It’s actually quite well put together, with a slick customisable lobby system where you can take your personalised avatar and watch and join in matches. The problem is lag. Playing the game before release, I was happy to put it down to the fact that I was mostly watching or playing US-based matches, but now that I see UK and European games descend into chugging, slow-moving nightmares I have to worry. It is possible to get a smooth, fluid game – just look for three bars in the connection speed meter and hope for the best – but the actual gameplay seems to be affected by who else is in the lobby, meaning that if someone joins with a less than perfect connection, the match starts grinding to a halt. It would be nice if someone could fix this, and soon.
It’s a shame that something that should have been an enormous plus should turn out as a minus for this otherwise fabulous fighter. Dead or Alive 4 might never have the hardcore cachet of the Virtua Fighter or Tekken series, but those of use who care little about the minutiae of the genre shouldn’t worry: this is a dazzling, thoroughly enjoyable beat-em-up, with a lot more to offer than the obvious bouncing breasts.
Lag-riddled online modes and a few rough edges can’t quite spoil the biggest beat-em-up party in town. A spectacular, superbly entertaining fighting game.