Dreamcast Mania – 006 – Dead or Alive 2

Completion time: 25:35

Dead or Alive 2 is a top five fighting game for the Dreamcast. Always has been, always will be. Back when it was released, it blew my mind, between how gorgeous it was, and how well it played, with a ton of depth to be found in the fighting engine. It has been maybe 15 years since I’ve done a few rounds with it, and even today it still commands respect with just how well it has aged.

You could release DoA2 as is today, without any kind of HD buffing to the graphics, and it will still be a beauty. There are some framerate issues here and there, but it never outright deters from the experience nor the pleasure of playing each fight. I was never good at this franchise, but I really got my buttons pushed in on this playthrough. Even still, gameplay has aged well and it’s all wonderfully done – I am just awful at it today.

For sure Dead or Alive 2 is a top five fighting game on the Sega Dreamcast. The “story mode” might be a laughably incoherent mess, but everything else that matters with the game, succeeds with ease. I’m sure installments after the second could be found cheap enough (this one is roughly $30+) but if you’re a diehard fighting game nut, the asking price is a lot less offensive for Dead or Alive 2 than some of the other fighting games on the console. The combat is deep enough to keep you invested for a good while.

Rating: 9

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