Dead or Alive
The Dead or Alive series is known for its exceptional gameplay and all kinds of eye candy for the guys to look at. The characters, whether they be the brutal ninja of leather, Ryu Hayabusa, or the unrealistically large bust of Hitomi, the aspiring karate master, are more than happy to destroy each other with a plethora of strikes, throws, and holds all in destructible and exploding environments that are as fun to watch as they are to fight in. For the fans of the previous games, you'll want to buy this one. For the rest of you who may be on the fence or simply curious as to what the game is like, read on and find out.
Dead or Alive 5 Gameplay Trailer Youtube vid by CommuityGame
Upload and Download your Favorite Replays
Dead or Alive 5 hosts a few interesting features just about any gamer will enjoy. You can download and upload replays, get into an online training session, heck, there's even Facebook integration with this thing. As if we weren't wasting too much time on Facebook to begin with. Though I will say this, finding and sorting through replays can be a hassle and I actually didn't bother after a while.
The training mode is, in my opinion, a step up over Tekken Tag Tournament 2. The execution is explained in thorough detail. The buttons are mapped out for you on screen and there's even an option to simply press a punch of kick button and see which attacks and combos can flow from there simply be checking out the buttons on display.
Dead or Alive Story Mode
The story mode is what you'd expect from a Dead or Alive game. As far as fighting games are concerned, just like Tekken, Dead or Alive has an interesting story, well, for some players, others just have ridiculous plots and story archs. Thankfully, this is just with the minor and support characters, also like Tekken.
Dead or Alive 5 Visuals
But this is one thing Dead or Alive does better than Tekken and arguably has for a while now. The visuals are phenomenal. Everything from the look and feel of the characters, to their fighting animations to the way they move around the environment is exceptional. And since we're on the topic of visuals, there is something else Dead or Alive does better than many other fighters out there. The environments and arena in which you beat down your opponents are striking and surprisingly complex. Let's just say I'm done fighting in the middle of a herd of bouncing sheep. So this is a refreshing change.
Rock Paper Scissors
Just like before, what you will love about the most important thing to the fighting genre is the fighting itself. Dead or Alive fans, take heart. The excellent rock paper scissors of combat persists, and in my opinion, has dealt with some balancing irregularities and has gone through some much needed touch ups. For those new to the franchise, I'll summarize. Strikes (Your bread and butter) beat Throws. Throws beat Holds. And Holds beat Strikes.
Fool me Once, Shame on You. Twice, and I'm an Idiot
This is what will have you begging for more. I'd say Dead or Alive, more than any other fighting game I've ever played, is just as much as messing with your opponents mind as it is pounding their face into mush. You'll develop strategies to fake attacks, perhaps make them think you're going for a Throw but you switch to a Hold at the last second just as their executing a strike and make em regret it. Also, you can now avoid attacks better than the previous games by moving laterally and then launch a counterattack.
A new feature, and one I believe should have been balanced before launch, is the new Critical Burst. Basically, you execute a Critical Burst, which is like a heavy strike combo, and your opponent is stunned and at your mercy. Kill them at your leisure. And while there are ways around this, I still think such a game mechanic is broken. Being stunned and having almost nothing you can do about it is a bit much. It takes away from the challenge. By all means, have a critical burst, but keep the attack on his/her toes by providing its own rock paper scissors formula.
Another new feature is the very cool looking Power Blow. This cinematic attack can be executed under the right conditions, usually be spamming Critical Burst mentioned above. The Power Blow is a charged attack you can use when your opponent loses about half of his/er health, execute a Power Blow and you get a true blockbuster movie experience wherein your guy beats the you know what outta the other guy in slow mo and then finishes with an attack that launches the poor guy into the environment for massive damage.
Dead or Alive 5 Stages
This brings me to the stages. Most have several tiers to them for your kung fu and exploding car needs. Dead or alive is among the best when it comes to destructible environments. There are some Danger Zones, and no, Stewart isn't in this game, that can really mess you up if you're not careful and add strategic value when fighting. It can be strange when a well executed combo does more damage than, say, a derailed train slamming into you or your opponent . . . Go figure.
Dead or Alive Online
The online experience is what you'd expect. Set up matches with at least three bars or expect some annoying lag. As this is not a game like Tekken, the online experience can be a bit more forgiving for the casual player or those new to the franchise. However, tred lightly, there are modes for the more competitive Dead or Alive player. And they're good. But, if you really want to get better, you'll have to suffer through a few embarrassing defeats. Up to you.
Dead or Alive 5 Final Verdict
Dead or Alive 5 is a rare experience, especially as far as fighters are concerned. It's near perfect balance of simplicity for the casual gamer while at the same time providing just enough complexity for those seeking to discover everything the game has to offer, is worthy of mention. The visuals are superb, the rock paper scissors balances the game, and there's even a story for anyone interested in the characters. Dead or Alive 5 earns an 8 out of 10.