Tecmo’s Team Ninja developed Dead or Alive 5 was just released on September 25th for both Playstation 3 & Xbox 360.
The game features 24 playable characters, 21 of which are playable as soon as you start the game. Right off the bat, two newcomers to the series are Mila, a MMA based fighter and Rig, a somewhat Tae Kwon Do and boxing based fighter. Dead or Alive 5 also features 3 unlockable fighters from Sega’s Virtua Fighter series, they are Akira, Pai & Sarah.
The story mode or “Timeline” in DOA 5 may seem like a first to those who have only played the first four games on home consoles versions of the series but in actuality Dead or Alive Dimensions which is currently only released for the Nintendo 3DS features a nearly identical story mode called “Chronicle” which features “chapters” that sum up the stories of the first four games. Dead or Alive 5 picks up shortly after the last “chapter” of Dead or Alive Dimensions, allowing players to pick up right where they left off.
Dead or Alive 5 is an EXTREMELY technical game. The series separates itself from other fighting games in two major ways. The first big difference is that the Dead or Alive series is about the only fighting game to feature “Danger Zones.” These “Danger Zones” are special parts of nearly every stage that do additional damage to whichever player that gets knocked into or over them. The other, more subtle way that the Dead or Alive series is different from any other fighting game lies in its “Triangle System.” This system allows every punch, kick, throw & hold to be treated as almost a rock, paper, scissors game. No one move is better than any other, rather the timing of each move and each player’s ability to recognize both, which move is being used as well as which move to counter it. Lesser experienced players can also just block most moves but those adept at the game will always counter. Dead or Alive 5 also features a new gameplay mechanic called a “Power Blow.” A “Power Blow” is an attack that is pretty much each character’s ultimate move but the catch is that this move can only be used when the character’s health drops below 50%. A “Power Blow” may be just what you need to turn the tide of battle, but if it misses, then your opponent may be able to perform theirs.
DOA 5 features a statistic rating of each character just before you start fighting. The criteria that every fighter is rated by are: Strike, Throw, Hold, Power, Speed, and Moves. “Strike” is the speed of a character’s basic punch and kick and each of these are given a number based on a scale of 1 to 5. “Throw” is… well every fighting game has these. “Hold” is each character’s ability to counter another character’s “Strike” and some “Holds” can even turn into “Throws” or even “Strikes.” “Power” is how much damage a character’s average “Strike” does, however, every character has several very strong moves hidden in their move list. “Speed” in Dead or Alive 5 doesn’t mean what you might think, as this stat reflects how fast a character’s “Strike, Throw, & Hold” will be, but there are certain moves that are exceptions. Finally, the “Moves” stat represents just how many techniques are in that particular fighter’s “Move” list. This is a good way to gauge just how difficult any given character may be to master. One of my favorite characters, Brad Wong has the following stats: Strike 5, Throw 2, Hold 2, Power 3, Speed 1, & Moves 5. In previous Dead or Alive games I never thought of him as a slow character. Even in Dead or Alive 5, a few of his moves are actually quite fast, but in a regular punch out, other characters always seem to land the first hit, which may turn into a combo, that may land Brad into a “Danger Zone.”
One of the new additions to the Dead or Alive series is “Mission.” In the main menu, under the “Extras” option is “Mission.” In “Mission” players can view every title that they have obtained out of the game’s 525 total titles. Players can then set up to two titles that they have obtained and those titles will be displayed next to your name and fighter at the beginning of every online match. Titles are a fun way to introduce yourself, express yourself, or just plain scare your opponent with titles ranging from “Wall of Steel” to “I’m no pushover, Sweetie.”
Dead or Alive 5 is a great new game that will provide you with years of excitement, so go out and buy a copy today.
By Jimmy Franc (Guest Writer)