22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Dead or Alive returns fighting for the masses.
, October 2, 2012
This review is from: Dead or Alive 5 (Video Game)
Dead or Alive is one of those series that hasn't been taken seriously because of the beach volleyball spin off and its boob-physics. Looking beyond that however it is a quality fighting game that is simple to pickup and improve at.
-Easy learning curve. You punch, you kick, you throw (grapple), you block, and you hold (counter). Most of the combos are really simple; a series of punches and kicks, sometimes with directional movement but otherwise it's very straight forward. Combos are short (under 15 hits) and do not require hours of grinding to master. The fighting modes for DoA5 are arcade, time attack, and survival and there are 7 difficulties ranging from very easy to normal to champ to master, Tecmo kept the bar low to introduce players into the franchise while at the same time keeping the seasoned DoA players challenged.
-The fighting. Tecmo's rock, paper, scissors method to fighting as always been prevalent in the DoA series but this time its a selling point (ignoring the sexualized female characters). Punches/kicks will beat throws, throws will beat blocking and counter holds, and blocking and counter holds will beat punches. There is always a risk to each action you take and there isn't a sure way to win like other fighting game series (Marvel vs Capcom 3, Street Fighter 4). Tecmo makes the risk really prevalent with this rock, paper, and scissors design because a misread will lead to more damage. For example, a throw that is used on a block will deal x amount of damage but a throw used on a counter hold will deal 1.5x damage. Dead or Alive 5 does not have any unblockable/inescapable setups that other games find as a key to win a fight. I haven't lost a fight in the DoA series thinking "Wow that move was rigged" or "That character needs nerfing" it was a matter of the mistakes I made in that fight or the other player's mastery of the game. The question in this game is how safe will your next move be and how effective will it be, rather than how well can I trap and how well can I execute my combos? Dead or Alive 5 is all about reading out your opponents next move or creating an unpredictable offense. Players can still counter a move while they're being struck, this forces a variety of high, medium, or low punches/kicks. If that defensive player misreads a counter then the offensive player can extend his/her combo. This style of fighting leaves the game play to be more exciting, each fight is different rather than watching a replay of the same setup and the repeat same combos.
-The fighters. Most fighter's skill set is a representation of a real-life fighting style. Brad Wong - Drunken Fist. Christie - Snake Fist. Bayman - Russian Martial Arts. Hitomi - Karate. Rig - Tae Kwon Do. Tina - Wrestling. Each fighter is built for a purpose that will suit a particular play style. I'm not too sure if the ninjutsu style of fighting is real but a part from that I feel like Dead or Alive is a documentary of fighting techniques of the world. I haven't found a character that is completely useless but rather their style just doesn't suit me. The grappling characters may be sluggish in their punches and kicks, but their high damage on throws and holds make up the difference. The characters that rely on their unpredictability have lower damage in comparison to others. I've always been a lover of the special tag-throws given between certain characters. Two fighters having similar fighting styles or a close relationship in the story will give a pair of characters a special tag throw that'll deal bonus damage. [You can see these special tag throws by youtube DoA5 Tag Throws.] This addition brings that connection between characters and fighting styles, it is very entertaining to see team work to destroy your enemy. All the fighters are given unlockable costumes and Tecmo even threw in a free DLC costume pack instead of charging for character skins. People like free DLC, I hope you're paying attention Capcom.
-The online, it's not the best because it's still in its infancy. An option is open for a player to challenge you while you're playing a single player game so it's like a real arcade-fighting game experience. I'm playing on a high bandwith connection so I'm not facing any problems at the moment. It doesn't outshine any other fighting game's online play.
-The visuals. Characters are more life-like than ever: each character is now less cartoony and have their own distinct features both in their beauty and their nationality. Tecmo even went to the length of throwing in sweat and dirt into the game for a more realistic feel. I'm sure everyone can pick a favorite in how each character looks. The stages are detailed, interactive and alive, the environment will hurt you (electrified walls, being kicked off of a ledge etc.)and it is changing. Being kicked off of a ledge is not the death of the character like in Mortal Kombat or Soul Calibur, if the character still has health then the just fight goes on and the stage changes.
-The training. Training mode is one of the easiest I've seen, some moves are tricky but far from impossible. There is a video preview of what the combo should look like. The timing of each combo is more lenient than other fighting games. The combo's input is always on display, your inputs are always on display, and the direction of the arrows will change whenever your character has changed direction. Depending on your inputs, it will show the possible combos that can still be done. For example, inputting a forward punch combo will only bring up combos that start with a forward punch. It really comes in handy when designing possible initiation sequences. In addition, there are frame data that can be analyzed to see the risk of a strike if it is blocked or how long an opponent is vulnerable when a strike lands. The difference in a seasoned player and a newbie would come from the familiarity of all the character's combos and knowing this frame data.
-The storyline. It's a mess of cutscenes, 1.5 hours of it. Rather than keeping the individual story line and ending for each character like in DoA3, 4. DoA5 created a massive timeline that connected most, but not all, of the characters into a single story. The result is a confused mess because you start with a character, play him/her in 3 fights, then jump to another one. You're left wandering into what happened to the rest of the characters that weren't a part of the ending. You can't pick your favorite character to end the game with. It forces you to sample all the characters that are involved in the story line but at the same time left out a few other characters. I don't recall playing as Christie in the story line even though you fight her with a few characters. Tecmo tried to be all-inclusive with the story line but ended up excluding a majority of characters from the ending. Tecmo built a tutorial within the story line and there's no way to go around it. The game starts off on very easy and ends with a normal difficulty fight. The ending "boss" fight is not really a boss more like a combination of 4 characters. The end result is a story that was ambitious in its attempt to include 20 characters into 1 big cutscene-driven story line but ended up having a very ambiguous ending with many character's stories either not including or ended prematurely.
-Game has an unfinished game menu. Every time you start the game it asks to 'choose storage device' and it'll show an empty menu but will allow you to continue. It'll also repeatedly remind you to not shut the game off when it's saving. It'll also forget the language options that are set and will automatically default to Voice Acting and Menu Language as English. This wouldn't be a problem with the English wasn't as good as the Japanese ones. (This problem is now fixed, patch it)
-The Virtua Fighter audio. They really sound out of place, the recordings sound like they were just copied and pasted from Virtua Fighter and I'm sure they were.
Don't let the bad story line discourage you from playing the game. If you appreciate martial arts and seek an alternative fighting game DoA5 is a good choice. It's easy to pick up and to me it is how a realistic fighting game is meant to be set up.
New May 8, 2013/July 22, 2013
Team Ninja has announced 'Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate' to be released in Fall 2013 with Momoiji (from Ninja Gaiden 3) as a playable character and other content released for the Vita. They've essentially 'pulled a Capcom' which explains the price drop for DoA5. Unless it can't be helped, wait for DoA5 Ultimate.
May 22, 2013
From what I've seen from preview screenshots and etc here are the new characters for DoA5 Ultimate:
-Momoiji (Ninja Gaiden Series)
-Rachel (Ninja Gaiden Series)
-Jacky Bryant from Virtua Fighter
The DLC costumes for DoA5 will be carried over to DoA5 Ultimate.
DoA5 Ultimate will be for 39.99 and can be preordered on Amazon among other places.
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