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In fact, any hint of depth is in the portion of the game that the presumably male audience would presumably find the least interesting: buying thoughtful gifts for the other girls. Obviously, you can’t play doubles Volleyball alone, so the game requires you to develop close ties with your fellow female holiday-makers. Compliment them and send them the right prezzie, and they’ll be happy to pair up. Keep them sweet and win games with them, and they’ll stick with you. Annoy them, ignore them, or drop too many easy points and they’ll run off and find a new friend. OK. Fine. Some of you out there might well enjoy a game in which the key challenge is choosing the right combination of charming knick-knack and colourful wrapping paper. However, if so I doubt you’re in the same demographic that wants to see well-endowed digital models in tiny cozzies writhe around like Nuts cover-girls by the pool. Maybe, I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just that DoA Xtreme 2 has something for everyone, but I don’t think so.
In fact, I don’t think it has nearly enough of anything for anyone. It’s all sex and shopping, but the supposedly sexy stuff isn’t really all that sexy, and who gives a fig about the shopping? Let’s be clear: there’s nothing wrong in producing a game in which scantily-clad virtual vixens wiggle for the camera, providing it’s actually fun to play. DoA Xtreme 2 isn’t. It’s dull. And after two-weeks of virtual holiday (which mercifully only takes a few hours to play through) I don’t find myself wanting to return. Instead, I find that the weather outside doesn’t look so bad, work isn’t really so tough, and at least I’ve got my health for now. I’ve taken several trips back to Zack Island, but my motives were more vocational than vacational, and I’d be happy not to do so ever again. So here’s a holiday tip – strike DoA Xtreme off your list, and save your money for more exciting destinations.
The graphics (and the girls) are as gorgeous as a Maldives sunset, but the bits that actually make the game are as dull as a wet weekend in Skeggie. Not quite a holiday from hell, but other virtual getaways can give you more.