Dead Or Alive 6 Review
At its core, Dead or Alive has always been one of the best easy-to-play fighters, on the other hand, it is also one of the most known fighters because of the let’s face it, nice looking girls and camera angles that don’t shy away from showing why they are beautiful girls. When I was younger my TV and console were in the living room and I was kinda shy to play Dead or Alive when other people could see what I was playing the oversized boobs and underskirt replays are part of the Dead or Alive experience. I’m definitely not judging that, heck… some girls on the streetwear less than for example a Kasumi or Tina. What I am judging is how the game plays, Dead or Alive 5 released five years ago and nowadays fighting games have made a big return with Killer Instinct, Soul Calibur, Jump Force and Tekken 7. You’re not even lying when you say that the genre might be overcrowded! So with all that choice, is Dead Or Alive 6 worth your money? (By the way: this is a pretty big review, looking at LifeisXbox standards so you might want to sit down for this)
- Lots of SP-content: The story mode won’t take you a lot of time to finish, around two hours. Luckily the game has another major single-player mode called DOA Quest. Each quest in this mode is a fight against an opponent with three specific missions. These missions force you to do moves or whatever, earning you stars. Getting all stars on each fight earns you money and clothing materials to unlock new costumes. The game features roughly 100 different quests, so 300 challenges. I don’t know about you but completing all of them will take a lot of time! You have basic game modes too, like survival, arcade and time attack so rest assured, single player gamers have more than enough content.
- Responsive combo-system: Chaining attacks and mastering the combo-system is fast and responsive. It is all about mixing low and high attacks so your opponent is confused and fails to block whatever you unleash. DOA6 added a Break Gauge meter that allows for extra powerful attacks or defensive counters. It didn’t give me a fresh feeling since other fighters have been using something similar for a while now, but it is fun and gives players more options.
- Defensive depth: Getting the hang of how the defensive options work will be the difference between a normal and better fighter in DOA6, the countering system is pretty unique and I’m very curious if the e-sports fighting community will finally start to accept Dead or Alive as a serious game. One big reason why would be the Break Gauge moves, unlike some other fighters these moves aren’t an instant guarantee for a round win, something that I personally hate with other fighters. While the countering system feels very random at first actually learning the move sets from other characters will help tremendously, you’ll still need lighting fast reflexes but mastering it will make you an unbeatable force.
- Photo-mode: I can imagine that some gamers will use the photo mode to zoom in on specific parts but I was pretty impressed that they included this functionality. It really strikes you how beautiful the character models are too. You can get any camera angle you could want and make some extremely cool looking pictures.
- Beautiful characters, industry-leading design: Damn, these characters look fantastic on Xbox One X! It is a pure joy to see the characters in motion. Despite the weird costume farming it is really fun to see the new looks. The highly detailed characters look absolutely fantastic, while the girls might be an issue for some it is hard to not appreciate the awesome designs and let us be honest looking at Instagram you see more cleavage or nudity so this supposed sexualization talk with DOA is pretty farfetched if you ask me. And no, with awesome designs I don’t mean the bouncing boobs with that. While it isn’t the most visually impressive fighter, the environments should have been better for that, the characters are exceptional with real-time bruising and sweating. Don’t expect it to be realistic though.
- Roster: Having 24 distinct playable fighters is a decent amount, switching between your favorites is surprisingly easy because most of them use the same combo inputs. While playing as one of the more powerful and slower characters might take you a while to get used too, DOA is full of ninjas and as you know ninjas are faster than Speedy Gonzales it helps to freshen things up.
- Outstanding sound: English or Japanese voices, it is up to you! I always prefer Japanese voices but the English cast of voices did a more than decent job to give extra personality for all the characters. Other games in the genre often start to annoy me with screams and uughs while fighting but DOA6’s sound is really remarkable, clean and many different sounds will keep you entertained for hours.
- Deep Tutorial system: Others in the genre have decent tutorials too but DOA6 really wears the crown with a basic tutorial and character-specific combo challenges. Most fighting moves aren’t hard to learn so you’ll be set fairly quickly, the only real skill that you need to master is the defending, as I explained before. Accessibility is high, so even newcomers will enjoy DOA6 right from the start.
- Themed levels with stage-moves: Some stages are impressive while others seem to be finished in a hurry because they lacked development time. One stage even has one of the most annoying stage-moves I ever got to experience, letting bump fight over a low barricade, the issue? This can be repeated again and again, meaning you can actually keep using this thing, or rather misusing it. Luckily this is limited to one stage, the rest are good enough with two or three stages really showing the impressive original ideas from the developers. My favorite is with an interactive dinosaur and the pirate stage is pretty awesome too.
- Questionable online performance: Online matches are on a get in and out mechanic, with an option to have a rematch depending if both sides say yes and if you didn’t have a rematch before. I have a good connection, rarely ever having connection issues that are my fault so it was surprising to notice how mediocre the online connections worked. You see the quality before you accept an online fight but that isn’t necessarily an indication or guarantee that it will be good.
- Story: You have the main story with timelines that allows you to play with any Character, most of these arcs are rather short and have no meaningful impact on the overall story. What I found rather annoying was the loading times between start cutscene, the battle, and the ending cutscene. Some loading times took longer than the actual footage or fight, it isn’t Jump Force bad, that was on an entirely different level but it is noticeable that the loading times could have been reduced. I loved and hated the ridicules moments in the story too if you look at what Mortal Kombat does with the story mode you have enough proof that you can do something pretty good with the fighter genre when it comes to storytelling. You have this bunch of recognizable personages but developer Team Ninja doesn’t seem to be doing much with it, I totally missed character building, interesting story plots, and meaningful dialogue. On the other hand, the game places you in situations that are so laughable that you kinda forget and forgive that there is much more potential.
- It doesn’t take risks: Playing DOA6 largely remains the same as playing Dead or Alive on previous consoles, obviously, it looks better and plays more smooth but the DNA hasn’t changed much. While others in the genre have done some changes (not always for the better) Dead or Alive still uses the same old ideas, fighting moves and concept. This is a little disappointing because you get a been there, done that feeling. That said, if you play DOA for the first time you are in for a fun blast, veterans too but they might have expected more core changes.
- Costume farming: I’m a little confused why playing with a character doesn’t reward you with materials for that character. You get materials for a completely random character, it makes little sense and really demotivates playing DOA. It is normal that you have favorite characters and not allowing to unlock new costumes for your main character is really annoying. You could be lucky of course, but unlocking all costumes is a very long farming journey. So be prepared to spend hours and hours getting everything. Bizzarly you get clothing materials for DLC character that you do not own.
- €100 season pass: (no point reduction) I had to triple check what my eyes saw when I checked the season pass. I honestly wonder who buys something like this… (please message me if you did with your reason) You get Mai Shiranui from King of Fighters and one unannounced character in the future, you also get a shitload of costumes (more than 60) but seriously though, this for €100? And I thought buying Ben & Jerry’s was expensive…
Developer: Koei Tecmo Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Played on: Xbox One X
Time to finish: Main story 2 hours, general SP content: 25 hours. Online + local is pretty much endless.
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: Winning five consecutive online matches can be difficult, everything else is fairly easy but will require some farming.
Perfect for: Having awkward family moments while gaming, when you desire beautiful 4K girls on your TV, people who like to play co-op fighters.
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