The “Dead or Alive” series seems like it has always gotten a bad rap. Out of all of the fighting franchises on the market, it comes off as the least respectable for a series of reasons. If you look past the over-the-top story lines and the jiggle physics, and focus solely on the gameplay, “DOA” has a reputation as a button masher (I’ve always suspected it’s the subject of the all time best comedy bit about video games). However, in a few months, when “Dead or Alive Dimensions” hits the 3DS, it looks like the series is going to evolve into a screen masher.
Yesterday in New York City, where “Dead or Alive Dimensions” was shown off just feet from “Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition,” the two fighting games showed off simplistic, touch screen-based controls. However, there was one fundamental difference between the two; you couldn’t play a whole match only using the analog circle and the touch screen in “SSFIV3DE,” but you could in “DOA.”
When playing “Dimensions” the lower screen displays your character’s move list, showing off the button strokes for each individual attack; alone this isn’t too out of the ordinary. However, if you touch one of the moves during a battle, your character will perform that attack, and they can do it as many times as you want. Spamming is old hat for newcomers to any fighting game, but at least prior to “Dimensions” you had to be able to figure out what each of the buttons did. Now it’s as simple as picking your move from a list and waiting for an opportunity.
For an in-depth breakdown of the controls, complete with video, check out Kotaku’s demonstration from a Tecmo Koei representative, and you’ll get a better sense of the touch screen controls.
Increasing a game’s accessibility always seems to come at some cost, and in this case, it seems like it is lowering the bar so low that anyone that can tap their finger has a fighting chance at taking down their opponents. This control scheme options obviously isn’t going to ruin the reputation of “Dead or Alive,” but I think it is going to make it a heck of a lot harder for longtime fans of the series, like myself, to not losing to our girlfriends because they’re repeatedly hitting the same move on the screen.