including a notebook computer and an Xbox 360).
- Accessory Shop: This store sells, as the name suggests, accessories such as hats, jewellery, bracelets, footwear and cosmetics (mainly sunscreen, suntan lotion, and nail polish).
- Sports Shop: The Sports Shop carries many expensive items that can be bought. Swimsuits, volleyballs, activity tickets, camera film and watercraft for Marine Race can be purchased here.
In Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, players are able to play as any of the nine girls currently present in the series. Each girl in the game has certain items and hobbies which she likes or dislikes, and these preferences influence her reaction upon receiving a gift. Characters also each have an individual favorite color, again affecting their like or dislike of a certain item (and the wrapping paper used to wrap it). The playable characters are (in brackets: their favourite color, and favorite food):
- Ayane (Dark Purple, Marron glacé)
- Christie (Black, Tomato juice)
- Helena (Pearl White, Blancmange)
- Hitomi (Sky Blue, Sachertorte)
- Kasumi (Milky Pink, Strawberry millefeuille)
- Kokoro (Orange, Japanese fruit cocktail)
- Lei Fang (Lemon Yellow, Almond tofu)
- Lisa (Crimson Red, Cherry pie)
- Tina (Sapphire Blue, Seafood)
Note that Kokoro did not appear in Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and hence is a new addition to the cast of available volleyball players.
Gamertag glitch and the December 14 patch
Tecmo released a patch for the title through Xbox Live on December 14, 2006. The patch makes several changes, including increasing the winnings on several events, fixing a character interaction problem with one of the in-game locations, and adding access to an online store, the "Crystal Boutique".
Prior to the patch, there was also a glitch in the game whereby players could abuse the Gamertag sign-in/sign-out system to "undo" undesirable event outcomes. Because the game state information is stored with the Gamertag, signing out prevents data from being stored. In this way, players could exploit the delay between when an event happened and when the system recorded it. Primarily this was used with roulette, where players would place a large bet, and in the event of a loss, simply sign-out to revert the bet. This could also be used with gift giving, where a gift would be offered to another girl, and in the result of a rejection, one could quickly undo the attempt. The patch can be removed 
|Official Xbox Magazine||6.5/10|
In its online review of the game, TeamXbox.com stressed that while Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 has impressive graphics, multiple activities and nice artistry, the game is simply not fun to play. On a scale of 1 to 10, the reviewer gave it a score of 6.7. TeamXbox.com gave its predecessor a much higher score of 9.2.
Online reviews from IGN and 1UP.com share similar opinions. The reviews suggest that the added mini-games, including the Butt Battle and Tug-of-War are based highly on luck, relying on an arbitrary button press to counteract what one thinks one's opponent is going to do next. The game is also apparently too similar to the original DOAX for most reviewers' likings, stating that a large amount of the girls’ animations were taken from the original title and simply tweaked to fit the new game engine. Changes to the volleyball portion, still the main attraction of the game, have apparently made it significantly more difficult.
Lastly, certain reviews criticize the new breast physics. Often breasts bounce independently when running or moving and continue to bounce even when the character is still, resulting in awkward sequences. One reviewer at IGN indicated that watching the breasts made them "seasick".
Background music includes:
- "Like That Girl" by Fatty Koo
- "Another Love Story" by Play
- "If It Don't Fit" by B*Witched
- "Sweet Sixteen" by Hilary Duff
- "The Kids Don't Like It" by Reel Big Fish
- "Holla!" by Baha Men
- "Quiero que tú me quieras" by Olga Tañón
- "Nothing To Lose" by Sweet Female Attitude
- "Flowers" (Cutfather & Joe Mix) by Sweet Female Attitude
- "Dreamin'" by Sweet Female Attitude
- "Lovin' You" by Janet Kay
- "How Crazy Are You?" by Meja (Main Theme)
- "Is This Love" by Bob Marley
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 IGN: E3 2006: The Itagaki Interview. IGN (2006-05-11).
- ↑ IGN: DOAX2 Update. IGN (2006-03-29).
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Perry, Douglas (2006-09-05). Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 Hands-on. IGN.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Mielke, James (2006-05-11). Team Ninja's Itagaki E3 Interview. 1UP.com.
- ↑ see end of this page
- ↑ Nardozzi, Dale (2006-11-13). Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2 Review (Xbox 360). TeamXbox.com.
- ↑ Goldstein, Hilary (2006-11-13). IGN: Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2 Review - Another Take. IGN.
- Dead or Alive World - Dead or Alive #1 Source
- Tecmo's official Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 website
- Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 at Xbox.com