That’s not how a woman’s breasts are supposed to move. That was our first thought upon loading Dead or Alive: Paradise. They don’t so much bounce as fight hard to get away from each other like two angry badgers in a sack. Not that we’ve dwelled on it, of course, but a man can’t spend all his time reflecting on the deepening social rifts caused by hyper-capitalism.
Paradise is far from a normal game. There’s no real aim or objective. You choose from a selection of ten Dead or Alive lovelies, travel to a fictional island and mess around. With other girls. Sadly, that isn’t as exciting as it sounds. The range of activities on offer are simple – almost insultingly so at times – with the volleyball games the real highlight. Elsewhere Pool Hop, where you er, hop across a pool by pressing a sequence of buttons, is distracting but not entertaining. In the evening you can visit a casino and play Blackjack, Poker and Slot machines.
But the minigames mask Paradise’s true challenge: befriending your fellow inhabitants. Gaining the trust of girls is an often agonising process of learning what they like, spending time with them, and buying them endless gifts. ‘Needy’ doesn’t begin to describe some of these garment-averse harlots, and on your first trip to the island you’ll spend the majority of your time unwrapping returned gifts in frustration and gambling away your sorrows in the casino.
However, persist and you’ll start to understand what Dead or Alive: Paradise demands from you. You’ll make friends, form ace volleyball duos, and witness some uncomfortably ‘free spirited’ bikini modeling. And you’ll secretly start to enjoy the game – to an extent.
See, the ladies still look a little like zombie-dolls from the Uncanny Valley, rendering most of the sexy a little redundant. Without the game’s lurid selling point, all you’re left with is a collection of so-so minigames and a lesbian dating sim populated by prima donnas who shun your gifts and laugh at your suggestions of teaming up to get hot and sweaty on the beach… playing volleyball. Of course. When virtual ladies leave you baffled and in need of a holiday, something isn’t quite right. Sigh.
Mar 29, 2010