Back to Zack Island.
There are a lot of certainties in this world. One of those is that Team Ninja is going to keep making dress-up simulators, whether it is in fighting game, or in vacation simulation form. Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Fortune is easily one of the most talked about games released in 2016. Mostly due to the fact that the developers opted not to release it in the US over concerns of how it portrays women. Let’s be frank though, this game knows exactly what it is, and after spending some “quality” time vacationing on Zack Island, I can safely say this is much more about style, than substance.
DoAX3 is certainly all about the ladies. This is a swimsuit-collection-simulator with an optional (read: suggested) gravure mode. The whole hook is that players spend time playing limited mini-games in order to earn money and XP to buy new swimsuits. That’s about it. The playful nature comes across creepy in more ways than others, and I was definitely hesitant about letting my wife see me play this game. Yes, it made a grown man uncomfortable, not because of the content, but because I had no good explanation of what I was even playing, or why it was supposed to be fun.
MSRP: $59.99 (Available for import only)
Platforms: PS4, Vita
Price I’d Pay: $29.99
Much like previous games, Fortune tasks players with picking a girl, then spending a set amount of days on Zack Island. Each day they can partner up with other characters, play mini-games with or against them, and send them gifts. Each girl has likes and dislikes, and earning their friendship becomes a sort of metagame in and of itself.
The mini-games are simple and focus on the “assets” of the women. Outside of the casino I never found myself actually enjoying them for more than a few attempts. They quickly dissolve into ways to earn money or XP. The casino on the other hand remains interesting and fun, although only slightly enhanced from previous versions.
It is no shock that this game is gorgeous. Character models are finely detailed, which is evident by any screenshot. The new physics model allows for more outlandish body reactions than any previous game. It is nearing the ridiculous phase the game had when it debuted on the Saturn. Tan lines are now a thing, and the environments, while sparse, are extremely colorful and nicely detailed. This is a game designed with photo mode in mind, which is good because that is what players will spend most of their time doing.
Even though the game is only available in Asian territories, it does have a completely English option. Menus are all in English, and with the region-free design of the PS4, players can import without any hassle. For those wanting to go digital, the only roadblock is creating an Asian PSN account, which takes about five minutes, but then the game can be played on their US account if they want to earn Trophies and such.
While most of the game is certainly a downgrade from the previous entry, lack of characters, missing mini-games, etc., the new owner mode is a nice step in the right direction. This time around simply tapping the touchpad enters owner mode, allowing players to send girls gifts as well as watching and taking pictures of the girls… hence the gravure mode I spoke about. In owner mode you can also make the girls wear any of the swimsuits you have purchased for them, then once they retire to their hotel room they will roll around on the bed while players snap photos. It is definitely uncomfortable at times.
The end game is simple, the idea is to earn XP, unlock swimsuits, and take pictures. The mini-games serve to accomplish that, and there is no real way to “lose” at Dead or Alive Xtreme 3. All XP is also carried over between each vacation, and maxing out the girls opens up even more creepy ways to photograph them. This game knows what it wants to do, and it executes it flawlessly. The loss of characters and some of the more enjoyable mini-games is certainly a bummer, but let’s be honest, that is never why anyone played this game.
Review copy of game provided by Play-Asia.