Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2 - hands-on

Tecmo had its TGS booth babes (and guys, if you care) in Hawaiian garb this year, celebrating the imminent release of Team Ninja's newest resort 'em up. (Eight of the girls even appeared on-stage periodically to dance some sort of sexy tropical dance, and we were careful to record the whole routine on video for... posterity.)

The big new feature in Xtreme 2 is jet-ski racing. Disappointingly, it plays and looks somehow muddy. The gameplay and wave formations have clearly been inspired by (let's be kind) Nintendo's WaveRace, but the finesse of that game is nowhere to be found in DoAX2's jet-ski section. The similarities between the action here and the stuff we played in WaveRace 6410 years ago are almost genetically close: veer right of red buoys and left of yellow buoys, choose from three different-length variations of each course, and so on.

The problem with the jet-ski racing here, ironically, is that there are a few differences between it and WaveRace: control in DoAX2 is not sufficiently responsive, most of the time you're racing against just one other character, and the course design isn't really conducive to fun, tight races. And then there are the visuals, which are horribly over-saturated. Blue Storm did prettier waves.

It's not all bad news, though. The turbo feature on DoA's jet-skis is very useful and looks lovely. More important: although the jet-ski racing ain't great, it's only a fraction of what makes DoAX2. The volleyball, the new outfits and characters, the beach-based mini-games, they're all here - fans of Kasumi won't be disappointed, but fans of jet-ski games likely will be. Lovely dance, though.

Jonti Davies is a freelance journalist who writes for Retro Gamer magazine. You'll typically find Jonti diving into the history of the video games you grew up playing and exploring the 'making of' some of the best and most iconic games of all-time.