My exhaustive thoughts on Dead or Alive 5

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4700 posts) -
Mila here, she's a fighter

Dead Or Alive 5 is the first numbered entry in the series in nearly seven years. In the intervening time Team Ninja has been using the Dead or Alive name for their awful Xtreme spin off series It was looking as if Dead or Alive 5 would never come to be. When DOA: dimensions was released it showed Team Ninja still cared about DOA as a fighting game. I was hoping Dimensions was to test the waters for a full fleshed sequel.Thankfully I was right and when DOA5 was announced I was thrilled but a little skeptical considering the current Team Ninja had yet to prove themselves in my eyes. I did not just want a re-skinned DOA4, I was hoping for changes. Now that Dead or Alive has been out a couple weeks and I have put sixty or so hours into it I feel confident in writing down my thoughts.

The Characters have over gone a massive improvement

The first thing you are likely to notice about DOA5 if you have ever seen the prequels is the new character models. Gone is the plastic-skinned porcelain doll look; now the characters have a more detailed and realistic appearance. Before all the female characters looked interchangeable, now everyone has a distinct look. I was sick of the old designs as they looked the same from DOA2-DOA4. The characters now look fantastic, easily the best looking characters in any 3D fighting game. During a fight the clothes of the fighters will get dirt or snow on them when you are bashed around the environment. This small detail along with the sweat they accumulate make the fight feel more brutal as their is clear visual evidence of a fight. It just looks cool. Animation has always been a strong suit of the DOA game and this continues with DOA5. Fights in DOA are the most fluid looking in all of the genre, every hit has a strong visual and audio impact, a punch to the face will cause the opponent to rear back their head for instance. This combined with the animation quality give every fight a visceral feel.

The stages have always been part of what gave DOA it's personality. The stages in DOA5 look incredible and are a joy to fight in. There is great variety, everything from a raft which speeds down a rapids leading to a waterfall. To My favorite - a multi-tiered house where you can knock people though walls, floors and all sorts of furniture. choose any tier of a stage to start from. Paying attention to your position in a stage is more important than ever because now getting hit into a wall or breakable object will result in a unholdable (not able to be countered) stun. This makes the stages more strategic to fight in, and integral to the fight because now not only must you be wary of getting knocked off a ledge but walls and objects are more dangerous as they lead to guaranteed damage.

This is a massive deal because in DOA4 guaranteed situations were simply not possible. To put it politely, DOA4 was entirely based on mix ups. The objective was to stun your opponent and keep strikes them with new attacks of different types and hit levels. Because of the stun and overpowered hold system both offensive and defense were primarily about guessing. This made DOA a very accessible and new player friendly game because even just pressing random attacks could be useful offense because the defender would have no idea what it was you were doing as the attack was playing with little understanding of the game and thus not possible to react to on a logical level. For one lucky strike would result in a critical stun 95% of the time and lead to a guessing situation. Lets say i'm the attacker Would I go low, high, how about mid punch? Maybe I could see if defender got over zealous and went for a hold? This thought process was what is was like to play DOA4 at all times. You could never be certain of any option on offense of defense because everything has a counter. Like a more complex version of Rock, Paper, Scissors. One of the reasons I was so hyped going into DOA5 is because they gave off the impression of addressing this issue and making the gameplay less random.

Sit down stun in action

How would they fix this deeply rooted issue? Well, there are situations that you can not hold from. Those include the aforementioned stage changes. There are some moves that that will put the receiver in a unholdable stun, these include sit down stuns (self explanatory) and feint stuns (indicated by a limp backward fall) around and they will fall. Each character has a few of these type of stuns. Some characters also have abilities specific to them which can not be held. Such as how Jann Lee's dragon gunner leads to guaranteed follow attacks. On paper that sounds fantastic and just the thing DOA needed. The reality of it however is unfortunate. The thing is, many of these stuns don't last long enough to guarantee anything more than a quick jab, or in some cases anything at all. Others are only in the second (or third) hit of a set sequence of attacks so they are not the most viable. Others only work on crouching opponents, these stuns are limited in use because the only time you see anyone crouch in DOA in after they whiffed a low hold, where you are better off going for a low throw instead.

Sit down and Feint stuns were looking to be a great addition that rewarded smart offense and greatly reduced how often As these stuns work now the effect they have on the overall gameplay is marginal; sure some characters have a useful one or two but the DOA stun system is too prevalent in my eyes. Offense should not be this easily punishable. As any attack you throw out could potentially be held so how are you supposed to string together a smart offense? This was my major issue with DOA4 after playing it for 100+ hours and I am frankly disappointed that the main mechanics that looked like they could fix this issue are gimped and underutilized. This one issue is what keeps DOA from being a strong competitive fighter instead of a fun casual one.

Don't get me wrong it is still a enjoyable game. I liked DOA in the past for it's fast paced and flashy game combat where the hits have great impact, are satisfying, it's highly accessible and the triangle system has it's depth. Plus there are some great new additions and changes. The recovery on hold has been increased (but I would like a few more frames added, especially on low holds) and the timing stricter. So throwing them out randomly is less useful and they're easier to punish. Sidestepping has been added and it works great. With effective use you can easily avoid predicable blocked strings and follow up with a quick punish. Rewarding the patient and adaptive player.

Tag throws are still awesome to behold

Remember when I mentioned Jann Lee's awesome new dragon gunner? Well, other characters got new tools as well. The characters in DOA4 all had different move sets yet everyone was going for the same goal. That being playing the stun game into a launcher. In DOA5 the characters feel more different in play style from one another. Such as the grappler characters who don't have to rely on the stun game for their damage. For instance Mila, has a style revolving in takedowns. Her game plan involves tackling you to the ground and fighting you there. She has several strings that go into her tackle giving her smart mix up options as the takedown is deadly and you want to avoid and will be looking for those strings. Bass, (a new personal favorite of mine) has a lot of guard break moves for keeping up pressure plus he can pick the opponent off the ground to keep him in your face and avoid wake up kicks entirely. While the grappler characters mentioned above have ways of getting around the stun game not all characters came to DOA5 as prepared. For instance Hitomi and Hayate whom were personal favorites in DOA4 have gained nothing, thus they are extremely boring as it seems Team Ninja never knew what to do with them.

Two of the main mechanics added to DOA5 are Critical Burst and Power Blow. The latter is an attack which must be charged and when it hits will send the receiver of the blow flying across the stage. The thing with these is the slow charge up makes them impractical in use as they are easy to see coming and hold on reaction. That in theory is where the Critical Bursts come into play. As once used trigger and unholdable stagger state where you are free to use any attack, namely a Power Blow. The catch here is most characters have a very difficult time actually getting off Critical Burst attacks and thus are, too not often seen. So you have two interesting mechanics that in practice don't effect the gameplay much but are satisfying to pull off. Which is a shame because much like the special stuns these are great ideas that are not well implemented.

The training mode is excellent. The best I have ever seen in a fighting game. You can customize the settings to train for a variety of scenarios. You can set the CPU to shake your stuns, block mix ups, wake up kick and other useful tools. My favorite option being able to turn on move properties this includes frame data so you can tell which moves are safe on block, how fast they come out and give a heavy stun. It is a great tool to see what the usage of each specific move is. Unfortunately the game does not teach you the knowledge to use training to it's fullest.

Lei Fang unleashing a stage specific Power Blow

That is to say the tutorial is poor. The main problem here is that there is no dedicated tutorial mode you can go to to learn the basics. Instead what passes for a tutorial are side objectives during story mode matches. Those start off simple teaching you the basic of 3D fighting games, such as hit levels. Then they explain DOA's specific systems such as the triangle system. Problem is they explain the bare minimum, merely telling you about something and not how you may want to implement it in a fight or even how some mechanics actually work. It will tell you about Critical Burst but not about the stun threshold which is required to use them. Plus preforming these actions of top of story fights is not the ideal environment for experimentation. I see what they were going for; assuming that players will start with the Story mode so they wanted to integrate tutorials into it. However you should not have to spend multiple hours playing the game before it even tells you about important information, and poorly at that.

The story mode is told via cut scenes broken up with fights much like last years Mortal Kombat. It picks up I believe two years after the events of DOA4 where Helena has made a new DOATEC for whatever reason. She puts out an invitation to any fighters for the fifth Dead or Alive tournament. The plot is not practicality complex nor is it easy to follow and decipher. Each chapter you play as a new characters and the story is consistently jumping across it's timeline so the train of events can get lost. There are some amusing moments involving the characters such as Hitomi and Lei Fang preforming a Circus show put by and large it is played serious and not particularity interesting. The plots of past DOA game were ninja centric and it pleases me to see them give the spotlight even if they sacrificed a coherent tale to do so. DOA5 is the first major game in the series to feature English voice work (DOA: dimensions had it but I never played it) and honestly I quite like the voice work. A lot of it is hammy, accents are over the top and line reading can be spotty. I enjoyed story mode for what it was but it's not exactly impressive, as it haphazardly tells a boring story interspersed with charming moments.

Story is the primary single player mode, there are others but past hard difficulty they are a utter nuisance to play and I recommend against it, unless you really want string bikinis or achievements. The main incentive to play these modes is to unlock costumes, which in my eyes at least, has always been a series staple. DOA5 takes a more thematic and casual approach to it's outfits. As in many costumes fit with certain stages, for example Hitomi, Lei Fang and Zack have circus gear to coincide with the circus stage. The casual clothing is often my favorite in the game. I love Mila's and Eliot's costume 2.

Stylin' and Profiling'

Chances are the online mode is where you will spend the majority of your time playing DOA5. In DOA4 every match was in the lobby format and effected your rank. I was not fond of this system because you would spend more time waiting to play then actually playing unless you were dominating a room. Now there are multiple mode for online: Simple match, ranked match and lobby match. The netcode for DOA5 is not great, it sometimes feels worse than DOA4 which is puzzling. For whatever reason Ranked mode is affected worse by lag, even when there is no viable lag the inputs are delayed, playing that way in any fighting game is annoying so I learnt to skip ranked entirely. Finding matches in ranked (and simple) is difficult, i'm not sure if this is because everyone is playing lobby or a netcode issue, either way it's sucks. So rank mode is a bust and i'm still not a fan of lobby match so I stick to Simple. Which is like ranked but with the option to rematch and rank is obviously not effected. The online is not ideal due to poor matchmaking and netcode that is behind in the genre but it is serviceable and Team Ninja is supposed to be releasing a patch to fix it soon. Hopefully it does.

In conclusion Dead or Alive is a great game overall with some issues that hold it back from excellence. I still have fun with it as playing, as im reminded each time I play . It is without a doubt a step up from DOA4 in every regard and features the best gameplay of the series, features a great training mode, excellent visuals, and sports an enjoyable story. It's just when I play it I can't shake the thought of what could of been.

#1 Edited by ImmortalSaiyan (4700 posts) -
Mila here, she's a fighter

Dead Or Alive 5 is the first numbered entry in the series in nearly seven years. In the intervening time Team Ninja has been using the Dead or Alive name for their awful Xtreme spin off series It was looking as if Dead or Alive 5 would never come to be. When DOA: dimensions was released it showed Team Ninja still cared about DOA as a fighting game. I was hoping Dimensions was to test the waters for a full fleshed sequel.Thankfully I was right and when DOA5 was announced I was thrilled but a little skeptical considering the current Team Ninja had yet to prove themselves in my eyes. I did not just want a re-skinned DOA4, I was hoping for changes. Now that Dead or Alive has been out a couple weeks and I have put sixty or so hours into it I feel confident in writing down my thoughts.

The Characters have over gone a massive improvement

The first thing you are likely to notice about DOA5 if you have ever seen the prequels is the new character models. Gone is the plastic-skinned porcelain doll look; now the characters have a more detailed and realistic appearance. Before all the female characters looked interchangeable, now everyone has a distinct look. I was sick of the old designs as they looked the same from DOA2-DOA4. The characters now look fantastic, easily the best looking characters in any 3D fighting game. During a fight the clothes of the fighters will get dirt or snow on them when you are bashed around the environment. This small detail along with the sweat they accumulate make the fight feel more brutal as their is clear visual evidence of a fight. It just looks cool. Animation has always been a strong suit of the DOA game and this continues with DOA5. Fights in DOA are the most fluid looking in all of the genre, every hit has a strong visual and audio impact, a punch to the face will cause the opponent to rear back their head for instance. This combined with the animation quality give every fight a visceral feel.

The stages have always been part of what gave DOA it's personality. The stages in DOA5 look incredible and are a joy to fight in. There is great variety, everything from a raft which speeds down a rapids leading to a waterfall. To My favorite - a multi-tiered house where you can knock people though walls, floors and all sorts of furniture. choose any tier of a stage to start from. Paying attention to your position in a stage is more important than ever because now getting hit into a wall or breakable object will result in a unholdable (not able to be countered) stun. This makes the stages more strategic to fight in, and integral to the fight because now not only must you be wary of getting knocked off a ledge but walls and objects are more dangerous as they lead to guaranteed damage.

This is a massive deal because in DOA4 guaranteed situations were simply not possible. To put it politely, DOA4 was entirely based on mix ups. The objective was to stun your opponent and keep strikes them with new attacks of different types and hit levels. Because of the stun and overpowered hold system both offensive and defense were primarily about guessing. This made DOA a very accessible and new player friendly game because even just pressing random attacks could be useful offense because the defender would have no idea what it was you were doing as the attack was playing with little understanding of the game and thus not possible to react to on a logical level. For one lucky strike would result in a critical stun 95% of the time and lead to a guessing situation. Lets say i'm the attacker Would I go low, high, how about mid punch? Maybe I could see if defender got over zealous and went for a hold? This thought process was what is was like to play DOA4 at all times. You could never be certain of any option on offense of defense because everything has a counter. Like a more complex version of Rock, Paper, Scissors. One of the reasons I was so hyped going into DOA5 is because they gave off the impression of addressing this issue and making the gameplay less random.

Sit down stun in action

How would they fix this deeply rooted issue? Well, there are situations that you can not hold from. Those include the aforementioned stage changes. There are some moves that that will put the receiver in a unholdable stun, these include sit down stuns (self explanatory) and feint stuns (indicated by a limp backward fall) around and they will fall. Each character has a few of these type of stuns. Some characters also have abilities specific to them which can not be held. Such as how Jann Lee's dragon gunner leads to guaranteed follow attacks. On paper that sounds fantastic and just the thing DOA needed. The reality of it however is unfortunate. The thing is, many of these stuns don't last long enough to guarantee anything more than a quick jab, or in some cases anything at all. Others are only in the second (or third) hit of a set sequence of attacks so they are not the most viable. Others only work on crouching opponents, these stuns are limited in use because the only time you see anyone crouch in DOA in after they whiffed a low hold, where you are better off going for a low throw instead.

Sit down and Feint stuns were looking to be a great addition that rewarded smart offense and greatly reduced how often As these stuns work now the effect they have on the overall gameplay is marginal; sure some characters have a useful one or two but the DOA stun system is too prevalent in my eyes. Offense should not be this easily punishable. As any attack you throw out could potentially be held so how are you supposed to string together a smart offense? This was my major issue with DOA4 after playing it for 100+ hours and I am frankly disappointed that the main mechanics that looked like they could fix this issue are gimped and underutilized. This one issue is what keeps DOA from being a strong competitive fighter instead of a fun casual one.

Don't get me wrong it is still a enjoyable game. I liked DOA in the past for it's fast paced and flashy game combat where the hits have great impact, are satisfying, it's highly accessible and the triangle system has it's depth. Plus there are some great new additions and changes. The recovery on hold has been increased (but I would like a few more frames added, especially on low holds) and the timing stricter. So throwing them out randomly is less useful and they're easier to punish. Sidestepping has been added and it works great. With effective use you can easily avoid predicable blocked strings and follow up with a quick punish. Rewarding the patient and adaptive player.

Tag throws are still awesome to behold

Remember when I mentioned Jann Lee's awesome new dragon gunner? Well, other characters got new tools as well. The characters in DOA4 all had different move sets yet everyone was going for the same goal. That being playing the stun game into a launcher. In DOA5 the characters feel more different in play style from one another. Such as the grappler characters who don't have to rely on the stun game for their damage. For instance Mila, has a style revolving in takedowns. Her game plan involves tackling you to the ground and fighting you there. She has several strings that go into her tackle giving her smart mix up options as the takedown is deadly and you want to avoid and will be looking for those strings. Bass, (a new personal favorite of mine) has a lot of guard break moves for keeping up pressure plus he can pick the opponent off the ground to keep him in your face and avoid wake up kicks entirely. While the grappler characters mentioned above have ways of getting around the stun game not all characters came to DOA5 as prepared. For instance Hitomi and Hayate whom were personal favorites in DOA4 have gained nothing, thus they are extremely boring as it seems Team Ninja never knew what to do with them.

Two of the main mechanics added to DOA5 are Critical Burst and Power Blow. The latter is an attack which must be charged and when it hits will send the receiver of the blow flying across the stage. The thing with these is the slow charge up makes them impractical in use as they are easy to see coming and hold on reaction. That in theory is where the Critical Bursts come into play. As once used trigger and unholdable stagger state where you are free to use any attack, namely a Power Blow. The catch here is most characters have a very difficult time actually getting off Critical Burst attacks and thus are, too not often seen. So you have two interesting mechanics that in practice don't effect the gameplay much but are satisfying to pull off. Which is a shame because much like the special stuns these are great ideas that are not well implemented.

The training mode is excellent. The best I have ever seen in a fighting game. You can customize the settings to train for a variety of scenarios. You can set the CPU to shake your stuns, block mix ups, wake up kick and other useful tools. My favorite option being able to turn on move properties this includes frame data so you can tell which moves are safe on block, how fast they come out and give a heavy stun. It is a great tool to see what the usage of each specific move is. Unfortunately the game does not teach you the knowledge to use training to it's fullest.

Lei Fang unleashing a stage specific Power Blow

That is to say the tutorial is poor. The main problem here is that there is no dedicated tutorial mode you can go to to learn the basics. Instead what passes for a tutorial are side objectives during story mode matches. Those start off simple teaching you the basic of 3D fighting games, such as hit levels. Then they explain DOA's specific systems such as the triangle system. Problem is they explain the bare minimum, merely telling you about something and not how you may want to implement it in a fight or even how some mechanics actually work. It will tell you about Critical Burst but not about the stun threshold which is required to use them. Plus preforming these actions of top of story fights is not the ideal environment for experimentation. I see what they were going for; assuming that players will start with the Story mode so they wanted to integrate tutorials into it. However you should not have to spend multiple hours playing the game before it even tells you about important information, and poorly at that.

The story mode is told via cut scenes broken up with fights much like last years Mortal Kombat. It picks up I believe two years after the events of DOA4 where Helena has made a new DOATEC for whatever reason. She puts out an invitation to any fighters for the fifth Dead or Alive tournament. The plot is not practicality complex nor is it easy to follow and decipher. Each chapter you play as a new characters and the story is consistently jumping across it's timeline so the train of events can get lost. There are some amusing moments involving the characters such as Hitomi and Lei Fang preforming a Circus show put by and large it is played serious and not particularity interesting. The plots of past DOA game were ninja centric and it pleases me to see them give the spotlight even if they sacrificed a coherent tale to do so. DOA5 is the first major game in the series to feature English voice work (DOA: dimensions had it but I never played it) and honestly I quite like the voice work. A lot of it is hammy, accents are over the top and line reading can be spotty. I enjoyed story mode for what it was but it's not exactly impressive, as it haphazardly tells a boring story interspersed with charming moments.

Story is the primary single player mode, there are others but past hard difficulty they are a utter nuisance to play and I recommend against it, unless you really want string bikinis or achievements. The main incentive to play these modes is to unlock costumes, which in my eyes at least, has always been a series staple. DOA5 takes a more thematic and casual approach to it's outfits. As in many costumes fit with certain stages, for example Hitomi, Lei Fang and Zack have circus gear to coincide with the circus stage. The casual clothing is often my favorite in the game. I love Mila's and Eliot's costume 2.

Stylin' and Profiling'

Chances are the online mode is where you will spend the majority of your time playing DOA5. In DOA4 every match was in the lobby format and effected your rank. I was not fond of this system because you would spend more time waiting to play then actually playing unless you were dominating a room. Now there are multiple mode for online: Simple match, ranked match and lobby match. The netcode for DOA5 is not great, it sometimes feels worse than DOA4 which is puzzling. For whatever reason Ranked mode is affected worse by lag, even when there is no viable lag the inputs are delayed, playing that way in any fighting game is annoying so I learnt to skip ranked entirely. Finding matches in ranked (and simple) is difficult, i'm not sure if this is because everyone is playing lobby or a netcode issue, either way it's sucks. So rank mode is a bust and i'm still not a fan of lobby match so I stick to Simple. Which is like ranked but with the option to rematch and rank is obviously not effected. The online is not ideal due to poor matchmaking and netcode that is behind in the genre but it is serviceable and Team Ninja is supposed to be releasing a patch to fix it soon. Hopefully it does.

In conclusion Dead or Alive is a great game overall with some issues that hold it back from excellence. I still have fun with it as playing, as im reminded each time I play . It is without a doubt a step up from DOA4 in every regard and features the best gameplay of the series, features a great training mode, excellent visuals, and sports an enjoyable story. It's just when I play it I can't shake the thought of what could of been.

#2 Edited by AjayRaz (12461 posts) -

yea, i like Dead or Alive 5 a lot but i also feel like it could have been more. for some reason, i feel like the game lacks character. this probably isn't actually the case, since the stages are explosive and creative, the characters are still crazy and there are some nice story cutscenes but i can't help but feel like the game's is lacking some personality this time around. as nice as the stage interactivity is, there's something about them that feels a lot more lifeless compared to the stages in previous games. i just can't get around to liking the stages in DOA5 like i have before. although i like the Home stage a lot. it's probably my favorite stage in the entire game so far.

there's some other small stuff that bugs me too, like how much i can't stand the story mode, how barebones the single player content is and how you have to beat your high score / best time to unlock costumes (i'll never beat some of my Ayane times as characters that i'm not good as) but i'm happy with some of the other changes that it brought. it certainly feels like the game's fighting system is a whole lot better than it was in DOA4 (which, to an extent i didn't think was possible) and god damn, it look gorgeous as hell.. except for the dirt and stuff on white clothing, which looks absolutely terrible.

it's nice to read lengthy thoughts about this game from the perspective of somebody who actually has some kind of solid understanding of the game mechanics (see: not me), so thanks for putting this up. it makes some of my small issues with the game make a little bit more sense.

oh, and let's play again soon. seriously, those 30-ish matches we had not long ago were so much fun. definitely some of the most fun i've had in the game so far.

#3 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4700 posts) -

@AjayRaz said:

yea, i like Dead or Alive 5 a lot but i also feel like it could have been more. for some reason, i feel like the game lacks character. this probably isn't actually the case, since the stages are explosive and creative, the characters are still crazy and there are some nice story cutscenes but i can't help but feel like the game's is lacking some personality this time around. as nice as the stage interactivity is, there's something about them that feels a lot more lifeless compared to the stages in previous games. i just can't get around to liking the stages in DOA5 like i have before. although i like the Home stage a lot. it's probably my favorite stage in the entire game so far.

there's some other small stuff that bugs me too, like how much i can't stand the story mode, how barebones the single player content is and how you have to beat your high score / best time to unlock costumes (i'll never beat some of my Ayane times as characters that i'm not good as) but i'm happy with some of the other changes that it brought. it certainly feels like the game's fighting system is a whole lot better than it was in DOA4 (which, to an extent i didn't think was possible) and god damn, it look gorgeous as hell.. except for the dirt and stuff on white clothing, which looks absolutely terrible.

it's nice to read lengthy thoughts about this game from the perspective of somebody who actually has some kind of solid understanding of the game mechanics (see: not me), so thanks for putting this up. it makes some of my small issues with the game make a little bit more sense.

oh, and let's play again soon. seriously, those 30-ish matches we had not long ago were so much fun. definitely some of the most fun i've had in the game so far.

First off i'm glad you enjoyed reading it. I was unsure if people would find it boring. I understand what you mean about the stages having less personality. I really enjoy the design of them, home is fantastic, such a great stage. I feel it somewhat too. I think part of the reason may be that more of the stages are just flat surfaces now, or that random selecting a stage will get you any tier so you often start at the bottom tier. I think it is more then that though, something I can't pinpoint right now makes them feel less lively.

The presentation outside of the core fighting is not great either. With plain menus and a single player that is mostly a grind honestly. I was unsure how unlocking costumes even worked. I had no idea you had to beat your score, I assumed you were only able to get one new costume per difficulty in each mode. You can't select a story level by side objective figuring out which ones you have completed is a hassle.

Team Ninja dropped the ball with small things user friendly thing like that. We need to play again for sure.

#4 Edited by AjayRaz (12461 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: i can't speak for everybody, but i enjoyed reading this. i always feel like i learn something new whenever i read a lengthy post from you about Dead or Alive. plus, you're finally posting a blog.

i haven't confirmed it, but that's what i went with to unlock the less of Mila's costumes, which was a lot more stressful than it was in the past. if there was still a currency system that let you buy character costumes, this probably wouldn't be as big of a deal as it is right now for me. i have the feeling that it has added some challenge to unlocking costumes, but also sucked a lot of the fun out of unlocking costumes with character that i don't know very well, like Rig or Kokoro.

i think you hit it right on the head when it comes to part of why i don't find the stages as fun. starting on the bottom tier is something that always makes a fight automatically seem less interesting to me, except in the case of a fight starting in Sakura. even at that though, i find stages like Hotzone and Scramble are completely uninteresting. although i have a feeling that i'm just generally sick of Scramble from playing it so much in that alpha demo and seeing the same danger zones over and over and over again. i think the game makes up for it with kickass stages like Sakura, Home, Flow and the rooftop portion of Street.

to be frank, i could nit-pick at DOA5 all day if i wanted to, with little things here and there that i don't really like all that much but it would be picking apart a game that has some really strong aspects that deserve to be highlighted (much like most games, i suppose). in some ways, it doesn't feel like a complete next-gen leap from the previous games but it's a step in the right direction for the most part. hopefully they knock it out of the park all the way whenever they decide to show off the inevitable Dead or Alive 6.

oh, and Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore was actually the first game in the series to have English voice-overs, although i don't think people like to talk about it. i understand, but i'm all for some of those awesome opening quotes. SORRY, I'M NOT SWEET.

#5 Posted by Demoskinos (15097 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: Hmm. Good write up. I should really get back to playing this online more I haven't even played yet and we played a pretty decent amount of DOA 4 there for a month or so. I do believe this is my favorite game of the series so far. I really like what they did with story mode even if a good portion of the story is still pretty incomprehensible its still fun to see a cinematic battle between Kasumi and Alpha play out. Although I do find myself branching out a lot less in this one. I pretty much play Hitomi and that... is it. I used to play Tina a lot but for some reason she isn't clicking for me in DOA 5. The one thing I really do miss is the old style of survival. I loved just seeing how long I could survive with people while picking up all sorts of silly power ups for points. In all honestly though I think Tekken Tag 2 is a better game though and that is coming from an absolutely unapologetic team ninja fan boy.

#6 Posted by mrfluke (5314 posts) -

@AjayRaz: @ImmortalSaiyan: interesting insight you guys are giving here with your opinions i always find the stuff that the real hardcore people post about their analysis of the systems in a fighting game a interesting read. , i love fighting games, easily one of my favorite genres, but im in no ways a competitive fighter(even though i did pretty decently against everyone when we all played during TNT), i play these basically like Jeff, but nonetheless the talk on this games systems are much appreciated. i actually like the single player modes here cause as a dude that really doesn't play online, i do like improving and rising up in the leader boards im in the minority on that one i know, but i still dig it even though the lack of endings are a bummer.

i think what their goal with this game, was to essentially not screw it up, to show that without itagaki, that they were able to pull it off , that they didnt need him. because after ninja gaiden 3 got a severe severe backlash from people, their abilities to carry on those franchises were put into big questioning. so i think that's the reason this game played it a bit safe. and with the positive reception that this game received. id say this game was a success for team ninja.

as for the story . i liked it its well made, easily the 2nd best story mode in terms of presentation (seems like they really looked at how MK did the cutscenes and tried to replicate that). and with the exception of persona 4 arena. and the ton of bullshit and story jank, i still think DOA has the best story mode for a Japanese fighter. ( street fighter is alright, blazeblue didnt do it for me, and tekken 6's story mode... ugh.... you thought this games story was convoluted and boring, you should go play the story for tekken 6, its fucking terrible, and soul calibur 5 was whatever)

the casual approach they took by giving the characters that arent DOATEC or a ninja a super minor story of them just pretty much doing something, wasn't great, and its what led the game's story to feel really disjointed. and you can make a statement that parts of the story mode are really rushed (hence story characters are at X place for no damm reason) and some changes in the script would help make the story flow better (like have hayate allude to the fact that something isnt right with kasumi which would help make the beginning easier to follow, and have a scene where helena is telling the other ninjas about whats actually up with kasumi i, and then do the transition fade to black with the words "meanwhile" ) and there were a lot of excuseable fights, but i mean what do you do with those extra characters? if they left them out and just did the ninjas vs donovan story, people would bitch,

and i dunno it just seemed to me that they created a deliberately stupid story mode because again what else do you do with the regular side characters? you cant just ditch all those characters. (stuff like the scene with elliot and christie and elliot and brad wong and kokoro's scene with jann lee has to be intentional, and was what led me to believe that the stupidity was deliberate)

and they wanted to clean up the weirdness from the past games and start from a clean slate for doa 6 (finally killing the kasumi alpha, having kasumi give the extra piece of dialogue saying hayate is her brother, and ayane (which dimensions really made her character creepy with her affection for hayate) refer to hayate as "master hayate" and just pretty much wrapping most of the bullshit from the past few games. and leaving a zinger after the credits to show that they have a direction for the story.)

i always come back to this as the main condensed version of the ramble above, when team ninja always talked about the story mode, they always talked about making it entertaining above all else, which for better or for worse, seems like thats what they did. cause the common consensus im seeing when people talked about the story mode was that it was fun. which honestly its all i could have asked for from doa. and for a fighting game, cause if i wanted a deep emotional story, id go play something like walking dead or asuras wrath. (as much as MK9 was great, it was by no means a deep story imo, it was a awesome fun story with a good bit of excuseable fights)

and i think now that they have a mostly clean slate to work with, Doa6's story mode could be much better , especially with new consoles. (probably wont see Doa6 for another 2-3 years, considering right now they are fixing ninja gaiden 3 for wiiu, then its the collaboration with inafune on yaiba, then id imagine they would want to get a ninja gaiden 4 going to fully redeem that series, and then Doa6 (soo hoping we dont get another volleyball game, those were embarrasing)

#7 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Man I was really hoping I'd open this thread and find out you'd just written "TITS"

That would have been great

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