Lisa had been our partner in volleyball for the entire two week vacation, and in that time, she had never removed her thong bikini. We doubted that she, and indeed, any of the girls, had packed anything aside from bathing suits for the trip. We discussed the state of that apparel, nestled firmly between her two buttcheeks. She had been sweating in the sun, crawling through the sand, and probably sleeping in the sparse fabric. Hygiene was a concern. We speculated on the scent of the garment. Had the constant use altered its texture, its flexibility? We frequently sent Lisa new bikinis as gifts in hopes that she’d change out of her dirty duds. Alas, she refused each time.
On the final day, before leaving the island, we received two wrapped presents from Lisa. In the first; the most recent substitute swimsuit we had sent her, obviously not to her favour. In the second, much to our horror, was the thong bikini that had adorned her for the entire length of the vacation. We were aghast. What was she wearing at that moment?
So, here we are again. Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2 — note the lack of “Beach Volleyball.” Despite the shorter subtitle, the game is very much a direct sequel to Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball. The tale begins with Zack resurrecting Zack island, the setting from the first game, from its resting place at the bottom of the ocean. Then he invites the girls from the Dead or Alive series to spend two weeks at his resort, which they do, because apparently they have really short memories and can’t remember the first time he tricked them into going.
From there, it’s second verse same as the first. Each day is divided into portions that can be spent either trying to win the respect of the other ladies on the island through the universal language of gifts or participating in events. Beach volleyball is still an option, but on top of that and the returning pool hopping, there’s additional events like butt bouncing and the world’s deadliest waterslide. Most notably there’s jet ski racing that plays a bit like a crappier, more scantily clad version of Wave Race.
Despite what the abbreviated subtitle suggests, beach volleyball is still the most fleshed out and worthwhile event in the batch. Most of the mini-games have the depth of an event in Track & Field, and the jet ski racing, while decent enough, is a bit too shallow to actually be engaging for more than a few races. It also doesn’t pay as well as volleyball.
The only outlier is the waterslide, which is only worthwhile because of how ridiculous it is. I’ve never actually been able to fully complete the slide, since the girls rocket down it like greased hogs in a wind tunnel. The slide doesn’t close off in turns, so you have to steer the ladies so they don’t go flying to their certain doom. Obviously, Zack didn’t have his resort inspected for safety.
Aside from additional events, what has changed? Less than you’d imagine.
The graphics have improved to the point where they’ve actually aged decently. The women look detailed, though they’re obviously still using the same skeletal animation system from the previous game, resulting in the awkward diaper-pelvis crotch bulge. The biggest change has been to the jiggle physics applied the the girls’ breasts. Xtreme 1’s physics weren’t exactly grounded in reality, but for the sequel, it’s gone completely off the deep end.
The breasts appear like they’re filled with something only slightly heavier than air. They float in an exaggerated way, ignoring gravity, settling at a speed much slower than the rest of the woman’s body. The slightest movement will send them jiggling with dangerous velocity, which must make it difficult for the girls to maintain balance. They often move in opposite directions, ignoring whatever momentum is currently affecting their sister mammary. Yet when the ladies lie on their backs, their breasts maintain their globular shapes, while their consistency suggests they should fall directly into their armpits.
The result is something that’s laughably disturbing, far removed from the stimulation that developers had obviously intended. My husband and I would often substitute our own sound effects for their violent motions, and frequently voiced our concerns for the well being of the girls’ lower backs.
On the other hand, the butts featured in the game have no such physics applied, which leaves no questions about the developers’ preference of body parts.
The volleyball itself has been tweaked. It’s largely the same, but it’s a lot pickier. In the previous game, you could be on the other side of the court, hit a button, and your character would snap over with a catch. This time around, you’d better be under the ball (which isn’t always easy because of the camera angle and a general lack of depth perception), and even then, success isn’t guaranteed. In fact, smashing the ball requires your girl to automatically decide to jump into position, which sometimes doesn’t happen, leading to periods of confusion. Your partner also has a habit of smashing the ball into the net, which isn’t far enough removed from reality to be an issue.
Really, though, it’s a mixed bag. The first DOAX was a bit too easygoing about its volleyball, and this was obviously an attempt to address that problem. It’s not always successful, but, overall, it’s about as fun as it was in the original.
Aside from that, the game is basically the same as the first. Coming over directly from the first game, everything is extremely familiar. The UI is essentially unchanged, most of the backgrounds are simply shiny updates from the previous game, and there’s only one new girl to choose from. It’s about as straightforward as you can get with a cross-generational sequel.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. To be fair to DOAX2, I enjoyed my time with it a lot more than I did with the original title. It’s far from perfect, but there’s enough variety on hand and side activities to participate in that it takes a while to become tiresome. The exaggerated physics and ridiculous garments featured caused more concern from me than arousal, but its ridiculously shameless attitude is, at the very least, pretty entertaining. I could see myself going back to it in the future, so I feel I can recommend it.
This review was conducted on an Xbox 360 using a physical disk copy of the title. This was paid for by the author.