Every once in a while a game comes along in an established genre that pushes the envelope and raises the bar to new heights, Dead or Alive 2 is one such game. DOA2 could very well be the finest fighting game on Dreamcast, even pushing ahead of Namco's Soul Calibur. The original DOA with it's now infamous bouncing breasts, was well received on the Playstation but never reached the cult status of the Tekken series. Now nearly two years later the sequel manages to accomplish everything the original game did and a whole lot more...ahem...minus some bounce.
Dead or Alive 2, simply put, is a technical marvel. The games original Naomi arcade code appears to have been ported to the Dreamcast effortlessly. Everything from the fantastic character design, flawless motion capture and spectacular multi tiered levels is a masterpiece. The game runs in high resolution at an almost constant 60fps and sports special effects like motion blur, cross dissolves and 3,000,000 polygons per second. The fighters are large and beautifully modeled sporting some great designs that really show off the developers appreciation for the female figure. Don't underestimate the male characters though, there are some equally well designed men in the game like Bass who is obviously inspired by Hollywood Hogan or Zack with his awe inspiring metallic alien costume. Everyone one moves with great fluidity, characters side step into reversals with grace, convincingly grasp at injured appendages and crumble painfully when bashed against barriers. If you look closely you'll even see some great facial animation. The levels themselves are intricately laid out with exploding hazards and breakaway railings that drop characters to lower areas. Fighters can be kicked through stained glass windows or knocked over waterfalls only to resume the fight on the lower levels.