Ok so once again I am going to be pointing to the blog of DS90, the guy has an awesome blog and if you havent already then you really shoud give it a look. So recently he did an article on Dead Or Alive 5 Last Round, here is the link to his views on it http://ds90gamer.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/played-dead-or-alive-5-last-round.html#more. Well I commented on his post that I owned this game but that I hadnt really played it yet, well I was wanting something to play and I guess he inspired me as the next thing I found myself playing was this very title. I had a few thoughts about it and I was just going to comment on his post again but I really thought it would be better to do a piece myself, in my own fashion.
Now I remember the first Dead or Alive in fact I can remember the very first time I played it. All of us had our original playstations chipped back then some of us to play imports some for other reasons but it wasnt rare at all for a friend to turn up with a game on a disc that you had never heard of, it was sort of a badge of honour to be the one to be the one to introduce everyone to somthing that would become the new must have. So in an obvious bid to get this kind of acclaim one day a friend turned up with Dead or Alive. Now in my group of friends we had all been playing fighters forever heck we had been paying International Karate and such on the spectrum, followed by the huge love affair with Street Fighter 2 we all had, then there had been things like Turtles Tournament Fighters, one lad had got a playstation on release with Tekkan and another had got his on release with Toshindon. So as you can guess Dead or Alive went down extremly well. I remember being impressed with the graphics as well as the gameplay and I knew I wanted to get my hands on it.
I agree with DS90's comment that ''Of all the major fighting game franchises, Dead or Alive is probably the one that still hasn't cracked the mainstream'' but then again there is a flip side to this, although it might not have become a real household name its managed to stay around and to keep growing. Compare it to something else I have mentioned Toshindon. Look at the Toshindon series the first game Battle Arena Toshinden was awarded Best Fighting Game of 1995 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. It was a good start but it was followed by a very lack luster sequel, a game that while not a bad game was not a real step forward it was just more of the same and not much more at that by the time the 4th instalment was released it was kind of just met with a collective sigh. There was a Japan only spin of after this and there have been a few rumours that it would come back but basically the franchise seems to have peaked early and then died rather quickly, I would argue possibly because they tried to milk it for all it was worth far too soon (4 games in one console generation is a lot when you think about it). Compared to this Dead or Alive has managed to keep going to maintain itself.
Something thats intresting to note is that much like how Final Fantasy was potentilly going to be Squares last game due to financial issues hence having a name with Final in the title during the mid 1990s Tecmo were in a spot of financial difficulty themselves and really needed something new and hot to help pull them back into the green. Having seen the popularity of Sega's Virtua Fighter series in Japan , the management of Tecmo asked Tomonobu Itagaki to create a game that was something on the lines of there take on Virtua Fighter.
Itagaki happend to be a fan of Virtua Fighter, but he wanted Dead or Alive to stand out as its own thing as apposed to being just a carbon copy, which lets face it was a good idea given how many games had been met with the words ''oh my god its just another Street Fighter 2 clone'' in the not to distant past. His stratergy to make Dead or Alive standout was to included a stronger emphasis on both sexuality and violence, hence the bouncing breasts and level of skin on show. This in itself has both helped and hinderd the series though with people choosing to focus on this instead of the games somewhat unique flavour of gameplay. Personally I play it for the gameplay, in fact when it comes to costumes I am far more likly to put the character in something I find cool rather than revealing, I will pick a Ninja outfit or something like that over bra and panties or school girl outfit every time, I personally like to see fighters looking bad ass not butt ass (naked). In fact one of my favourate charcters in Dead or Alive 5 Last Round is Mila and my favourate costume to put her in is her second costume which is basically jeans and a T shirt and doesnt reveal anything as can be seen below.
So why is Mila one of my favourate characters? I like her fighting style, she is basically an MMA fighter who fights with a combination of punches, knees to the gut, big kicks and takedowns. I enjoy a lot of Dead or Alive in the same way I enjoy a good martial arts film, there is such a beauty put in to the art of fighting that you cant help but appreciate it, you have a whole load of characters using diffrent forms and stylesI get a real kick out of seeing Brad Wongs Drunken fist as it reminds me of the old Jackie Chan drunken Master films I used to watch, the characters might be cartoons but they move in such a realistic way its simply beautiful.
I know my fellow blogger DS90 had great pains when it came to getting his PS3 data to synch up to his PS4 game but I was lucky in that when I started Dead Or Alive 5 Final round I did not run into any problems with it synching up with the small amount of add on data I had on my Xbox 360, maybe the 360 and One data is less of a pain than the PS3 and PS4 data or it was because I had less of it or I was just lucky. The guy is bang on right though that now days you do tend to have to do a lot more messing around with instaling, updating etc and it can be a big pain in the ass when it comes to wanting to play something, my kind of way around this is to keep a MegaDrive/Genesis hooked up near my PS4 and Xbox One and when they decide a massive download or instal is required I fire that up change the channel and play some Sonic or Streets of rage while I let it do its thing, admitidly this is bigger pain in the behind if the updates require you to click thing after thing and sort of do a whole sequence of updates and instalations.
Ok well a fighting game kind of lives or dies on its rosta so lets talk about it. I already mention Mila who is one of the games new characters but who else is there and what do I think of them? Well there is Rig, Rig to me kind of feels like he is a whole bunch of Tekken characters thrown into a mixing pot and then put in this game, thats not to say I dislike him, I would atually recomend him to new players as he is quiet easy to get on with, even button bashers will see pretty decent results from him, he is one of those characters who feel like theyd be classed as normal strength normal speed if you get what I mean. I also tend to have a soft spot for Taekwondo so this gives him some browny points. As for other new characters well there is the school girl Honoka, I didnt really take to her so proberbly wont say much about her at all she just didnt stand out for me but then I guess every time you add a whole bunch of characters this is going to be true of at least one of them and I am sure there will be people out there who find her to be there new favourate we all have different oppions after all. Then there is Marie Rose a very young seeming lady whoise main outfit can best be describes as being gothic lolita in style, she does a lot of cutesy things like skipping and walking backwards and hopping all over the place, she is a lot of fun to play as and I kind of get the feeling that she is a character designed with the taunter in mind. If you want to be something really small and pull of moves more for there looks than effect and drive people mad then I think she is deffinetly up your alley, something about her gave me a sort of Harley Quin vibe., Phase-4 who is basically a clone of Kasumi who has her own move set, now I enjoyed finishing arcade mode with her but it gets a bit over the top when you get people who look or are based on other people, I think she needed a lot more about her to come across as being a properly worthwhile addition. Then you have Nyotengu who is a female version of the previous Tengu boss character. The rosta in general is awesome including classic characters and bosses, guest characters from Virtua fighter and Ninja Gaiden the main important thing though is that everyone looks and feels like they belong in the game instead of just feeling like they have been pasted in to raise the numbers.
I had a look at the DLC situation with this game mostly because of DS90 mentioning how much stuff there was and darn was he right, you would spend a small fortune buying everything there is on offer and it also needs to rrememberd that a good 95% of it is purly cosmetic. It is also a darn mess on the Xbox Store as well, I am not likly to really ever buy any of it as I am pretty happy with the costume choices you get from simply playing the game but if Tecmo have a nice little revenew stream going here then more power to them, at least its pretty just cosmetic stuff there selling that you can still enjoy the game without having to purchase.
So to conclude what do I really think of Dead Or Alive 5 Last Round? Well the best way to judge a game is by taking a long hard look at its competitors and seeing where its place is in the pile. I own quiet a few fighters on the Xbox One Mortal Kombat X, Killer Instinct, etc and for me it actually lands pretty near to the top. It didnt take me long to have my fill of Killer Instinct, it just feels a little too hollow and a bit too unforgiving but Dead Or Alive 5 much like Mortal Kombat I had to play the story through from start to end and then I cant help but keep putting it on again for one more go going through arcade mode with just one more character. Yes other games are just around the corner such as the next Tekken but you should be able to get this game pretty darn cheap now so either if your into fighting games or if you think you might like to try a fighting game on your new next gen console then I would give this game a very hearty recomendation.