Dead or Alive 4

aka: DOA4
Moby ID: 22299
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Description official descriptions

The fourth installment in the Dead or Alive series (excluding Beach Volleyball) continues in a similar vein of fighting game. Delivering another dose of combo heavy action set in a variety of highly interactive locations.

With Helena assuming control over DOATEC an eclectic cast of fighters from all corners of the world all battle each other for some personal goal. Each character has vastly different, and often unusual, motives.

In the main game's story mode each character fights through a series of encounters, often with a bizarre context eg. taking exception to cruelty to a T-Rex and a fight over a fresh lettuce are both examples of the rather odd but still hilarious Japanese humour.

XBOX Live support allows players to watch fights while waiting for their turn in the arena. VOIP is also supported, as with many Live games.

Featuring a graphical upgrade and an improved fighting system (tested by some top DOA players before release) Dead or Alive 4 is aimed not only at the older DOA players, but enticing new gamers due to the less intimidating control system, and giving slightly less advantage to the experienced.


  • 生或死4 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (Xbox 360 version)

459 People (422 developers, 37 thanks) · View all

Producer and Director
Engineering Leads
Lead Environment Artist
Lead Character Artist
Lead Graphics and Effects Artist
Lead Animators
Audio Director
Lead Cinematic Designer
Game Designers
Pre-Rendered Cinematic Lead
[ full credits ]



Average score: 84% (based on 112 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 2 reviews)

A very tight and refined fighter

The Good
Something that immediately struck me when playing this game was how smooth everything felt. Unlike the previous DOA games this one is a much more flowing experience compared to the stop-start style of play from the earlier editions in the series. The high number of unlockable costumes is there (and what sort of a Dead or Alive game would it be if it didn't have them) along with a great selection of characters. Good amount of extra characters and features (movie mode, system voices etc). Graphics are crisp and clean. Extremely well put together online service with many options available and (from my experiences) no lag when playing.

The Bad
The A.I. in this game can occasionally be a either way to easy, or way to hard, with no real way to predict or stop it. The boss character (that everyone has to fight in time-attack mode, and most have to fight in story mode) is challenging and well designed, but with the above problem can sometimes be a real annoyance when combined with some of her combos that deal nearly 70% of your characters health. The overall single player experience is decent enough, but will not last you terribly long if you aren't interested in unlocking everything.

The Bottom Line
Dead or Alive 4 is overall a really great fighting game. The precision controls and delicate timing required to play well make this game probably the least "button-bashing" friendly fighter available. However if you want a fighter that will really allow you to master something and be proud of it you won't be disappointed. Control and style of play has changed a decent amount from previous outings but in my opinion for the better. The multiplayer aspect is where the game shines (as is expected for a fighting game), especially considering the refined Xbox Live play. A strongly recommended game for any fighting game fan.

Xbox 360 · by Wotsnik (23) · 2006

Dead Or Alive You Are Coming With Me.

The Good
As a launch game, Dead Or Alive 4, is good showcase for the raw power that is, the Xbox 360. Now that some time has passed since launch, and other fighting games have emerged, namely Virtua Fighter 5. Does DOA 4 still hold up?

The plot in DOA is B-movie bad. Yet somehow remains entertainingly so. Here’s the rundown: Helena, of the previous DOA games, is now the sole heir of the DOATEC organization. As she struggles to put the pieces back together, the twisted Prof. Donovan is busy preparing his new human weapon, Dural ur… I mean Alpha-152.(Kind of a non sense version of the plot of the Virtua Fighter series.-MM-)

Now the Mugen Tenshin Clan has planned to exact revenge on the DOATEC, and destroy them once and for all. Conveniently this coincides with the 4th DOA Tournament!

I know what you are thinking. How can this game be any good with such a laughably bad plot? Well friend, keep in mind that this is a fighting game, and that the plot is just ballast. Or to put it another way, just and excuse for violence and action, speaking of action….

The fighting is just as fast and furious as we have come to expect from the DOA franchise. Punches, kicks, throws, counters, and air recoveries are all here and just as fun as before. While not as complicated as Virtua Fighter, or as lame ass as Tekken, DOA is somewhere in the middle. It also offers a ton of modes to play with. From the humdrum “story” mode. (If you like stories, that are trite.-MM-) To, VS., Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle, Sparring, and Online among others.

As they are self explanatory I will leave it at that. But I will tell you that the most fun to be had is either in VS. or Online modes.

I feel that I have to make special mention of the stages. As many of them besides being stunning, and fun to play in. From knocking your opponent through glass, or into heavy traffic, to simple making them smash into fruit stands, sending the produce flying!

DOA 4 is easily the best looking entry in the series. And trust me that says a lot. All the lovely ladies are back, and looking better than ever. The males are back to if that’s you thing.(Hey, I am not here to judge people, just games.-MM-)

There are also new fighters in this installment. There is Kokoro, the geisha in training. Eliot, the apprentice of former DOA fighter, Gen Fu. La Mariposa, whom uses the Lucha Libre style of wrestling.

The game also fairs well in the sound department. With realistic fight sounds as well as a solid soundtrack. With a few Aerosmith tracks thrown in, for good measure.

The Bad
Some will not see any humor in the B-grade plot. And if they think that is bad, just wait till they get a load of the endings. Lei Feng, and Hitomi, have very corny endings.

And would it kill Tecmo to be a little more realistic? For example Hitomi, is German, yet has a Japanese name… right. And all the fighters speak fluent Japanese despite the fact that most of the are NOT from Japan.

The end boss is a bit much. Even for a game like this. More importantly fights can often feel cheap. What is this Tekken?

The Bottom Line
In the end DOA 4 is a fun albeit silly fighting game. And has the distinction of being the second best fighter of the Xbox 360. With Virtua Fighter 5, keeping the top spot. But how long can DOA 4 hold on to 2nd with so many more fighting games down the pipeline? Such as Street Fighter 4, Soul Caliber 4, and the new Mortal Kombat. (I think it’s part 17 or so.-MM-) Well I suppose only time will tell.

Xbox 360 · by MasterMegid (723) · 2008


1001 Video Games

Dead or Alive 4 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


One of the new characters available in the game is Nicole, a female Spartan from the Halo games. Her inclusion in Dead or Alive 4 is the result of a joint collaboration between Team Ninja and Bungie Studios, creators of the Halo franchise.

Interestingly enough, Bungie denied Team Ninja use of the Master Chief himself, and instead created Nicole and somehow made her story canon, as she's trapped in a time-bubble that keeps her in the 21st century and puts her in the way of the Dead or Alive tournament... Whether this is implies some future plans for Bungie's runaway Spartan or was simply just for fun remains to be seen.


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Keeper Garrett.

Additional contributors: Zovni, Unicorn Lynx, Yearman, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack.

Game added May 7, 2006. Last modified March 9, 2024.