Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation – Take me down to paradise island

Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation review

The Dead or Alive series was once a highly commendable name in the fighting genre. It used to rub shoulders against the big hitters such as Tekken and Soul Calibur, until Team Ninja decided that the female cast and jiggle physics were too good a thing to pass on.

And thus Dead or Alive Xtreme spin-offs were born. The latest one is for PC, surprisingly free-to-play and comes straight from DMM, a Japanese studio mostly renowned for its adult games.

Being a free game, Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation falls into the same traps that tend to plague most of these games. It’s deliberately built around systems that entice you to spend money, or play for a surreal amount of hours to unlock most of its content. Is this a huge problem in DOAX: VV?

Depends on who you are.

If you’re planning on playing this game – or if you’re already playing –, then you should know by now that the main appeal of DOAX: VV lies in its colorful female-only cast. Currently there are 10 characters in total, and you should know them from the Dead or Alive series, with the exception of new girl Misaki. She will be your host and partner when you arrive in New Zack Island. The other girls are Kokoro, Kasumi, Ayane, Marie Rose, Honoka, Nyotengu, Hitomi, Momiji and Helena. Fans of the series will surely notice how Christie and Tina couldn’t make it; they were probably punching the living daylights out of each other.

The main goal of the game, at least in my opinion, is to unlock all the girls. Besides improving your stats and reaching top level, playing a bazillion beach volleyball games along the way, of course. Or collecting all the gravure panels, episodes or bromides, as well. Unlocking girls isn’t an easy task, as it involves trading specific swimsuits for special points that can then be used for a particular girl. For example, if you happen to get Ayane’s trademark costume, you can only exchange it to get a few points for Ayane. It’s a painstakingly slow process and I don’t see someone unlocking a girl without spending countless hours grinding in this game, or paying up for precious currency with real money.

If you’re lucky, you can see some of the locked girls when you win a rare or super rare costume on Gacha. That is a good way to take some pictures for a few minutes, but that’s it – no playing with her, so to speak.

When all is said and done, DOAX: VV is a ‘game’ where you don’t play that much. You’ll spend more time navigating the menus, spending crystals and various other currencies to upgrade and evolve swimsuits (yes!), either going for a balance between power, technique and stamina, or choosing to focus on one of them for each girl. There is a lot of clicking and soon you will find yourself skipping the volleyball part altogether, as there is the option to do so – when the teams are balanced you should keep an eye out on the stats, to use a substitute girl (there is the option, but only for a couple of points), or to activate the tension gauge for a significant temporary boost.

Try Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation if you like the appeal of the previous games, only this time it’s an even bigger grind and without any kind of actual volleyball to be played. I can’t say that I dislike the game, but reaching rank ‘B’, I’m already fairly bored of the constant need to navigate between gacha-upgrade-play, rinse and repeat until you level up enough to face the next rival team.

Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation is an extremely beautiful bore, but not much else.

You can find the instructions to download and play Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation in the video description.

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