Playing games that feature scantily clad women on a 37-inch plasma doesn't exactly endear Crave to the rest of CNET.co.uk, but playing Dead or Alive 4 is something we've wanted to do ever since the Xbox 360 launched.
Developer Tecmo is well known for creating the most sumptuous-looking games ever to grace the first Xbox. So when the guys at Tecmo sit down to make a game for the three-core IBM-powered Xbox 360, you know it's going to look wonderful. And it does -- while Xbox 360 games always seem to have a shiny look to them, as though everything on screen had been covered in Vaseline, the detail and speed of DOA 4's imagery is amazing. It's less about photorealism and more about artistic direction -- small background details that you often don't notice unless you watch someone else playing.
Like Project Gotham Racing 3, DOA 4 is essentially the last game in the series given a graphical overhaul and a better online mode. If you're after the next revolutionary gaming experience you'll have to look elsewhere (Nintendo, probably). If you love the Dead or Alive games though, you'll find the fourth game tighter and a hell of a lot harder than before. There are three new characters, including an unlockable Master Chief from Halo, and the new destructable scenery adds a lot more tactical interaction with the background. Put it this way, we'll be taking this baby online all weekend and finding out just how good we really are.