Conclusion: Nina herself is simply stunning. As she takes damage, her clothing shreds and her body forms abrasions, and she is exquisitely animated in every respect, with the exception of animation for stairs, which is a puzzling oversight given how perfect she is otherwise. As for the cinemas that tie it all together, Namco is in a league of its own when it comes to in-game movies, and these are among their best, both in-engine and full CG.
Excerpt: The graphics in Death by Degrees are nicely detailed and give us a peek into Nina Williams' life outside of the ring. She's a covert CIA operative assigned on a "sweeper" mission. She's not even to be directly involved in the mission unless everything goes to hell - which of course, it does. Long story made short, you're going to have to do most of the work yourself and you can expect to be up to your neck in baddies and puzzles to solve.
Excerpt: You know, Nina, if you needed the money, you could have just called us. We would have happily lent you some cash if it meant that you wouldn't have to work in shoddy, uninteresting games like Tekken's Nina Williams in: Death by Degrees. But no, the deed is done, and Namco's Tekken offshoot is a reality. Death by Degrees is a half-baked attempt to combine a combo-based fighting system with some light stealth and puzzle-solving.
Pros: Comes with a playable demo of Tekken 5
Cons: Loads too often, Weak combat, Relies heavily on map use, But the in-game map isn't very useful
Excerpt: Once again Namco has blown the doors off the gaming world with arguably its strongest and most action-packed installment of its infamous flagship fighter series to date, "Tekken 5." From jaw-dropping graphics to an arsenal of new grapples and bone-crunching moves this one's packing some serious punch for sure. Matter of fact, if you haven't got the game, where the GiN have you been? Just stop reading here. You're lost. Life has truly been unkind to you.
Excerpt: Last summer, if you had asked me if I would like to play the next game with Nina Williams in it, the answer would be an enthusiastic "Yes!" If you explained to me that the game would not be Tekken 5, but rather an action game starring the blonde bombshell, I'd have been less excited, but I'd be willing to give it a go.
Excerpt: When we visited Namco at E3 2004, they were excited about many of their titles. One of them being showcased at the front of their booth was Death by Degrees. We were told how this is a style of game that the fans wanted and it could mark the beginning of Tekken characters getting their own action title. Since we only had a few minutes to spend with it at E3, I left their booth thinking it would probably turn out to be a pretty fun title.
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: At least Namco are trying new things, even if they didn't manage to convince with this distinctly average effort. I am sure they are banking on a lot of sales to Nina fanboys, but anyone else will find there are many similar games to this one that are much more worthy and fun.