The new Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation has been available for a few days, bringing some of the action of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 to PC, with quite a few twists.
First of all, let’s get a few misconceptions out of the way: this is not a browser game. It’s a full-fledged PC game that you start by clicking a link on your browser, and it uses the DMM Game Client as a base, but it requires a download and installation like any Steam game.
It’s also far from a port of the PS4 version of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3. While it uses the same engine and most of its assets, the gameplay is entirely different
Dead or Alive Xtreme: Venus Vacation is a free-to-play game based on gacha mechanics that prompts the player to grow and equip the Dead or Alive heroines, and then pitch them against others in beach volley matches. Another relevant difference is that whole in DOAX3 you play the matches, here you play the role of the coach.
The gacha mechanic lets you unlock new swimsuits for your girls, and if you’re lucky enough to draw an SSR-rank swimsuit of a girl you do not have, you will unlock the new girl as well.
Despite the fact that DMM is known to be a bit predatory in its business models, this definitely isn’t bad. From my experience, the game is extremely playable (and fully enjoyable for what it offers) without spending a dime. Basically, you don’t need to be a “whale” to have fun. I haven’t spent a yen on this, and I don’t plan to, and I see no real roadblock in front of me for now.
Let’s also address the elephant in the room: this is not a “good” game. By that, I mean that the gameplay is very basic and it’s not the focus of the whole thing. The focus is on the collecting and playing virtual dress-up with some very fetching physics-enabled female character models. Basically, it’s an eye candy/fanservice game and doesn’t pretend to be anything more than that. If eye candy and fanservice is what you want, this game will be a charming timewaster. If you want deep gameplay, maybe you should try Dead or Alive 5: Last Round instead.
If you’re still here, the next step is to check the system requirements. If your PC is good enough, read on.
A preliminary step you should be doing, which is pretty much a standard for games in Japanese, is to set your Windows
On Windows 10, this is gone in settings -> Time & Language -> Region & Language -> Additional Date, time, & regional setting -> Change Region – > “Administrative” tab – > Change System Locale -> Select Japanese.
This will likely require a reboot and doesn’t influence much, besides the fact that non-Unicode programs will be displayed in correct Japanese and not in gibberish.
Now that you have completed this basic step, it’s time to register the DMM account that you will need to play.
Go here, and click on one of the yellow buttons to start the registration process.
Insert your email address, the password you want, uncheck the usual spam box and click on the yellow button.
The next screen is telling you to check your mail for the confirmation message.
It will look like this. Copy the URL and paste it into your browser.
This is the screen that should come up. Click on the option indicated to make sure everything worked. If it did, your Email address should be displayed on the following page.
Now that you have a DMM account, you can access all of the provider games. If you’re a fan of the Muv-Luv visual novel series, Muv-Luv Alternative – Strike Frontier may also be a good one to try. Do keep in mind that the one linked here is the R-Rated version with occasional adult-oriented imagery. Unfortunately, the all-ages version is not available unless you’re in Japan or you use a VPN. That being said, if you’re here I doubt this will be a problem for you.
Now it’s time to download the DMM Game Client. Go to the game’s official website and click on the big circle (where it says “click,” duh!).
In the next page, click on the yellow button to start the download, then install the executable as you would do for any other program.
When the screen below appears, click on the yellow button to update the client.
Check the box to accept the TOS and click on the yellow button to confirm.
Type in your email, password, check the box to keep your mail saved, and click on the yellow button to confirm.
The next screen is an email confirmation prompt. Go to your registered mail and find the code.
Insert the code in the client and click the yellow button to confirm.
Type in a name for your PC, or leave as is.
Insert your nickname (maximum 12 characters), gender and birthdate, then keep confirming.
Once you are in the client proper, click on the small gear icon, then uncheck the box indicated to prevent it to start every time you launch window. Launching the game will start it anyway, so it’s just a bother.
Go back to the official page, and click on the big circle icon to go back where you were before (if you aren’t already there). This is how you install the actual game, and how you start it every time you want to play. Click on the blue button.
The client will be brought back up. Check the first box to accept another TOS and uncheck the other two to avoid the usual spam mail. Then confirm.
Select the installation folder for the game and confirm.
This little window will appear on the bottom right of the client to show you the progress of the installation of the game. At times the client takes a long time (several minutes) without apparently doing anything. Just let it work. If you get prompts to install DirectX and Visual C++ you can close them if you already have them installed (which you do if you have played any relatively modern games), otherwise follow the prompts in English.
After the installation is complete, the game window will open, but there will be one more update to do (it’s several gigabytes, so it’ll take a bit unless your internet is very fast). Let it work until you get the screen below.
Configure the game at leisure, depending on your specs.
Start the game and click anywhere on the screen (but not on the button on the top left). You’re finally ready to play!
Ok. I lied. Close all the spam news that the game will send your way. Now you’re ready to play.
As you get to the main menu, the game will hold your hand through a fairly long tutorial, during which you’ll have to select your main girl and her first teammate. Choose carefully, because those will be the only two girls you’ll get easily. Unless you want to play, all other girls are earned through drawing one of their SSR (Super-Super-Rare) costumes.
Below you can see all the relevant menu options and statistics. You can play beach volley with your team, work on their outfits, set up your girls, watch their various clips in the memories menu, play the gacha, buy stuff in the shop, and check out timed events. You can also check your mail, the news (which is all the spam in Japanese you closed earlier), your friends, achievements, and the options (which are useless, the relevant ones are those you selected before).
You can also see your owner level, your Festival Points (which are basically the game’s stamina), your Zack Dollars for trivial transactions, and two kinds of currencies. The standard currency is the green smiley, and the premium currency is the crystal heart. Both can be earned by playing.
Opting to play a match will bring you to a map of the island, with your available matches. Those in yellow are standard ranking matches. In pink you’ll see matches to earn upgrade materials, and in green you’ll find event matches that provide event currency. Your rank is displayed near the top with the number of points needed to the next rank. Increasing it opens more difficult and rewarding matches.
Select one (each will indicate its cost in Festival Points), and in the next screen you can choose your team and the guest character that you can borrow from other players, then confirm.
The match will begin. You can just trust your girls and let them play, or call a timeout to give them instructions. The tension gauge grows gradually, and when it’s at the top, you can activate it to temporarily increase the girls’ stats at the cost of stamina (their stamina, not the one you use to play matches).
Girls have two more stats. Power (in red) and technique (in green). Attacking compares the attacker and receiver’s power, while feinting compares their technique, to determine the outcome of each action. You can also double the speed, skip a point or skip the whole match. Skipping does not give any penalty. Results will simply be determined behind the scenes.
If you want to be more “hands-on,” you can call a timeout. Keep in mind that you have a limited number, and that it will happen after the current exchange, not immediately.
In the timeout screen, you can change one of your girls with the guest character, and you can change tactics. In the tactics menu, you can choose to prefer straight attacks or feints, pick your preferred attacker and the preferred target for the attacks on the opposite team.
After you win a match, you will receive different rewards, depending on the match itself, on top of experience for the girls.
The outfit menu is also quite relevant. You can change outfits and accessories, upgrading them by sacrificing other swimsuits and materials, breaking their level limit with dedicated materials (all of which can be won through matches), or awaken skills by sacrificing duplicates.
The rarity and level of what a girl wears are very important to the outcome of a match.
In the menu dedicated to the girls you can access their private clothes to change their default outfit that appears in the menu screen, and you can also set other elements like tan and hairstyle.
In the gifting menu you can give them gifts for experience boosts and rewards. In the training menu you can have a girl you’re not actively using exercise in exchange for Zack Dollars. The last menu lets you swap your active heroine.
Back on the main menu, the Memories menu lets you watch unlocked scenes with the girls, bound to progression, events and more.
The Gacha menu will be familiar to those who play this kind of game. There will be different kinds of draws. The standard draw based on the green smiley currency is mostly cor common swimsuits and accessories. The premium one based on the crystal hearts will provide swimsuits rare and upwards. There will also be special gacha dedicated to an event or a girl, with special conditions like increased chances to draw a certain bikini.
The one slightly disappointing aspect of the business model of the game is that there apparently are special gachas that are limited to crystal hearts that you buy in the shop, with those you earn in the game not eligible. At the moment only one in three (four if you count the green smiley gacha) follows this philosophy, but it’s worth mentioning.
Do keep in mind that the gacha draw is literally a shower scene, longer and more detailed for rarer outfits. This means that, while the rest of the game is mostly safer for work, you probably shouldn’t do the gacha in the office. No naughty bits are shown, but it could still put you in trouble.
This is pretty much all. The rest is quite easy, and you can find out further nuances simply by exploring. That being said, this should be plenty for you to enjoy the game comfortably. Of course, if you have further questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.