Genres: 3D Fighting Game
Developer: Team Ninja
Platforms (Last Round): PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
For many, the title “Dead or Alive” is a synonym for “boobs”. I admit that I was also very skeptical about the quality of the franchise before giving it a chance.
Yes, it has a lot of fanservice. Yes, it has highly detailed jiggle physics.
You shouldn’t let any of this distract you from what Dead or Alive truly is: an airtight fighting game, with appeal for both casual and hardcore fighting gamers alike.
In a world where fighting games are a niche genre and there aren’t many 3D fighters available, Dead or Alive 5 is one game that enthusiasts shouldn’t dismiss. If you watch actual gameplay footage, you’ll immediately understand that this game isn’t “boobs jiggling all over the screen”.
Of course, some of you may still insist on dismissing the game because it only objectifies women… or wait, are you sure it doesn’t have any sexy guy costumes?
Topless? Abs? Kink? Pretty sure this fanservice isn’t directed at the male audience.
Bottom line: Just because many people prefer to post pics of hot DoA girls, doesn’t mean that’s all the game has to offer.
Different Versions of the Game
The game has gone through three different iterations, with Dead or Alive 5 Last Round being the final. If you plan to buy the game for PlayStation or Xbox, make sure it’s “Last Round”, not “Dead or Alive 5″ or “Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate”!
Last Round is also available on Steam, with a limited free-to-play version: Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters. If you like 3D fighting games but unsure about purchasing the full game, then you should give the free version a shot.
Also, even though it’s “Last Round”, it seems like Team Ninja just won’t let this round end. Keep a close eye on news and updates regarding the game, as Team Ninja keeps pumping up more and more content, including brand new characters.
The latest big additions are two guests characters from other game series: Naotora Ii (Samurai Warriors series) and Mai Shiranui (The King of Fighters series).
The Good & The Bad
Easy to pick, fun to master. Just pick Kasumi or Ayane and you’ll doing the coolest ninja moves of your life, without even knowing how to play. Almost any random combo you try will connect in some way, with everything feeling fluid and natural.
No character customization. Many modern 3D fighting games try to innovate the genre with elaborate customization, but DoA brings almost nothing to the table. It tries to make up for that by offering a vast variety of costumes… through DLCs that will cost you more than buying a whole new game.
Offers only the classic offline game modes, but they’re all solid. Story mode and Practice mode do an excellent job teaching you how to play the game better, going as far as rewarding you with very nice things.
Survival is a fun guilty pleasure mode, where you can beat the living shit out of weak AIs in a fast-paced sequence, with next to no loading time. It feels like playing a great beat ’em up game.
Button mashing works, but made to be countered. Early on, you’ll have a lot of fun and success with button mashing. However, the game is also installed with a core mechanic that counters button mashing.
By predicting the opponent’s next move, you can execute a “Hold” -interrupting their attack and punishing them hard. It’s not an easy mechanic to master, but there’s nothing more satisfying than a well-timed counter attack in a pinch.
Many guest characters that seamlessly fit in. If you’re a fan of Virtua Fighter or Gaiden Ninja, then you’ll be pleased to find multiple characters from both series. Those unfamiliar with the characters won’t suffer in any way, as all fighters are fun to play even if you never heard of them.