Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Review for Xbox One

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Review for Xbox One

Dead or Questionably Alive

Dead or Alive 5 is out! Hey, wait—wasn’t this game already released once before? And again before that? Wait a minute, how many times has this thing been released?

Yes, welcome to Dead or Alive 5: Last Round , the latest in Dead or Alive 5 remakes and re-releases, pretending to be a sequel. Sorry if that’s a bit too direct for you, but that is Last Round in a nutshell. It’s a repackaged update patch at best, and while Dead or Alive 5 still stands fine as a fighting game on its own merits, being repackaged for a fourth time will understandably start to wear on your patience.

Let’s start with the basics. Dead or Alive 5 , if you haven’t read our full review, is an interesting fighting game for casual players. Essentially, it operates on a rock paper scissors style of gameplay with strikes, throws, and holds. Strikes are physical attacks, the bread and butter of a character’s repertoire, and they beat throw attempts but are vulnerable to holds. Holds consist of both normal blocking and an array of counter attacks that turn an opponent’s strike against them. Every character has access to these counterattacks, and they can easily dismantle predictable players. Holds beat strikes, of course, but are vulnerable to throws. Throws, basically do what they say on the tin. They are grapple moves that beat out defensive maneuvers, but lose to any form of attack. Other than that, the game operates on a Tekken or Virtua Fighter -style combo system, where you dial in strings of moves that then execute on the opponent, and successful comboing involves linking these strings together.

Dead or Alive 5 isn’t the most balanced game out there. The roster has pretty clear-cut tiers of good and bad characters. Not to mention that the always controversial stage hazards rear their ugly head in a big way, with “danger zones” causing extra damage if characters are knocked into them, and sometimes triggering long cutscenes with quick time events in the middle of battle as characters are knocked off a ledge or into a passing train or something strange like that. Long story short, the game is a ton of fun to watch and plenty of fun to play if you don’t mind turning your brain off and button-mashing a bit. Just don’t expect this to be the next big tournament fighter.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Screenshot

The thing about Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is that nothing has really changed as far as the gameplay goes. Yes, the game has been “rebalanced” and, when you drill down to the frame by frame level, its arguable certain moves are less exploitable. Still, that feeling of clear cut tiers hasn’t gone away. In the end, Last Round still feels like a casual fighting game at best, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I find it hard to believe people would buy a casual fighter for a fourth time.

This new update adds only two new fighters, which is depressing considering the game’s fourty dollar price tag. The first new character is Honoka, a schoolgirl. Considering Dead or Alive ’s proud history of boob physics, this isn’t surprising at all. The second is returning Dead or Alive 1 boss character, Raidou.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Screenshot

On the upside, both fighters are rather unique and fun to play. Honoka is a kind of amalgam character that combines moves from all the other fighters in the game into one move-list, which is always a blast. Raidou is similar but is built more for power than for speed, and even has projectiles to throw around. Unfortunately, the whole “amalgam” style of gameplay does feel a bit lazy and can turn some players off, but I still think they are fun to control.

On the downside that’s basically all you are getting in this upgrade. If you haven’t been keeping up with the other Dead or Alive 5 versions like Plus and Ultimate , then you are actually getting a lot as you’ll pick up every new character that premiered both on disc and as DLC in those iterations. However, if you have been a Dead or Alive 5 faithful, then these fighters and two new stages are really all you are getting.

The mode suite is basically exactly the same. You still have local multiplayer, score attack, survival modes, online play, and an incredible training mode. I still applaud Tecmo Koei for putting so much thought into its tutorials and training options, but this isn’t anything we haven’t seen in previous releases.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Screenshot

The one thing I am most disappointed in is a lack of any real update to the game’s story mode. We have a ton of new characters to play with now through all the Dead or Alive 5 updates, and the story mode hasn’t changed one bit. Even a couple side stories would have been nice. It just feels like something should have been included other than just the characters and stages.

Honestly, if there is anything that you should purchase Dead or Alive 5: Last Round for, it’s the graphics. It looks far, far better than previous iterations of the game did on the PS3 and PS Vita. Of course, this only applies to the current-generation versions of the game. While last-generation versions of the game are not out yet, I cannot believe that they would look any different from what we have already seen.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is a hard game to review, because honestly it’s a good game. However, it’s only a good game because of everything that Dead or Alive 5 , Dead or Alive 5: Plus , and Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate did. If you want to upgrade to a next-generation version of this fun fighter, go ahead. If you really really want two new characters, go for it. But if you are looking for something truly new and different, you are unfortunately looking in the wrong place. I would like to say that Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is the definitive version of the game, and if it were the last version of the game to come out it would be, but there’s nothing to say that Koei Tecmo won’t release Dead or Alive 5: Super Mega Ultra Deluxe Edition a year from now, no matter how many times we hear this is the last one.

The best part of DOA5:LR , the graphical upgrade is very noticeable, and worthwhile for current-gen systems. 3.5 Control
Same controls as last time, and they work just as well. 3.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice acting is kind of hokey, and not much has been done to address that. 3.5 Play Value
The least amount of content a new DOA5 has put out yet, and that is very disappointing. 3.5 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Two new fighters.
  • Two new stages.
  • Huge graphics overhaul.

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