It’s been years since the DOA cast has been on the scene of the fighting game realm and the timing couldn’t be any better with the current boom of titles in the genre. With all the new fighting games on the rise, with more to come, each game faces the task of being able to stand out from the crowd and create its own hype. So what exactly has Dead Or Alive 5 done to stand out in all these years? Well, just enough to maintain its established identity while placing a few modern add ons to feel fresh to the modern gamer!
Naturally this wouldn’t be considered DOA without some of the hottest fighters in the business. DOA5 keeps its main attraction of lethal butt kicking eye candy at its most visually rewarding point ever with highly noticeably upgraded character models and physics. The returning members of the roster all have received scattered visual upgrades that range from their attire to their actual faces to look more youthful and vibrant. As battles carry on, the character models also pick up on the environmental elements such as dirt, water, debris and many other various types of battle damage scarring will appear on their faces and clothing. Even if a player manages to win battles untouched, there is a visible amount of sweat solely from the effort put in alone which makes this easily the most lively installment to the series to date.
The characters themselves aren’t the only eye candy to be had either! Tecmo balances out their new lush character models with equally impressive stages that are the most lively and interactive as ever. Each stage from the circus to a small construction site all boom with movement, amazing visuals and interactive danger zones that can be activated during depending on how hard you’ve knocked your opponent into specific walls or using special moves while doing so. These stages have multiple triggers, even some you must follow-up on or be countered in a quick-time style mini game, and can cause massive amounts of damage accordingly from being knocked over by a wild Tiger, knocking the power out of an elevator or even being the victim of a Semi truck crash in the streets.Â A special note of lively creativity easily has to be given to the urban war zone in which players battle in the middle of a military firefight while running the risk of being hit by an attacking tank. Players will hear soldiers shout various commands towards each other that would be expected from an FPS such as Battlefield 3 and really creates a backdrop equally as amazing to watch as the fighting itself.
Much to the surprise of fighting gamers and the genre itself, Dead Or Alive 5 actually possesses a notable story mode. This campaign picks up a couple of years after the events of DOA4, naturally finding another wild reason to reunite the fighters for yet another tournament. The story is pretty lengthy, especially for a fighter, and spans out to 60 chapters that are broken down to the main characters of the roster holding a minimum of 3 that show their perspective of how they each were dragged into the grand scheme. There are side objectives during each chapter for every fight that act as a tutorial to all the new features and of course the basics for players to build their skills on. As the game progresses these challenges get harder but not always due to sheer difficulty, often times during counter based objectives or anything revolving the CPU do behave a certain way will become quickly frustrating as it rarely seems to want to work with you. Thankfully none of these objectives and mandatory but provides a nice challenge for any .
DOA5Â completionist have plenty of content to be unlocked and keeps it’s focus mainly around a large amount of alternate costumes for each fighter. These costumes are as crazy and sexy as ever and is in no shortage of quantity and numerous ways to be unlocked. Playing through the games Arcade, Story, Time Attack and Survival modes all contains rewards worthy of the cause.
The most fitting and rewarding unlockable in this title are the cameo secret characters from the Virtua Fighter series.
Akira and Sarah Bryant are very fitting characters to the DOA world and both control and feel as if they belonged in the series all along. Since their announcement, players were excited and concerned with mixed reception about if this would be a successful crossover or not. The fluid animations and move sets put to rest any doubt that these two fighters have earned a more than welcome home in the DOA world.
All fighters posses a variety of well over 100+ moves along with multiple stances that make each fighter unique from the next all while retaining their familiar feel from all previous games. The tag system has been given a slight upgrade with character specific team grapples and juggle switch outs for big damage combos far more rewarding than before. With such high damage outputs, Tecmo has done a fair job in balancing each fighters health meter for solo or tag battles to avoid any match up easily overpowering the next in terms of quick knockouts.
All these checks and balances make Dead Or Alive 5 a fighter that’s equally easy on the eyes as it is fun to actually get behind of and play. Admitting, this title doesn’t break any new grounds within the genre during this great boom of fighters but by no means is any less for the experience. DOA has always been an acquired taste for any fighting gamer, however it’s level of flexibility of enjoyment for novice players to expert level players leaves no actual bad taste there either. This makes DOA5Â a very solid fighting game that has a little something for everyone without taking itself too seriously or cutting corners for its value towards its followers.