This isn’t going to be a very big review. It’d be more accurate to think of it as a “first impression” sort of thing. Of the series in entirety, Dead or Alive 5 is the only game I’ve played, thus I’m not going to unleash any in-depth criticism until I’ve played it a lot more. That isn’t looking very likely, though. From what I’ve seen, Dead or Alive 5, like the previous installments, is trying to sell you a rock-paper-scissors fighter with foxy chicks thrown in for extra “oomph.”
The very first thing I found myself disliking was the combat system. With only kick, punch, throw, and manual block buttons, I couldn’t help but feel deprived of intriguing complexity. Then I looked at the move lists. Ugh. Since there aren’t many attack buttons to use for combos, the diversity of the move list is defined primarily by direction button input. For example, Punch Up Punch Left Punch Punch Right Punch. Not quite tip top.
I come from a long line of fighters like Soul Calibur, Tekken (sorta), BlazBlue, and Guilty Gear, where mixing things up means hitting a bunch of different attack buttons in myriad sequences. As a fan of said fighters, I can say with relative certainty that there is nothing more annoying than throw-spamming. They’re cinematic, they deal good damage, and they can floor you to allow the “bonk bonk you’re not allowed to stand up” game. The wakeup game, for fighter fans. Dead or Alive 5 embraces throws as a primary form of attack, which may very well be a core part of their fighter, but it just seems to demolish the flow of action. You’re beating the hell out of someone, they’re beating the hell out of you, you’re both low on HP, then they throw you three times and you die. Yuck.
The visual gimmick aspect of the Dead or Alive 5 isn’t that bad, but I’m not one to be sold by flash and… er, flashing. The more you get knocked down and beaten up, the more dirt your character is going to accrue. If the battle takes a while, your character might start to sweat and get a nice reflective sheen to them. It’s all very realistic.
Additionally, most if not all of the stages are interactive. Electrified boxing rings, oil factories that go up in flame, stage hazards here and there, that sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong, it can be pretty fun to throw Ryu Hayabusa into an exploding tankard, but I need a variety of fun crap to happen for me to enjoy myself. By variety I mean combat that isn’t rock-paper-scissors. Nothing personal.
The last thing I have to say about Dead or Alive 5 is basically the game-breaker. In order to unlock the “secret outfits” which in this context means a bunch of strings that could very possibly be a bikini, you need to beat the game on the absolute hardest difficulty in every way possible. The bots predict you while playing the rock-paper-scissors game, so don’t actually expect to get these skimpy suits without bleeding from the gums in frustration. So think of it as a bad porno game. You work real hard for a naked lady, and you get NOTHING. YOU LOSE. Even if you win. GOOD DAY SIR.
Nachiket Mhatre knows a lot more about Dead or Alive than I do, so let this expansive and detailed review fill your mind with sweet, sweet, breast physics skimpy outfits fanservice otaku clarity. Full review versus first impression; read it: http://tech2.in.com/reviews/playstation-3/dead-or-alive-5-review/610182