Video game console
DOA3 offers eight modes of play, including story, team battle, tag battle, and sparring. Sparring mode is customizable and is a nice way for new players to learn how to play the game, while story mode lets you take one of the 16 available characters through a series of matches culminating in a fight against the über-powerful Omega. Once you defeat Omega, a short movie specific to your character is unlocked. The story mode doesn't make a lot of sense (and the dialogue is laughable) but the end movies are pretty cool, and it's fun playing through the game as each of the characters.
The real meat of the game, though, is its combat, and DOA3 delivers in spades. Each character has specific attacks, such as Zack's Devil Elbow or Bass Armstrong's Stun Gun Chop, and once you get the moves down, the entire affair can unfold like a carefully choreographed ballet as combatants block blows, counterattack, and land devastating punch and kick combos. Adding to the game's appeal are the massive and detailed multilevel arenas (introduced in DOA2), in which a precise kick or punch can send a combatant plummeting through the air down to the arena's next level.
It's obvious that DOA3 was designed as a showcase for the Xbox's graphical prowess, and it shows--the game's graphics are awesome. The character models look amazing and feature highly detailed clothing and accessories, and the animations are extremely smooth. The environments are also outstanding, and feature tons of little touches such as fluttering leaves, snow-covered ground that can be torn up during the course of a fight, and great-looking water. Even the background structures are highly detailed.
DOA3 doesn't rewrite the rules of the fighting genre, but its great graphics and intense fighting--especially in multiplayer mode--make for an enjoyable gaming experience. --William Harms