Off to an OK Start
Dead or Alive was one of the good 3D-Fighting series to start in the 1990s. The first game came out in 1996 in Arcades, having a style that was like a mesh of Tekken and Virtua Fighter, but, in my opinion not as good as those two. Dead or Alive was a little bit more loose, for some reason. It’s known for having a disturbing “bouncy boobs” physic, that just exaggerates on the bounce for the girls’ characters’ parts. As well as being more loose when it comes to the gameplay, if you know what you’re doing, you can finish a fight in seconds, because the characters do so much damage – having the traditional combos of landing sequences of punches and kicks – and, for me, that’s one of the negative points of the game. I hate how high of damage you can take in just one hit.
The girl characters have more of a fast fighting style, with good kicks, while the guys are more punch focused, and can hit a bit harder. A character like Jan-Lee, if you meet him at the end of your Tournament Mode, he just keeps landing some counter-attacks for around 30-40% health damage. I don’t like that type of exaggerate numbers, especially in a game that is focused on melee combat, it’s not even a super that does that much damage, just a big punch.
Speaking of Game Modes, that’s the strength of the game, for me, it has a lot of options for the time it came out. Going for:
- · Tournament Mode: Where you just fight against the other characters plus a final battle, like the traditional Arcade Mode.
- · Time Attack Mode
- · Versus Mode
- · Survival Mode
- · Kumite: Where you can choose to have 30, 50 or 100 fights and see how was your record, in the end.
- · Training
- · Team Battle: Where you can fight 5v5 until someone loses all its characters.
The number of costumes the characters have is pretty good as well, it wasn’t a thing that many fighting games went crazy for, during that era. And DoA made that a big point for them, and one that is still going till these days, going even further. The game has a unique characteristic that is a knock damage outside the “ring”, each scenario has an area that is supposed to be the ring of the fight, when a character moves out of it, he doesn’t lose the match, but if a character takes a hit that makes him/her fall on the outside area, he/she takes one extra hit of damage and bounces really high.
The first DoA was a solid entry, that came out against some heavy hitting competition, in the 3D fighting genre, like Tekken, Soul Edge (later SoulCalibur), Virtua Fighter, and some others (shoutout Tobal No.1). It had enough personality to stand apart from the pack and create his fair share of fans. Making it possible for the series to keep going for the years to come.