Devin tries out the Metroid: Other M stage.
The second 3DS game I played was Dead or Alive: Dimensions. DOA makes use of two-handed controls, and I was able to get a bit of a hang of things after the first match. The game uses the bottom screen to display combos, and you can switch through different menus as you play. Unfortunately, the moves didn’t seem to display the actual button presses, but merely lists of attacks, like ‘kick, punch, kick’ (it’s possible you could change these by switching menus). Many of the characters were unlocked too, along with several different costumes, which was great. I chose Kasumi and the Geothermal Reactor stage (of course!).
The level is a pretty accurate replication of the Metroid: Other M level, though obviously with much fewer polygons and a more lightweight remix of the VS Ridley battle theme. Ridley flies around in the background, looking awesome, and occasionally he will shoot a fireball at you. I think the fireball is aimed primarily at the player who has the most health to help balance the playing field, as it seemed to be targeting me most of the time! The best way to dodge it is jumping back. The coolest thing you can do in this stage is knock the other player into the lava pit. Ridley will swoop down, grab the unfortunate soul, and drag him or her along the wall before blasting a massive fireball in the face. This attack can take anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 of your HP, but it doesn’t seem to kill you straight out, usually reducing you to only one hit. It’s fun to watch, as it breaks up the gameplay with a dramatic real-time sequence, and is even a little fun if you’re the one who’s getting smashed! However, nobody on the floor seemed to know how to unlock the Samus Power Bomb, and I didn’t have enough time to play around to find out.
I don’t usually play fighting games, but I have to admit Dead or Alive Dimensions was pretty fun. It seems like it might be fairly easy to activate a lot of special moves, and it is definitely rewarding to apply a grapple move on your opponent. Again, the game slows down a little to show you the animation, making it quite dramatic, and the game seems to play rather quickly. Even though I’ll probably be buying this game more because I’m a Metroid fan than anything else, I think I’ll end up playing it more than Soul Calibur 2 on the Gamecube, which I didn’t enjoy as much, and here I think it’s because the speed, the hand-to-hand combat, and the real-time animations makes the game more enjoyable. If I had to describe it in a word, I’d say it is because the combat flows. DOA: Dimensions is clearly a polished game that is all but ready for launch when the system comes out at the end of March. It looks like director Yosuke Hayashi has come out with another winner.