Dead or Alive 5
PS3 and XBOX360
By Janus 32
Fighting games since its inception, has always been 2D fighting. Though when there were the games like Tekken and Virtua Fighter, the fighting game genre had changed, with players able to sidestep from attacks and even push fighters to the end of the fight area and deal more damage.
Dead Or Alive is a 3D fighter that had started via the Sega Saturn then branched out to the main consoles and introduced ‘counter’ moves as well as a whole slew of strategy and elements to the fighting genre in a lot of ways.
Since the previous game of Dead or Alive 4, DOA5 comes in after a 6 year hiatus.
Does this return have some punch to it or is it a kick in the…uh…proverbial groin?
Dead or Alive (DOA) has been a game that is mainly remembered for a few things, jiggling boobies, sexy girls and of course fighting. Though in regards to the 3D games, DOA has been overshadowed with these premises, but underneath the game is, a complexed fighting game that did have its pros and cons. This latest instalment has been tweaked and corrected to be possibly one of the most balanced fighting games in the franchise.
Tournament players as opposed to casual gamers have posted their thoughts and their discomfort with the previous DOA games handling and balance issues. The usual arguments of character balancing, frame rates, stage breakages were some of the other topics. Team Ninja as the developer have seem to have tracked and corrected these issues to have more fluidity in the gameplay. Though if I get all technical, well this would be a long review.
Upon our initial gameplay for about 8 hours total on a Playstation 3 and using a fightstick to get the maximum quality of the game, DOA5 seems to have the goods to be a competitive fighter, whether you button mash and are the casual fighter or the tournament fighter/ serious player that can pull off the strings of combos, the game has a catering for any player it seems.
Fighting games in the day was all about beating the other guy by any means necessary by mindlessly button mashing with no tactics, or so some would seem. But like any competitive game/sport there are always strategies and DOA5 is no exception.
Gameplay is responsive and as opposed to the button layout of the original controller, gamers will feel at ease when they throw their punches and kicks. Though what is new and interesting is the new critical hits and power blows throws the gameplay into wilder branches of combinations that can be executed and heightens the fighting to so many more levels. With counters, cross counters, counter holds and throwing being more tweaked than ever, players will be finding themselves concentrating a lot harder on their opponent to not only wittle down the life bar, but in the midst of fighting, time their reactions to countering their opponents combination strings to break their rhythm.
What is great to experience as multiplayer is gameplay does not change in regards to speed and framerates when playing locally. But like anything that is unpredictable is online. Lobbying up for another player, if having a good connection there is seamless connectivity from what we saw in the beginning, but as the games were being played and more time spent online, comparing with titles like Tekken and Street Fighter 3rd Strike, DOA5 goes into this list of games that do not work well with a good connection.
Graphically speaking, DOA5 is quite gorgeous. The rendering of the models of characters are top notch, jiggling boobs and all. More impressive is the background graphics and the ‘stage breaks’. For you newbies that don’t know what I mean by stage breaks in a fighting game, is how DOA5 has made its reputation. When fighting in the arena, if certain conditions were met, players could force their opponent into the wall and further push them to another level causing further damage to the life bar. Though for different stages, this does happen, but on one particular stage, players can use a train several times to hit their opponents. Extreme, and very awesome to watch.
Another great touch to the graphics is the uniqueness of each character, every character is different, and as obvious that sounds. They all handle differently depending on their build, their weight and their power and each hit feels, looks and sounds very brutal providing that sense of ‘weight’ and we of course mean brutal as being entertaining.
Going back to each character, the level of moves and martial arts disciplines is abundant. You have your boxer, your brawler, Muay-Thai fighter, Tae-Kwon-Do and even a step further a Mixed Martial Arts practitioner who is a new character. The look and feel of the characters bring a depth of freshness even with the older fan favourite characters make their return with more enhanced looks, different outfits and an ‘ok’’ sound of voice actors backing them.
Dead or Alive 5 had begun as a fighter that was unknown to the world. But as its notoriety grew, it garnered favour and fans. But at about Dead or Alive 3 and 4, it was only specific for XBOX and the XBOX360 which lost some of its fans due to not being multi-platform. Only with this latest installment will it once again go multi-platform and released outside of japan.
The wait is over, 6 years in the making and this fighter comes in with all the right stuff in comparison to what the DOA franchise used to be was just about pixelated boobs and unnecessary smuttiness. But this fighter is easy to pick up and the sky is the limit in which players can hone and level up their skills, and finally take the game seriously.
Get it. DOA5 as aforementioned is a game that players can easily pick up and enjoy its visuals. This fighter can be taken seriously, but at the same time can be enjoyed casually. The plethora of options that players will be able to use during their matches is incredibly large, uses of the stage breaks, the opponent themselves, baiting, mind games, all the hallmarks of a fighting game wrapped up into this neat little package.