Dead or Alive 5 Last Round Review
Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja have brought us the reincarnation of Dead or Alive 5 in the form of Last Round. I feel that the Dead or Alive series has usually been overlooked or underestimated due to being around so many other large fighting games in the genre. Games like Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, or even Tekken have often overshadowed the series which is a real shame, cause Dead or Alive really is a great fighting game. This entry in the series surprised me at how easy it was to jump into and start beating down opponents with flashy combo’s without constantly looking at the menu to try and figure out how I did what I did. The game is very easy to pick up even for beginners or players who are not “experts” at fighting titles.
So first off addressing the elephant in the room so to speak, one thing the series has always been known for (both good and bad) is the insane detail to the bust of the female roster. Usually largely proportioned and front and center, the girls of the game are back with the bouncing and super detailed boobs that Dead or Alive is infamous for. Players even have the option for different graphic settings to still and normalize them, or give the laws of physics up for dead and allow for some silly results every time a punch or kick is thrown or received. Having said all that though, the graphics overall were quite impressive for both the male and female cast. A new “soft engine” gives the characters a more realistic appearance, mostly addressing the look of there skin. You can even see sweat lines down characters during fights. The detail given to the looks and reactions of everyone was great in this entry.
Last Round has had a slew of additions and improvements added that really make it shine. It has the highest stage count in the series (around 26 or so at last count) and the largest roster in any Dead or Alive game to date sitting at around 34 I believe. Two new characters were added in, one male and one female. These ended up being Honoka and Raidou who some long time fans may recognize as the boss from the first Dead or Alive game who has been revived. The amount of costumes was also surprising ranging up to around a staggering 400 total. New hairstyles have also been added for several characters allowing you to somewhat customize your favorite fighters.
The games fighting mechanics are very easy to grasp and implement. Boasting a tutorial with over 40 “steps” to complete and covering everything from basic punches and kicks to the various combo’s and power moves you can perform. Even the button layout is simple, one for kicks one for punches one for blocks and finally one for throws. Using these four buttons and your directional pad you can do any of the combo’s in the game without the (in my opinion) dumb mind numbing acrobatics that most modern fighters implement. Dead or Alive’s strategy is more focused on timing and anticipating your opponents moves.
In addition to the main story mode which takes you on a path to the DOA tournament there are several other game modes. Survival Mode, Brawl mode which is a seven on seven fight, Time Attack, and Arcade mode. This and all the other fore mentioned content turn Dead or Alive 5 Last round into a pretty lengthy fighter with lots to dive into. The controls are easy to grasp, the graphics were very visually impressive and the destructive stages were a lot of fun to explore. I would definitely say for hardcore fighting game fans to give this a shot and for newcomers this is the perfect entry way into the genre. 7.5 out of 10. Happy Gaming.