Renowned for it’s line-up of semi-nude female fighters (with some blokes thrown in for good measure) and fluid fight mechanics, Dead or Alive is one of the most well known fighting games on the planet. When Dead or Alive 5 released a couple of years ago on Xbox 360 and PS3 it took the series to a whole new level, managing to improve and polish the fluid fight mechanics that we had all come to know and love. Dead or Alive 5 Last Round arrives on Xbox One and PS4 and does an excellent job of preserving everything great about DOA 5, although it is not without a few flaws.
All of the characters from DOA 5 including those that were part of DLC are back in Last Round with a few new ones thrown in to add a little extra to the package. The new additions don’t add a lot to the package really and are pretty forgettable with stories that have decided to sit on the boring side of the table. One of the hallmarks of DOA is the contrasting fight sales that feature in the game. That tradition continues in Last Round and has received a little tweak here and there. Not just content to give characters a skill set from traditional martial arts, there are fighters that feature skills derived from MMA, wrestling and even some that can teleport and bend the elements.
The great thing about having so many different fight styles is that it really allows anyone to pick up the game and find someone that fits the way they like to play. If you are a classic button masher then a character like Bass Armstrong is going to be right up your alley with his MMA/Wrestler/Brawler style. If you like to wait for the perfect moment to attack and use traditional martial arts style to turn defence into the perfect offence then someone like Ayane will be great for you.
One of the things I have come to love about DOA is the fast paced action that is feels intuitive and fluid. Last Round retains that classic control system and smooth fighting dynamic and manages to refine it slightly. In Last Round fluidity and fast paced action are alive and well. DOA is all about finding your opponents weakness and using it against them to devastating effect. The control system makes it as easy as ever to counterpunch and string together combinations.
There are several modes of play on offer. For those new to Dead or Alive there is a training mode that breaks aspect of the fight system down to allow you to learn in an uncomplicated, easy to understand package. You’ll progress from learn how to dash, throw high and low attacks, defend, throw and hold right throw to stringing together powerful combos. Story mode is back and whilst the story is cheesy it does serve it purpose to get to know the characters and why they are keen to get amongst it it the 5th Dead or Alive Tournament. Online play is essential these days and Last Round doesn’t disappoint with the ability to just go in and have a fight, get into some training sessions or arrange your very own Dead or Alive tournaments.
There have been a few bugs with online play, which is all too common these days when games release with online features. Servers will go down and you can be randomly kicked out of games but that is being worked on and improved by Team Ninja and admittedly has improved since launch.
Dead or Alive has always been a series that features scantily clad women and a cheesy storyline. It has also been a series that blends faced paced fighting with fluid mechanics. Dead or Alive Last Round does have some forgettable characters and suffers from some online bugs but it takes those tried and true mechanics, puts a new coat of polish on it and spits out an excellent port of the best game in the Dead or Alive series. Dead or Alive 5 is by all accounts the definitive edition of the game and it does that title justice.
- Fast, Fluid Controls
- Excellent Variety of Fighters with Different Styles
- Good Range of Game Modes
- Some Online Issues
- New Characters are Boring