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Game review: Dead or Alive 6 is ready to rumble

05 Mar 2019

Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja have released the latest game in the popular Dead or Alive series called Dead or Alive 6 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Does this new iteration in the fighting game franchise improve over its predecessors?

The Dead or Alive series has been treated unfairly over the year’s thanks to the series’ emphasis on showcasing sexy women in skimpy clothing. If you ignored that part of the game, the DOA series featured robust and addictive fighting game mechanics. 

Dead or Alive 6 tones down the series’ sexiness and instead focuses more on improving its already competent fighting gameplay. The game is easy to just pick up and play for beginners, but there’s enough advanced techniques to learn for fighting game veterans. 

One of the newer things added to this new game is the ‘Fatal Rush’ moves. If you press one of the shoulder buttons, your character will unleash a flurry of special attacks that look powerful and deal a lot of damage. 

The special attacks look cool in this game because the game slows down and zooms in on your opponent’s beaten up face. Another thing I like about the game is that it feels more realistic compared to other fighting games out there. 

Dead or Alive 6 focuses more on traditional hand-to-hand combat and does not have the ridiculous juggling mechanics seen in the Tekken series.  Not to mention there aren’t any fireball projectiles seen in this games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat

What I like most about the gameplay is that it favours both offensive and defensive players. This is all thanks to the game’s awesome countering system that allows you to fight back against players that might be button mashing their combos. You need to be good at defending yourself if you want to win against the most skilled players. 

In terms of graphics, Dead or Alive 6 is by far the best looking game of the entire series. The character models look shinier and brighter while the levels are bigger and more creative. The game also shows fighters losing bits of their clothing and getting scars on their faces whenever they engage in various intense battles!

As for game modes, most of the things in past games have been included here. There’s still the usual Arcade, Time Attack, Survival and Training modes on offer as well as the single player story. The story of the game isn’t long, but it’s still enjoyable to play through. 

What is new about this year’s game is the “DOA Quest” mode which is a set of objectives that players will have to complete. These objectives include doing things like executing a certain number of throws, defeating enemies in a short amount of time or more. 

The quests in this mode get harder and harder, but I liked the overall challenge that it provided me. It makes you want to spend hours learning everything that this game has to offer in order to fully complete the whole thing. 

As of time of writing, the online mode in Dead or Alive 6 isn’t great, but it’s serviceable. I managed not to experience too much lag while I was fighting players online. Lobbies weren’t available at the time of launch, although they are expected to be added as a free update later this month. 

As much as I liked playing Dead or Alive 6, there are some certain flaws that prevent it from becoming my favourite DOA series of all time. One thing that this game removes in the entire tag-team fighting game modes!

Tag-team fighting was one of my favourite features in the past DOA games and it’s sad to see the whole thing getting scrapped for no good reason. Hopefully Team Ninja adds tag-team fighting modes in the game with future update patches in the months to come. 

Another thing I despised about the game is the stupid and long way you need to unlock costumes. In past DOA games, all you needed to do to unlock more costumes was to complete the Arcade mode as many times as you want. 

Here in Dead or Alive 6, you only attain small fragments of costumes and you only get it for random characters. For example if I’m playing as the character of Mila in arcade mode, I could unlock costumes for Diego instead!

The random way to unlock costumes is long and hard. I’m hoping Team Ninja updates the way we attain more costumes in the game because the current system is annoying and unreasonable. 

However, the biggest insult this game has is how expensive its Season Pass is. I bought my own copy of Dead or Alive 6 for $92.00 NZD on Mighty Ape which is a fair price for a new release video game. The Season Pass though is more expensive because it costs $144.99 NZD on the New Zealand PlayStation Store!

This is the first time that I’ve seen DLC that is more expensive than the base game itself. If you want future DLC, I suggest it’s better for you to save your money as it is way too expensive at its current price. 

Overall, the core game of Dead or Alive 6 is great because the gameplay is enjoyable and the graphics are excellent. The only things that annoyed me are the removed features and the insane price of the DLC. 

Verdict: 8.0/10

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