Developer: Team Ninja
Release Date: 10/26/2004
Available Exclusively On
The Good: New characters, fantastic graphics, lots of modes, multi-tiered arenas are fun to fight in
The Bad: DoA 2 assets were shoved into the DoA 3 engine, not much on content, still inferior to later games in the series, fighting still feels sluggish
The shining gem in this bundle is actually the remaster of DoA 2 which debuted on the PS2. On the downside, it uses the DoA 3 engine and nearly looks identical to that game and I’ll explain how and why.
The first thing you will notice is that the menu looks exactly like the DoA 3 menu. Nearly the same modes and even the same graphics engine and character models. That’s not to say this game isn’t worth playing, as, like DoA 1, this is more enjoyable to play than to just try out for educational or nostalgic purposes. If you have already mastered DoA 3 then DoA 2 won’t do much for you outside of educating you on the series’ progression. The fighting system is actually much better and faster than DoA 1. When you jump between the two it’s like night and day. The fighting system is slightly altered with more moves, animations, and combos. There’re even more characters here as it almost doubles the roster. What was considered a lot of content back then is standard now as double match rounds, endless mode, and time attack just don’t cut it these days.
What I do love is that the arenas took the danger zone idea and added a step by making them multi-tiered way before Mortal Kombat: Deception did it. It’s exciting to knock your opponent off a ledge to get an extra edge over them and playing chicken with the edges of the arena is a blast. Despite all these great additions, the fighting system just isn’t as refined as newer games in the series and still feels a bit sluggish compared to other fighting games.
The visuals look amazing on the Xbox and hold up even today despite the awful aliasing seen everywhere. I would have preferred a more direct port than taking the assets and shoving them in the DoA 3 engine. Call it what you want, but DoA 2 is a fun game to play and should be in every DoA fans collection.