Thursday, November 19, 2015

We’re back!

After quite a hiatus, what has spurred some action again? The short answer is the talk about upcoming release of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 (at least in Asia). The Dead or Alive series is one of the cornerstone franchises for CostumeGet and I was particualarly obsessed with the original Dead or Alive Xtreme. Since that original release, the world of costumes unlocking has totally changed.

Can’t put DLC genie back in the bottle
Dead or Alive used to be the king of unlockable costumes, but they have now gone full bore with DLC. As much as I dislike this trend, I do think that it’s really a matter of survival for franchises like this. The market for fighting games is much smaller now and continues to shrink. The emphasis now is on the competitive circuit and tournament play, which suits titles like Street Fighter or Tekken. Not so much DOA.

After milking DOA5 for the past three years, it was only a matter of time for DOA to return to the beach. The question is what will we get in the main game and how much will be DLC? Unlike the DOA fighting games, unlocking, purchasing (with in-game currency), and gifting swimsuits is a big part the Xtreme series gameplay. You develop close relationships with your partner by spending time with them and giving and receiving gifts.

The following are my main concerns and questions:

1. Paid swimsuits may break the game  
This is the big one. Can you only purchase (with real money) swimsuits for the character you play as or can you gift those to your partner? If you can gift to your partner, is it possible they can still reject it? OR do real money swimsuits get accepted automatically? If only the character I play as gets the suit, does it appear in her inventory when I play as another character and select her as my partner? I mean I paid for her to have it right? Hopefully this gets answered before the game comes out. Speaking on which…

2. Will the game come out for other territories other than Asia?
This is virtually guaranteed to come out for all countries eventually. No way Team Ninja leaves that money on the table. In my opinion, this is a way for them to double dip. The super hardcore will buy the region free Asian release with English subtitles and then will be forced to double dip when the domestic versions come out with more features. Don’t believe any of the bull that only the Asian version will be uncensored and US or European releases will be cut in some way. That’s not the way Team Ninja works. They will pack in more in the US and European releases so they force the Japanese audience to double dip too. It will be a double dip party.

I’ve been mulling over purchasing the Asian version myself, but then I ‘m reminded of my purchase of the Asian version of Onechanbara Z2 Chaos for PS4. The chances of a US release seemed extremely slim at the time and if there was any piece of DLC that would have to stay in Japan, it was the Strawberries and Banana DLC outfits. It is WAY out there. Fast forward a few months and sure enough Z2 Chaos is released in the US AND came with the Strawberries and Bananas DLC. The day the news broke that Z2 Chaos was being released in the US, my Asian copy went on eBay. I’m not repeating that same mistake again.

As for claims that the Asian version of DOAX3 will have swimsuits too skimpy for the west, have you seen all the DLC outfits for DOA 5 Last Round? Things don’t get skimpier than that.

US release prediction
The US version will be unveiled at E3 2016 with a late summer release. That gives the JP/Asian release three months of sales along with whatever crazy season passes they muster for it. There will be pre-order bonuses split among retailers, but a special/limited edition is highly unlikely. So if you wanted an embarrassing mousepad, posters, or playing cards, you are free to purchase the Asian versions. I won’t judge if you do that. Flashing back to my DOAX1 playing self, I totally would have done it.

Summer 2016 or bust!

This may all sound a bit cynical and it mostly is. However, I’m still pumped for DOAX3 and it’s going to be painful to wait for the US release. I’m hopeful we’ll see some innovation the series deserves like walking around the casino, maybe free walking around the island, seeing your players sitting at the poker table or slot machine, or whatever. My late summer release prediction is also based on the release of the PS4 VR headset. Would be a good way to get some free promotion for the game when Sony begins their big VR push.

No comments: