Dead or Alive 2
Tomonobu Itagaki and Team Ninja were still dissatisfied with the release versions of DOA2, and continued enhancing it on both Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 on each market as they worked towards their vision of the ultimate fighting game. On October 25, 2000, Tecmo released a last major update called DOA2: Hardcore for the PlayStation 2 which was based on the Japanese and second update of Dead or Alive 2 for Dreamcast, this "Limited Edition" was featuring new playable Characters, new Stages, extra costumes and introduced the "Gallery" option. The Hardcore release was finally the complete game Itagaki had envisioned at the time, featuring many changes compared to its predecessor:
- Characters, pictures and moves were altered to appear more realistic, lessening the anime look.
- Some fighting animations were elaborated upon and some were cut.
- New Stages were added (8 more than the Dreamcast update)
- More character outfits were added.
- Survival mode now only took place in the "Danger Zone" arena.
- Overall gameplay speed was increased. The entire game, including cut scenes, now runs at a full 60 frames-per-second (In the Dreamcast version, the game ran at 60 fps while the cut scenes ran at 30).
- A special "Items Collection" feature and menu section was added to appeal to video game collectors. New artworks were added compared to the first update.
- A CG Gallery section, featuring renders of the female Characters, was added.
- The player history files were enhanced and now included statistics on how often the player used each character and tag battle pairing.
- Several special moves were added, but left undocumented.
- English voiceovers were added in the U.S. PlayStation 2 version, in addition to the original Japanese voice overs.
The new release extended the success of Dead or Alive 2 in North America and Western Europe, and Dead or Alive became Tecmo's flagship series.
Tecmo also followed up on the release of DOA2: Hardcore in the USA and Europe with the release of DOA2: Hard*Core in Japan. This last version saw some minor updates, including new cut scenes, a few new costumes, and a new turbo speed option.
As a result, eleven different versions of Dead or Alive 2 were released, the first two were for the arcade market and the others were home versions. The Dreamcast version has been updated two times, first for the European market with new Stages, costumes and cut scenes, and the second time was for the Japanese market with a "Limited Edition" featuring two new playable Characters, two new Stages, stage multipart extensions, new costumes, new cut scenes and the "Gallery" option was introduced. This edition was later updated with eight new Stages, some new costumes and extra Gallery artworks and released as "Hardcore" edition on the PlayStation 2. The first PlayStation 2 versions for America, Europe and Japan were updates of the Dreamcast editions, with a few new cut scenes, costumes and Stages added on each localization. Comparing the first and the last home versions of Dead or Alive 2, namely the Dreamcast American edition and the Japanese Hardcore edition, would show a lot of improvements including an enhanced game play and a doubled number of Stages and costumes. Unfortunately, even with all the changes, Itagaki was still not happy with Hardcore. He is quoted as saying in the DOA 3 booster disc video, "They wanted a launch title in 3 months. I needed 4." In 2004 Team ninja went at it again and created Dead or Alive 2 ultimate. Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate is a remake of Dead or Alive 2 for Xbox with a greatly improved graphics engine. As it was created after the debut of Dead or Alive 3, it takes elements and mechanics from both its original iteration and successor. The action of 3D-axis movement is as free-formatted as Dead or Alive 3, and Hitomi, as well as Tengu are now playable Characters (albeit outside story mode), but other elements have been kept intact from Dead or Alive 2. The biggest set of changes instituted in Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate are online play over Xbox Live, and the inclusion of slopes, Ceilings and moves that take advantage of them.
A great leader was killed at the end of the 20th century. His name was Fame Douglas, and he was renowned as the sponsor of the legendary Dead or Alive World Combat Championship. Since his death, and in the absence of his charisma and leadership, the world has become chaotic. Yet something appears to be transpiring. Amid this chaos, it is announced that the "Dead or Alive Championship 2" will be held. However, Douglas' passing has taken with it the purpose and significance of the tournament. Even worse, the promoter of "Dead or Alive Championship 2", who is fond of conflicts and jealous of the string, is responsible for Douglas's death. The new promoter is more than a corrupt mastermind, but a man of pure evil. His involvement in the tournament has brought a sense of terror to the world, resulting in the infamous Tengu disaster that occurred at the end of the 20th century. The climax of the disaster is about to begin with a roaring battle.
The holding system was revamped making it more complex. The hold button ()have been replaced with the free button(). Holding went from:
- defensive holding high/mid blows
- defensive holding low blows
- Advanced hold
- holding high blows ( in doa2U)
- holding Mid blows ( in doa2U)
- holding Mid blows ( in doa2U)
- holding low blows ( in doa2U)
- parrying high/mid blows (character specific)
- parrying low blows (character specific)
- holding High Blows
- holding Mid Blows
- holding low blows
Getting around the arena have changed as well. (backward crouch dashing) have been removed, with a 8 way movement being implemented. This movement is titled Free stepping due to you having to hold than press to move into the background and to move into the foreground.
There are now five different ways to guard:
- standing guard
- standing guard
- low guard
- standing guard while moving to the background
- standing/low guard while moving to the foreground
Stuns and Stun Linking
The other defining feature of DOA2, aside from holds/throws/blows, is its stun system. In DOA2 many attacks upon hitting will inflict a stun on the opponent. While stunned, the opponent cannot attack, and cannot guard, but they can hold and slow-escape. Slow-escape is the wiggling of the joystick while holding down the button(tapping and alternatively will allow you to escape faster). If the attacker lands a non-knockdown, non-launching attack while the opponent is stunned, the opponent will be re-stunned in a new way, depending on what attack was landed.
Walls deal either 5 points of damage for a hit from the side, or 10 points of damage for a direct hit, to Characters that are slammed into them as a result of a knockback attack. In addition, if a character is near a wall, some throws change into wall-based throws, and some holds change into wall-based holds, which nearly always deals more damage than the normal version of the attack. For example, Bayman's is normally a throw where he grabs their arm, knocks them down, and pulls it, dealing 48pts of damage on a normal throw. If the throw is done while the opponent's back is to a wall, however, he instead pushes them against the wall and knees them in the gut, dealing 55pts of damage on a normal throw. There are also Danger Zone walls. Some walls are either electrified, or booby-trapped, causing more damage when a character is slammed into a wall by either a knockback blow, throw, or hold.
Many Stages in DOA2 are multi-tiered. To get to other areas of the stage, one character must be knocked off a ledge and fall into the next area. These falls deal usually fairly high damage, but cannot knock the opponent out. If the character is already near KO, they will be left with only a sliver of health remaining when they get to the bottom. The character who is still on the previous stage will jump down to finish their opponent, but will not be dealt any damage.
Launchers, Juggling, and Character Weight Classes
Some attacks, such as Bayman's , launch on certain successful hit types (in this case, counter and hi-counter hits). Once the opponent is in the air, it is possible to juggle the opponent by continuing to hit them until they fall to the ground. In addition to the rules of juggling, each character also fits into a specific weight category, which affects how the character responds to being launched and being juggled. The heavier a character is, the lower the character is launched, the less the character bounces up when juggled, the faster the character falls.
- Light Weight Class: Ayane and Kasumi
- Medium Weight Class: Ein, Helena, Hitomi, Jann Lee, Lei Fang, Hayabusa, Tina , Zack
- Medium-Heavy Weight Class: Gen Fu
- Heavy Weight Class: Bass , Bayman, Leon
- Very Heavy Weight Class: Tengu
Major Changes from Doa1 to Doa2:
- Interactive(Stages were really huge), wall, pillars.etc
- Stage breaks were introduced
- Walls were introduced+ wall slump stun + wall Tech
- infamous stun system was introduced
- Limited undulation was introduced
- Plethora of knock back attacks were introduced
- Stun launch was introduced
- Slippery surfaces was introduced
- Backwards crouch dashing was removed
- Can now tech roll during knockdowns on all surfaces(as opposed to only the danger Zones in doa1)
- Larger variety of get up kicks(+ delayed get up kicks + side roll get up kicks)
- Floor danger zones are removed, and replaced with explosive walls.
- Bounce and bounce combos was removed(due to lack of floor danger zones).
- Tag play is introduced
- Streamlined Throw system
- more in-depth Hold system
- Holds do a lot more damage
- Holds are broken down into 3 parts within the 21 frame window:
- Frames 1-8 = High Counter Hold
- Frames 9-15 = Counter Hold
- Frames 16-22 = Hold
- Removed advanced holds
- Changed offensive holds into catch throws, and now only a few Characters have them
- Slow escaping was introduced
- Side stepping attacks were introduced(how limited they were)
- Ground throws were introduced
- Advanced holds were removed
- Combo throws/hold/attacks are now visable due to the on screen notation
- More character nuances added + New Characters
- Character specific parries are introduced
- High counter blow- for hitting a back dashing opponent is introduced, as well as a air born opponent(specific frames).
- Moving Block introduced(can block and move around at the same time)
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