14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Dead or Alive 5 (Video Game)
First off let me start by saying that I am an avid fighting game fan, but fairly new to the DOA series, the only DOA game I have played before this one is DOA:Dimensions, which got me interested in the series. After playing Dead or Alive 5 for a while, I can say that I don't regret buying it one bit. DOA 5 is an enjoyable fighting game that offers a unique gameplay experience that is a nice change of pace from other fighting games. I'll break this down into sections and try to explain my thoughts on each feature.
The way the fighting mechanic in DOA 5 works is like a rock-paper-scissors style system, strikes beat throw, throws beat holds, and holds beat strikes. This is way the game works, it sounds simple, and in theory it is, but the system goes much deeper than simple rock-paper-scissors when you get into it. You have two attack buttons, one for punches and one for kicks, at first I thought this would be a setback, but when I got to experience it the moves are pretty varied, and I had a blast discovering combos and stringing together moves. The move set in this game is vast, a lot of characters have easily over one hundred moves, a lot of which seem practical and good for mix-ups. Throws are simple, grab a blocking opponent, or predict opponents hold, and punish with a throw, if you guess right you deal bonus counter damage, some characters have special throws , such as wake up and ground throws. Now the way holds work in this game are interesting. Unlike Dimensions where there was a three point system, this one uses(returns to?) a 4 point hold system:mid-punch, mid-kick, high punch/kick, and low punch/kick. I like that aspect a lot, and feel it adds a whole new layer of mind games to the fray. The importance of guessing/reading your opponents strike is critical. You can hold while in critical stun, but if you miss you prolong your stun state. It feels amazing putting your opponent in critical stun and having them throw out a hold only to miss so you can continue your combo. When playing a match, the pace and overall flow just feel right. There are also power blows which make for a nice comeback factor, and critical burst which guarantees a combo.
My experience online has ranged from very good, to unplayable matches. It is fun when you can find a good connection but the lag is terrible on a bad one, I dropped combos, presses registered late or didn't register at all, holds were next to impossible, and it took about 10 seconds for an in game second to pass. The lobbies are abundant and there are plenty of people to play, but if you have a terrible connection, it might be difficult finding a good match, could just be me though. The load times are acceptable. The replay feature is a nice addition, but be wary, I don't know if this is a glitch, but I won a match and saved the replay, but the replay showed me losing, even though I won in real time, and I received the ranked points. Other than that, it does what you expect when it works.
I actually like the way they implement the training modes in this game, you simply go into training and everything is there for you to tweak. You can hop straight into command training, which is a little confusing at first, but nice when you get the hang of it. You can view frame data for each of your moves, even stun recovery. It realty is a great feature and I appreciate it. You can also hop straight into online matches when an icon pops up on your screen(called throwdowns).
Characters look amazing, the facial expressions and animations of each character really bring them to life. the stages look amazing as well, though for some stages, they look a bit less unimpressive, the cinematic stage scenes are visually impressive(can turn of if you want) and the multi-platform stages add depth. There is very little to no clipping of clothing or characters(I haven't noticed any). Characters also sweat and get dirty when fighting which is a nice little detail(which can be turned off if you want).
The story is enjoyable for what it is worth, it has a nice pace with some optional challenges in each fight which will unlock a title if you complete them. The VF character cameos are nicely done imo. The character interaction is great, and the characters are well voiced. All in all, it isn't the best story in a fighting game, but it is good for what it tries to accomplish.
The soundtrack is probably the weakest part about this game, which is sad because I have heard music from previous installments, and felt they could have done better. There are a few good songs, but it is pretty unmemorable. The voice acting is well done imo, both in English and Japanese, some might disagree but to each their own. The hit effects and battle cries sound top notch.
This is a pretty deep game, it is different from Tekken, SF, as it should be; I wont go into which is more complex, but there is a lot to learn here, and a lot of reward to be gained from putting in the time. I feel you can easily have 4-5 mains in this game with this game though, and that is a good thing for me as there are a lot of fun characters in DOA 5, and since I only usually pick up two main characters in other games, it feels refreshing to be able to use more without feeling like you are learning from scratch all over. As it has been stated before I am reiterating that this is a game that can be played casual and experienced players alike and still feel rewarding.
I really like this game, it feels like a fresh change of pace from what I normally play, and it has a complex but easy to understand fighting system. I like the simple interface, and the organization of the menus, and the practice mode is the best I have seen so far. The characters are all unique and interesting, the cast isn't too large, and it feels like there is a character for everyone. The lag can be ridiculously annoying, and the load times are a minor annoyance, which can break the flow of the game, but all in all I believe it is a great fighting game. It isn't the best fighting game I have played, but it has certainly earned a place in my heart and is well deserving of a 4.8/5.
This game also features unlockable characters and costumes which is an appreciated feature, and reminds me of the days when things were unlockable and rewarding when you finally unlocked a char/item.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 2, 2012 12:05:37 AM PDT
I like the fact that you explained the intricacies of the game. I myself play Lei Fang, and find it satisfying when she holds or parries, but now I don't get punished as badly when I miss, unlike previous DOA installments.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2012 1:05:32 AM PDT
Thanks, I'm glad you found my review helpful. I also play Lei Fang, so I know what you mean; I was able to get some nice damage off of a parry and it felt great, still need work on my holds but I'm getting there. :)
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