Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dead or Alive 2 on Dreamcast

Soul Calibur has always been the immediate favorite since day one, but Tecmo gave Namco a serious run for the money when they unveiled Dead or Alive 2. Now this was an impressive fighting game, certainly one of Dreamcast's very best games.

I think Soul Calibur is the better game overall, thanks to its immensely deep story mode and endless surprises, which became standard in the videogame industry. But DOA2 has a superb fighting engine, swift and complex without being overwhelming, and a large roster of characters to choose from. Tecmo took a lot of inspiration from Sega's Virtua Fighter, and there's a tremendous amount of depth in devising strategies and attack combos.

The graphics in DOA2 were sensational in 2000, one of the Dreamcast's finest hours. It still looks great, doesn't it? The large stages are especially brilliant. I always loved the surprise of knocking an opponent off a ledge or through a window, sending them plummeting below. Why more fighting games don't follow this idea is a bit of a mystery, but I have to remind myself that hardly anybody makes fighting games anymore. It's really down to the handful of long-running franchises now. How boring. Have I mentioned how much I miss video games? It's 2009 and I'd still rather have a Dreamcast.

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