|System: Xbox 360, PS3*|
|Dev: Team Ninja|
|Pub: Tecmo Koei|
|Release: September 3, 2013|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence|
Players who are more dedicated to offline play won’t fare so well. The story mode hasn’t changed at all, nor have a majority of the game’s single-player offerings. The addition of a brand-new Survival mode is a nice touch, but like most one-player modes in fighting games, it will be played for a short while and then abandoned almost immediately thereafter. Versus also hasn’t seen any alterations, and since it’s the place you will be spending most of your time, it’s easy to miss a lot of the “extras” that DOA5: Ultimate has.
Perhaps the most notable addition to Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate’s offline mode is the addition of a comprehensive tutorial. Much different from the simple move tutorials that the original Dead or Alive 5 had, this new tutorial mode walks you through everything from basic movement concepts to the advanced mix-up game. It’s easily one of the best tutorials we have seen in a fighting game so far, except there is one problem: It doesn’t have a sense of pacing. It simply plods along at a snail’s pace, spending too much time on easy concepts and not enough time on difficult ones. It’s presentation is also dry, which is likely to cause newbies to get bored and skip it, even though they desperately need to learn the concepts that the tutorial contains.
Everything else about the game is, unfortunately, aesthetic. Characters have new costumes, new animations, new intros, etc., but this doesn’t affect the game in any profound way. Overall, Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate just doesn’t feel “new.” There’s nothing here that couldn’t have been handled in a patch or title update, and the fact that we have to buy an entire other game again feels a bit like a rip-off.
Whether or not you purchase Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate will largely depend on whether or not you are still playing Dead or Alive 5. If you have already grown bored of the game, then Ultimate isn’t going to do much to reinvigorate your passion. If you haven’t, however, then Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate is a purchase that you pretty much have to make. All the tournament players will be migrating there, as well as much of the online community. So if you want to continue playing Dead or Alive 5, you are basically going to be strong-armed into purchasing Ultimate anyway. It’s a very nice DOA5 expansion pack, but that’s really all it is. Frankly, Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate will only appeal to total die-hard Dead or Alive fanatics and casual fighting-game fans that missed the game the first time around.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: September 4, 2013