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Mr. DOAX busted for sexual harassment


Tomonobu Itagaki, the man behind Xbox hits Ninja Gaiden and the Dead or Alive series, has been formally charged with sexual harassment. According to ZAKZAK, the former employee -- she quit on September 10th -- claims that she had a physical relationship with Itagaki since 2003 and is asking for the sum of 10 million yen (US $85,000). Itagaki acknowledges the relationship, but claims that it was consensual. Itagaki has reportedly been demoted at Team Ninja, though it is unclear if this was done as punishment or if it was done to downplay his image in court.

We have to admit the grim humor of the situation. He is the creator of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, after all. We're fairly certain that it's at least a little funny that the man who basically introduced 3D bouncing breasts to the world is now being charged with sexual harassment. Whatever the outcome, we hope it doesn't interfere with Ninja Gaiden 2. We'd also like to note that this news traveled very fast; Itagaki's Wikipedia page is already updated for crying out loud! For our Japanese savvy readers, feel free to translate the original article.

Man, first there are movies on Marketplace, and now Tomonobu Itagaki is busted for sexual harassment. This is shaping up to be a weird day.

TGS Marketplace content weekend wrap-up


If you're like us, you may have been too busy actually playing games this weekend to notice that the TGS content is still rolling in. So, a quick summary of what's been released yesterday and today is in order. Here you go:

TGS Showfloor video 1
TGS Showfloor video Day 2 (Japan)
Game Creator Interview (Japan)
Xbox Live The Party #5 (Japan)
Xbox Live The Party #6 (Japan)
Xbox Live The Party #7 (Japan)
TGS Showfloor video 2
TGS Showfloor video Day 3 (Japan)
Gamers' Interview (Japan)
Xbox Live The Party #8 (Japan)
Xbox Live The Party #9 (Japan)
Xbox Live The Party #10 (Japan)
Vampire's Rain Trailer (Japan -- AKA Rain in the west)
Forza 2 Customization Trailer
Forza 2 Theme (not free)
Virtua Tennis 3 Trailer
NBA Live 07 Trailer
NHL 2K7 Trailer

As we said, we've been too busy rocking DOA4 online with our blogging buddies (or Championship Poker in Ken's case) to check out most of this content. Has anybody out there checked out the Vampire's Rain trailer? Is it different from the one released during E3? Leave us some comments and tell us what's hot and what's not.

[Via Major Nelson]

360 at the Tokyo Game Show:
Eternal Sonata gameplay/combat video
Metal Slug blasts its way onto XBLA
Lost Planet and Viva Piñata video
Microsoft TGS briefing video now available
DOAX2 video makes us feel naughty

TGS: DOAX2 video makes us feel naughty

The TGS video madness continues with this clip of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. We all know DOAX2 is about watching digital hotties in swimsuits, but this is just south of ridiculous. Just when you thought Itagaki and friends couldn't get any raunchier (remember the E3 video?), they go and make this. Let's just say this: the video is technically safe for work, but don't let anyone catch you watching it. Before checking out the video, we would be remiss if we didn't note a few things. One, it looks like the hair physics have improved since DOA4. Two, the game should hit the States on November 15th (before Japan actually). Our Japanese is rusty, but we're guessing that the date mentioned for Europe was "coming soon" -- can anyone translate?

Click onward if you dare; you have been warned.

Continue reading TGS: DOAX2 video makes us feel naughty

DOAX2 trailer: bouncy as ever


In case you missed it the first time, the E3 Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 trailer has been re-released on Marketplace. The trailer shows off some of the titillating activities the lovely ladies of DOA will be performing. These include jet ski racing, watersliding, taking pictures, and -- ahem -- hip wrestling.

It's an old trailer, but I'll do anything to post that picture again (rawr!).

DOA's daddy likes the sauce


Kikizo recently sat down with the real Rockstar of developers, Tomonobu Itagaki. The creator of Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, and the upcoming DOA Xtreme 2 shares some interesting...er...theories about game development. First and foremost, game development is all about getting drunk. Discussing the stage designs in DOA4 and Xtreme 2, Itagaki had this to say:

"So you know, all those attractive environments in DOA4, we usually come up with the ideas for that and talk about it while we are drinking. Basically, if we have twenty stages, nearly half of them will be based on theory from when we are still sober, and the other half we just try to come up with crazy ideas, while intoxicated. With the fighting title, maybe forty per cent of the stages were based on being loose and fun, but with DOAX2, ninety per cent is loose and fun!"

Wow. Frighteningly similar to blogging...

For what it's worth, Itagaki says that he's had his best ideas while drinking whiskey. Sounds good to me. Before you go inebriating yourselves, just remember: friends don't let friends drink and develop. Hit the read link for the whole interview.

[Via Eurogamer]

Naughty Faceplates

Xboxic got some interesting faceplates today from an unidentified source. These Dead or Alive faceplates are almost definitely unofficial but they certainly are, um, eye catching. There are also Scarface and Blue Dragon faceplates in there for some reason.

As far as I know, these aren't available at retail. Of course, there's nothing to stop you from making them yourself.

Anybody have any other special faceplate designs they'd like to share with the rest of the class?

Hit the read link to see more (technically safe for work, but still pretty risqué).

What's in that DOA4 update

1UP has details on what exactly is included in the XBL update for Dead or Alive 4 we mentioned earlier this month:

A pair of updates to the game are ironing out the Live kinks, adjusting damage levels to keep things more balanced, smoothing out frame rates, and even adding some new attacks. The first of the updates will even offer the option of resetting your online ranking to C.

How many people are happy with the new player balancing?

According to our resident DOA4 expert, Chris, the framerate smoothing they mention isn't accurate. The framerate dipped so both players would be on the same scale. The lag was the real problem, reducing the need for the game to slow itself down.
 
[Previously: Dead or Alive 4 updated, leaderboard reset]

[Thanks Brandon]

Dead or Alive 4 updated, leaderboard reset

Following on the heels of yesterday's update that was supposed to prepare your console for updates, comes the first update to take advantage of that update. What are we talking about again?

There is a mandatory auto-update available for Dead or Alive 4. Though it's not clear what is being fixed, although the leaderboards have been reset (sorry high scorers). The most notable problem with the game has been the lag experienced in online play. Any DoA'ers notice reduced lag in Live play?

COD2 leads weekly Xbox 360 chart

The ELSPA lead chart is up for this week, and Call of Duty 2 has managed to swing the #1 spot, up from 4th last week. Behind it is PGR3 which has remained pretty consistent. Dead or Alive 4 has fallen to third place followed by Perfect Dark Zero and Full Auto. There hasn't been a huge amount of change from the other end of the chart. NBA Live 06 and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland bring up the rear with no change.

Check out the full board to see how the rest fared.

Insert DoA4 big stick joke here; arcade stick reviewed


Like fighting games but miss the feel of a real, authentic arcade joystick, complete with 6 perfectly arranged face buttons, and an 8-way joystick with just the right amount of audible "click"? For $60 you can get Hori's officially licensed arcade stick for Dead or Alive 4. How do we know it's just for Dead or Alive 4? Cause it says so right on it!

Of course, the controller can be used with other titles, although DoA4 will recognize if you're using it and adjust the controls accordingly. With support for the Xbox 360 headset and a USB connection, it seems like an ideal way to get your classic arcade game on. Xbox Solution is unequivocal in their praise, gushing, "This has to be the best overall arcade stick I have ever bought. The only one that comes close to it is my Neo Geo arcade stick and that was a lot more expensive. No fighting fan will complain that the stick is not centered or that the buttons don’t respond right away. Hori has made the perfect stick for the best fighting game to come to a console."

I'm imagining that a more popular use for this stick isn't going to be Dead or Alive 4 so much as it will be Street Fighter II. Hopefully SFII will be cheap enough to make that $60 price tag a little less bothersome.

DOA4 given UK launch date


Brits can breathe easily--Microsoft have finally confirmed the release date for Dead or Alive 4 in the UK, and the good news is that it's just around the corner. Available from January 27th, it's impressive that the game is out so soon here after the launch delays it experienced.

We're not complaining, though; simultaneous or near-simultaneous releases are a vast improvement on the months' delay we have to suffer for some platforms and games, and we're hoping this trend continues for future 360 releases.

Spartan-458 in action


If you've not managed to get some Spartan lovin' in Dead or Alive 4 yet, never fear; you can still get your fill of the lovely lady thanks to this video, put together by a poster on halo.bungie.org. It goes nicely with the screenshots Major Nelson recently posted. Whether this will tide us over until Halo 3, we're not sure, but it's spectacular viewing in the interim.

[Thanks, Mintz]

DoA4 gameplay videos


If the impending release of Dead or Alive 4 hasn't got you frothing at the mouth, then how about some videos to go with the news snippets trickling on to the web?

As usual, Xboxyde has come up trumps with these videos, covering the game's intro and (naturally) some fighting. It's looking good, although eagle-eyed DoA fans are already marking the similarities between previous versions and the next-gen iteration.

Dead or Alive 4 is almost here

If you've been holding off on getting a 360 until you could get your hands on the beautiful, curvaceous... next-generation physics engine of Dead or Alive 4, you're wait is almost up. Set to ship this week, IGN took one last look at the game praising its 4-second load times (a far cry from those of PGR3), the plethora of available achievements, and the Spartan's plasma grenade combo. You'll have to wait for their review to read about online play.

The editor-in-chief of Japanese gaming magazine "Famitsu Xbox 360" blamed the poor sales of the 360 to the delayed launch of Dead or Alive 4. Are things about to change?

[Via Joystiq]

Bungie's backstory for Spartan-458

DOA4

Bungie has unveiled the backstory of their DOA4 crossover character Spartan-458 or, as we like to call her, Nicole. With a story involving freak slipspace anomolies, semi-stable bubbles in that good old space time continuum, time travel, and the always looming fear of the grandfather paradox, Bungie has obviously paid particular attention to authenticity.

If you read that last sentence without grimacing you need to have a sci-fi timeout. Bungie themselves write, "How can we say all that with a straight face? Shut up is how. How does this explain why she's fighting a schoolgirl in a prehistoric oasis? Silence fool! How does this explain a very cool secret on a Casino-inspired level? Shut your noisehole is how... In short, she's a fictional means to an end that we gave careful thought, but with a jaunty tip of our hat and a wry wink in the general direction of levity."

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