30 Days of Xbox: Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball

I’m probably getting put on some kind of list just for playing this.

My journey through the original Xbox catalog has taken some weird turns of late, and tonight I decided that I’d simply point at the shelf with my eyes shut, and play whatever I ended up pointing at.

Fate clearly hates me, although it does remind me of my review of this game, back in the day. It was right around the start of Australia’s IT Journo Awards, AKA “The Lizzies”, and the year I wrote the review was the only one where I got a highly commended (but not a win) in gaming journalism.

The reason why? Oddly enough, my review of this game, because I made the deliberate and conscious effort to include every single possible euphemism for breasts I could in the review. Because make no mistake, this is the pretence of a game built around ogling 3D models of women, two of whom I’m not even allowed to know the age of!

Apparently my deliberate heavy leaning on euphemisms floored the judges that year. Not the most subtle of review writing gimmicks, but then this is in no way a subtle game. Words won’t do it justice, so here, have a trailer.


Although as the trailer makes very clear, two of the contestants are only 16 years old. The showers and scrubbing brushes are that way if you feel like you need them right now.

Although, sigh, I’m actually now old enough to be the parent of any of the “contestants” in this game. If you played it when it was new, chances are you are too.

Needless to say, I don’t think I’ve bothered playing this at all since I reviewed it, because the core Volleyball game, and even the gambling and friendship “games” behind it are so very weak.

One factor that surprised me (because I’d forgotten) was that the voice acting is primarily in Japanese, which means I can practice a little of my Japanese comprehension while characters are talking. Which is a kind of cool bonus around this otherwise very unremarkable boob-ogling-fest.

Now, to be clear, I’ve got no issue per se with virtualised avatars being displayed in a “sexy” fashion, because they don’t exist, but at the same time, there’s such a thin veneer of actual game here.

I hop over a pool a couple of times (no prizes for guessing what that’s about) and play a few bouts of volleyball, and ultimately, I’m bored. Very bored. I don’t think the game wants me to be bored. Indeed, I’m pretty sure what reaction it wants out of me, but it’s not getting it, and not just because of the advances in visuals since Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball was current.

I did mention at the outset that I’d only play games for as long as I felt like it, and ultimately, pretty ladies notwithstanding (and logically, some of them should probably be toppling face forwards), I just can’t muster the enthusiasm to give this more than about ten minutes of my time.

Which creates a big problem when it’s time for the…

Fat Duck Tech Retro Xbox Game Rankings

  1. Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time
  2. Outrun 2
  3. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
  4. NFL Street
  5. Disney Extreme Skate Adventure
  6. Spy vs Spy
  7. Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death
  8. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball

I did have to think long and (fnarr! fnarr!) hard about this one, because while I don’t doubt that Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball is far more visually adept than Dredd, there’s also just such a thin veneer of game here to be worth playing.

Dredd is poorly made, but there’s the germ of a good game hiding behind it that somebody could make. All Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball has going for it is virtual boobs.

Next up: Some kind of horse, I think.

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