Published on October 6th, 2012 | by thoseguyspodcast0
Dead or Alive 5 Review
I grew up playing the DOA franchise and have plenty of great memories of the series. It has been over 5 years since the last real iteration of DOA but the wait is finally over. Does DOA 5 have what it takes to revitalize the franchise? The fifth installment brings back the classic 3D fighter feel, but falls just short of being spectacular.
Gameplay: If you have played any 3D fighters before, DOA will feel familiar right off the bat. Team ninja has found a good balance between adding new features and keeping the fighting mechanics rooted. The franchise staple chain combos and heavy reliance on counters is still in place with added abilities. New options such as side stepping and a charge up super move called “power blow”. These added gameplay features help add variety without breaking game balance. In classic fashion side steps avoid strikes but can be punished with grabs. Power blows do massive damage but require long charge ups that can be easily interrupted. DOA 5 does a fantastic job at giving the player options to deal with any move or tactic and it feels extremely balanced. Gameplay is well varied due to team ninja providing a great selection of modes to choose from. Story mode, tag team, survival and time attack are all great returning features that seem to have been stripped away from most modern fighting games. The character roster is small numbering just over 20 but this small size allows for all characters to be finely tuned. None of the characters feel useless or unbalanced online. Dead or alive has balanced combat, great character variety and a healthy number of modes so what holds it back from greatness? The online component of dead or alive 5 is simply not up to par. Online net code is very poor; more often than not playing people outside of the country resulted in extreme lag that never dropped off. I can personally attest to losing 15-20 matches simply because the lag made it impossible to play properly. It is hard to say if this damns the game for fight fans who crave online action as this could easily be patched in the future, time will tell. In the mean time I recommend setting the search engine to same region.
Story: Story lines in fighting games are typically cheesy and are used only to set up the fights. Even with this in mind the story mode is a complete disaster. Horrible voice acting jarring scene jumps and nonsensical dialogue is only the beginning of the story modes problems. The story doubles as a tutorial giving mission objectives like pulling off 3 counters during a fight to help newer players. This seems out of place considering there is a very well designed training mode that provides all the guidance any gamer could need. With that said the story mode does not take away from the overall package because let’s face it, who plays fighting games for the story?
Graphics: Graphics is definitely the area where dead or alive really shines. Team ninja truly kept their promise to make the fighters look more human. The attention to detail on facial animations is rather breath taking with enormous effort being placed on character models. Fighters react more like humans as well, when hit they will hold their stomachs or face, become stunned or struggle to stand back up. Dirt and grime can often be seen on fighters who have been hit or fallen to the ground. Great care was also taken for stage creation, what team ninja has dubbed “fighting entertainment”. From War torn battlefields to showdowns on skyscrapers caught in construction, dead or alive brings stages to life like no other. Most stages have environmental hazards such as exploding barrels or long drop offs to be knocked down causing extra damage. Simply put dead or alive is the best looking fighting game I have ever seen.
Conclusion: Dead or alive 5 is a very impressive game that succeeds in bringing long-time fans what they wanted in a series return. The triumphant return of this 3D fighter is only held back by the poor online support for players outside of japan.
Final verdict 8.5 out of 10