Review: Dead or Alive 5

DOA has had its own little niche among the big dogs in the fighting genre. It’s known for its all melee fighting, counter system, and large gratuitous amounts of jiggle. Dead or Alive 5 is the newest installment in Techno Koei’s fighting franchise. DOA 5’s character roster has expanded with all of our original favorites making an appearance. Tina, with her voluptuous rack, Bass with his seemingly incestuous daughter issues, and Kasumi, with her strange and seemingly repetitive mission to find her clones. DOA 5’s story mode makes some attempts at correcting the holes in the story, but in the end just left me even more confused and begging for some definitive end to one of the most drawn out stories in gaming history.

Title: Dead or Alive 5
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
Rated: M
Release Date: September 25, 2012

Next to Tekken the DOA franchise has always been established as a full melee combat game. With that, the use of counters and throws is increased exponentially. Every attack in this game can be countered. To a new player countering can get extremely complicated and honestly just a little too difficult. On harder modes in single player I would pull off maybe one counter per match. Throws are varied and have been improved from Dead or Alive 4, but have been slightly cheapened with some new combos that can almost chain-throw an opponent. On harder difficulties, the arcade mode can become highly frustrating because of the CPU’s insane difficulty. Countering almost every single one of my attacks, I turned away from hard mode with my tail between my legs.

Gameplay: C+

Dead or Alive has always been one of the most beautiful and vibrant games in the fighting genre. With tons of different maps and many different costumes for every character, the rendering and smooth transitions impressed me every match. Another famous feature of DOA is the “Jiggle Factor”. Every female character in this game has a rack that would make any Victoria’s Secret model jealous. DOA 5 had a “dramatic” change in art style (The eyes are smaller). It seems as though Team Ninja is straying away from Japanese manga-style to a more western realistic approach.

Graphics: B+

I’ve never been a big fan of the music choices of the DOA franchise, and DOA5 is no exception. Repetitive theme music plagues everything from the main menu, to character select, to battle audio. One major flaw I noticed was the voice-overs for the unlock-able characters. For some reason it sounds like they were recorded last second from a low quality mic in the basement of an aquarium fanatic. For some odd reason, the extra characters do not have English lines in story mode or during match startup. Regular character’s battle start and end quotes are extremely limited, almost every time I played a mirror match, both fighters had the same quote.

Audio: D-

DOA 5 is a beautiful and complicated fighting game that will entertain most fighting game fanatics for endless hours, but for the average gamer, it will maybe hold your interest for a few hours.

Overall Grade: C+

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