One of the most popular fighting game franchises is back. Dead or Alive 5 for PS3 and Xbox 360 (PS3 version reviewed here) has all your favorite characters, moves, and other paraphernalia that makes the series so famous. While I’ve never played a previous game in the series, I can tell that this is one quality fighter, although it’s best enjoyed by pros of the genre only because of the high challenge level.
DOA5 has you covered with several gameplay modes for both single players and online. There’s the Story Mode which follows the adventures of the DOA cast as they enter yet another fighting tournament while some secretly search for a menacing clone wreaking havoc in the background. There are also Arcade, Time Attack, Survival, and Training modes. You can also watch fights in a spectator mode, view and save replays, take pictures, earn titles, and much more! There are also several ways to play online, too.
What makes DOA unique from other fighters is how blocks, holds, and other blows can counterattack each other. It’s like a game of rock-paper-scissors, and pros who master this can really turn the tables in a battle. However, it’s also very challenging to manage, and novice players like myself might get a little frustrated by that. Luckily, you can select easier difficulties in some of the modes like Arcade, Time Attack, and Survival. And while the story mode gets progressively harder, they gradually show you all the moves you in do with each battle.
Graphics are very impressive and even rival one of my favorite competing 3-D fighters (the Soul Calibur series). The level of detail on the DOA characters is quite intricate. You can even see sweat dripping off the combatants, and you’ll be able to spot dirt smudges, bruises, and boo-boos on your fighters depending on how rough the battle is. The background stages are lots of fun to look at, too, and include breakable interactive objects. You can even throw someone out of a window and continue the fight outside. And I could watch the background of the circus stages long after the fight was over with.
I did notice a bit of framerate choppiness in some of the online modes. While this didn’t bother me much personally, seasoned pros may find it more annoying. However, lag is a problem every online fighter has, not just this one. Speaking of online, the other problem that some people may have with this game is that it requires a downloadable pass code to enjoy the online features of the game. So if you buy a used copy of this game, you may have to buy another code on the PSN store.
The Dead or Alive games are known for many aspects, mainly the over-sexed, exaggerated female characters. But if you can look past all that (which may be hard for some), what you have with the fifth game is one quality 3-D brawler that expert fighting game fans will have hours of fun with.
Dead or Alive 5 is rated M for Mature with ESRB descriptors of Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, and Violence. It’s a fighting game, so of course there is violence. But the battles aren’t really bloody or gory or anything like that. It looks more like an action-packed yet still cheesy Kung-Fu movie. The partial nudity and sexual themes come from the DOA female cast, who wear scantily clad outfits and aren’t shy on showing their assets. They even made a couple of beach volleyball games starring the DOA ladies in swimsuits. So yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous. But really, the best reason why DOA5 is best for older gamers is the high difficulty level. I’ve always said that kids deserve good games, too. But sometimes adults need games of their own as well. So if you are an older gamer and enjoy fighters, you may want to check this one out.