You've got to hand it to the code jockeys over at Tecmo. Dead or Alive: Dimensions is easily the most accessible inaccessible fighting game available in the launch window for your beginning-to-show-slight-signs-of-wear Nintendo 3DS.

At its best, DOA is an oddly satisfying fighter's ballet, where somehow despite the odds you accessibly slam away on the buttons and tap the touch screen and beautiful glorious ninja combos and aerial combo throws are happening and the silk-covered breasts, the breasts are just swinging everywhere.

(Have you heard about this game? The female characters, in various states of fetishistic dress, possess pairs of babaloos so formless that they independently swing around, aching to be free, jolted into action by even the most innocuous of physical motions. In the pervy showcase mode, you can even position 3D models of them, and snap photos for later. If you shake the system while in photo mode, their badoinkies hop around like the Easter bunny. I assume the male characters don't share the chest-physics, but I wouldn't know cause why would I choose the male characters.)

That is at its best. At its usual—most notably in the game's most sizable and ultimately inaccessible mode, Tag Challenge—that unfair, gruesome, life-questioning, cheap-fest bile-boiling wall-crushing teeth-grinding Tag Challenge mode—Dead or Alive becomes malediction, a ruinous invective of gamer and human rights. The game will read your button presses and counter every move, refuse to attack when you throw out a counter, perform boss-character combos that literally kill your entire health bar in a single combo before it is even possible to recover, and then ask you casually if you want to continue. There is only so much a man can take. The added bonus is that in Tag Challenge mode you are paired with an AI partner who randomly tags himself in to get his ass crushed into a fine grit paste automatically, as though the enemy was educated at the Bristol O'Yale Ninja School of Fuji Mountain and your partner received his training on the Internet, perhaps from Master Dung who has 24 videos in his YouTube channel.

In Dead or Alive the key to fighting success is countering the enemy attacks primarily using holds or throws, then using the new opening to absolutely crush them with your virtually unstoppable combos. Once you've connected with a hit or two in a row the enemy goes into "critical" status, which I prefer to call Meat Status, and you can just beat the shit out of them without retaliation. In a hyper-slow world, where all humans did kung-fu moves against each other as though encased in above-ground swimming pools full of rich Canadian maple syrup, Dead or Alive's fighting system might be a winning proposition for new players. In action, what happens is you think "I'm really getting my ass kicked, I had better try to counter this next hit." Then you either try to anticipate the next attack or see the start-up coming from the enemy, push the buttons, and whoops it doesn't matter cause omae wa mo shindeiru. Then you are, depending on the level of the enemy competence, comboed into oblivion, usually off of a wall which explodes when you hit it, as though to laugh at your crushed husk.

The most horrible part is that unlike that old hunk of plastic Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, which drops you into the game and says "here you go," not expecting you to succeed at all, the way that DOA leads you to believe that it is somehow possible to win is very accommodating! There is a "Chronicle" mode which leads you through the story of Dead or Alive while teaching you about the game's controls. This mode should have been called "hahaha mode." It even slows the in-game action to a screeching halt mid-battle to give you the opportunity to push the right button! "Look how it would be, if you could actually react with the same speed as transistors, you festering load."

Tag Challenge aside, the game is actually quite enjoyable when the enemy doesn't hit you. It's fun to chain attacks together and use throws in succession and do smooth awesome ninja moves. It's really too bad that Dead or Alive is just a 1-on-1 fighting game and not an action beat-'em-up, cause the most fun you can have here is just pounding the life from no-resistance enemies.

Actual fighting aside, the frilly lace ribbons on the DOA:D package are rich, and put Nintendo's own efforts to shame: you get a new costume automatically from the SpotPass lords every night, you can challenge algorithmic representations of people you meet in StreetPass, and there are seemingly One Thousand figures to collect and stare at in the picture-taking mode, though it's a bit disappointing you can't do anything other than stare at them. The online play is also pretty fluid, though without any sort of match-up system based on skill it's pretty much a lock that you are fucked.

With its pretty ladies and pretty graphics (convincing 3D, but as a trade-off 60 FPS in battles if you turn the slider all the way down!) and its many modes and its slick features, DOA is a pretty complete package. It's just too bad that despite it being so easy to pick up and play, it routinely becomes overwhelmingly difficult as you advance through the available challenges. Perhaps that's the idea: people will go through hell and back to unlock new costumes to better frame the series' famous mamaloogas.