|System: Xbox 360, PS3*|
|Dev: Team Ninja|
|Pub: Tecmo Koei|
|Release: September 25, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Dead or Alive has never been the go-to tournament fighter of choice. But that's okay; it never wanted to be. Other than Smash Brothers, DOA is the one series that has done the most to make fighting games newbie friendly. Built upon a simple rock-paper-scissors system that works even when you are fat-fingering the buttons like a chimpanzee banging on a drum, DOA seems to cater to the casual player before the hordes of tournament regulars that are looking for aerial combos, focus attack dash cancels, and frame traps.
Many fans thought that DOA5 would change this, finally stepping up to take its place alongside the Street Fighters and Tekkens of the world. And, to an extent, this was a fair assessment: DOA5 easily boasts the most hardcore-friendly mechanics of the series to date. But at the same time, it also turns the casual bait up to 11.
In an early interview, Tecmo Koei called this game "fighting entertainment" rather than traditional fighting, to signify that the game is focused less on balance and more on spectacle, but is spectacle alone enough to sell a game?
Probably. So, let's start with the "spectacle" first: Yes, DOA has always been known for its unrealistically proportioned female characters more than its mechanics. Rest assured, these femme fatales return in DOA5 and they are dressed skimpier than ever.
Now, I'm all for some good old fashioned ogling from time to time, but honestly, this isn't doing much to combat the "gamers are sexist pigs" arguments that are constantly being thrown in our face. Yeah, I know that scantily clad women are DOA tradition, but this is starting to get a bit ludicrous. Can we at least dial back the objectification a tiny bit in DOA 6?
The core DOA system remains intact in DOA5. Your basic buttons trigger punches, kicks, holds, and throws. Holds beat punches and kicks, throws beat holds, and punches and kicks beat throws. Holds are multipurpose, either blocking or countering your opponent's attacks depending on how you use them.
DOA has always taken place in a 3D environment, but DOA5 is the first game in the series that really stresses three-dimensional movement. Side-stepping into the foreground or background is easier now and can be used to avoid most of your opponent's attacks. As a result, the tried and true Tekken concept of homing attacks has been integrated into the game. Certain moves track your opponent, thus hitting them when they sidestep. Other moves will simply move forward, whiffing against an opponent who sidesteps at the right time.
DOA has always been keen on forcing you to use your environment. However, DOA5 has taken environmental damage to a whole new level. Usually, in 3D games, you can gain a bit more damage by pinning your opponent against a wall. In DOA5, however, you can knock your opponent off of cliffs and into trains, cars, tigers, and all sorts of ludicrous stuff. These "Danger Zones" deal an absurd amount of damage when you knock your opponent into them with a correct attack.