Ninja Gaiden wasn’t the only thing that Tecmo Koei was showing off this week. As you may know, gamers are poised to get their hands on Dead or Alive 5 for the first time with pre-orders of Ryu Hayabusa’s third adventure, or in the Ninja Gaiden 3’s Collectors’ Edition.

The DoA 5 Alpha features two stages and four different fighters, and for fans of the series, it’s going to serve as confirmation that the fifth time is the charm. In the latest iteration, fighters move faster and battles aren’t over until one fighter is down. There are no foregone conclusions, with luck turning on a dime. A well-timed counter or whiffed punch could mean the difference between a comeback from near-death and an embarrassing defeat.

I’ve always had a hard time getting into the Dead or Alive series. It always moved to slow for me, weighted too heavily toward the technical. My experience with this iteration, though, was a pleasant surprise. I had the opportunity to use Hayabusa and Ayane, both sporting graceful animations and brutally powerful strikes. Each fighter continues to have his/her own fighting style and learning not only your own strengths, but that of your opponent, is key.

I was extremely impressed by the visual fidelity, especially when it came to Dead or Alive’s “third combatant,” the stages. Wall hits and dynamic stages return bringing the same level of strategy and jockeying that past entries featured. A single well-placed wall hit can turn the tide, blasting an opponent over your head, slamming them face-first into the ground. Instead of the fighters moving in front of a moving background, though, the stages bleed all the way to the front of the arena. You won’t be fighting in front of a crumbling building, you’re on top of it, contributing to it’s utter destruction. The world explodes around the action, creating gorgeous scenes as the two human fighters engage in their deadly dance, hurtling toward the ground only to dust themselves off and continue.

When I had finished playing five or six fights and put the controller down, only one question lingered, “How long do I need to wait for my next match?”

Why you should care about Dead or Alive 5:
– Stunning visuals with the most dynamic stages in series history
– Your favorite characters return with moves both new and old
– Quick matches that can turn on a dime require you to play like you’re at the end of your lifebar

34 COMMENTS

  1. Ugh… Another write up by someone that doesn’t know a damn thing about the games. All the previews I read look like every “journalist” copied each other but grabbed a thesaurus before hitting “publish.”

    •  Admittedly, I know less than I would like about the Dead or Alive series. In fact, I was pretty up front about that in the piece.

      Maybe my opinion and impressions aren’t valuable to a fighting game enthusiast, but they would be to someone who has never played Dead or Alive OR someone who has played it but didn’t enjoy past entries in the series.

      You are absolutely correct that my perspective is not that of a hard core fighting gamer, if you don’t find it useful, that’s ok. Others, though, might.

    •  Admittedly, I know less than I would like about the Dead or Alive series. In fact, I was pretty up front about that in the piece.

      Maybe my opinion and impressions aren’t valuable to a fighting game enthusiast, but they would be to someone who has never played Dead or Alive OR someone who has played it but didn’t enjoy past entries in the series.

      You are absolutely correct that my perspective is not that of a hard core fighting gamer, if you don’t find it useful, that’s ok. Others, though, might.

      • Ahem- I care actually – Dead Or Alive Is The Gift From God, And Has Been Descended its heavenly rain to earth finny, the rude guy? Listen, be patient. Its not like they’re gonna do new things every hour and talk about it, you dissatisfy me sir, and toprove my disatisfaction, I challenge you to a dead or alive match, to express my “enthusiasm” [:

          • Not… sure….

            Anyway just ignore Xino, he’s already declared a one man war on the entirety of the fighting game community (across all fighting games) and will take any opportunity he can to lash out.

            And Raansu…. well he’s my friend, and while I feel he’s right about a lot of things he does have the tendency to be an ass about it. As Terios said, the deliberate starvation of information to the competitive community is making everyone kind of edgy when you know team ninja’s history of flipping off the competitive fighting game player.

            Thanks for the offer though, we’ll see if we can come up with something.

      • I wasn’t expecting you to know the ins-and-outs of DOA, that would be silly. My issue is that, outside of mentioning that you played the game, it seems like you just watched the several month old trailer and wrote up an article based on that. I’m sorry if I’m being a bit critical but I’m just kind of hungry for some information on the game. If this is like the last event, Team Ninja specifically requested that people knowledgeable on DOA not show up. In which case, Team Ninja is partially to blame for the lack of info and the fact that they don’t want much information out there doesn’t bode well for the game itself. In any case, thanks for taking the time to respond.

        • OK. Trying this again. Edited the last one too much and it got moderated into oblivion. Need to figure out where the heck it went.

          So, this wasn’t a DoA5 event and no specific request was made to not have DoA fans there. It was a small showcase with four other games (Ninja Gaiden 3, NG Sigma Plus, Dynasty Warriors Next, Warriors Orochi 3). I had about 2 hrs to play all five games and conduct the interview with Yosuke Hayashi, head of Team Ninja.

          Here’s what I’d like to do. I can contact Tecmo Koei and see if they might be able to have someone answer your questions (this goes for ALL of you, as long as you are civil and respectful).

          E-mail questions to michael[at]ripten[dot]com with the subject line, “Dead or Alive 5 Questions.” Get them to me by Valentine’s Day (2/14/2012) and I’ll forward a selection of them on to Tecmo Koei.

          Let’s see if we can get you the info you’re craving. ;)

      • I wasn’t expecting you to know the ins-and-outs of DOA, that would be silly. My issue is that, outside of mentioning that you played the game, it seems like you just watched the several month old trailer and wrote up an article based on that. I’m sorry if I’m being a bit critical but I’m just kind of hungry for some information on the game. If this is like the last event, Team Ninja specifically requested that people knowledgeable on DOA not show up. In which case, Team Ninja is partially to blame for the lack of info and the fact that they don’t want much information out there doesn’t bode well for the game itself. In any case, thanks for taking the time to respond.

    • again more trolls who also trashed my article.

      please do us all a favour and just “end your life”.

      No one gives a damn wtf you think about Fighting game you stupid fighting elitist. Fighting games are not made for you alone so go end your life troll.

    • again more trolls who also trashed my article.

      please do us all a favour and just “end your life”.

      No one gives a damn wtf you think about Fighting game you stupid fighting elitist. Fighting games are not made for you alone so go end your life troll.

  2. Ugh… Another write up by someone that doesn’t know a damn thing about the games. All the previews I read look like every “journalist” copied each other but grabbed a thesaurus before hitting “publish.”

    •  No need to be nasty. Please read my response to terios below. If you are a big fan of fighters, this hands-on isn’t for you, admittedly.

      It WILL be useful to a certain set of people and, the most important thing in my opinion was that I used to dislike the series and, with this iteration, I had a blast.

      So, no, I’m never going to be the guy counting frames. It’s not who I am. I do, however, really enjoy having fun when I play games. Dead or Alive 5 is a lot of fun.

        • I’m not going to be the one reviewing it because I can’t provide the level of critical analysis that the game deserves.

          However, I *was* the person that was able to attend Tecmo’s showing and, rather than not cover it at all, we opted to provide a perspective for those that aren’t frame-counters.

          I appreciate your opinion. I do not appreciate the rudeness.

        • I’m not going to be the one reviewing it because I can’t provide the level of critical analysis that the game deserves.

          However, I *was* the person that was able to attend Tecmo’s showing and, rather than not cover it at all, we opted to provide a perspective for those that aren’t frame-counters.

          I appreciate your opinion. I do not appreciate the rudeness.

    • point proven that fighting elitist like him are the ones ruining the fighting game socialising community.

      Raansu you are nothing more than a disrespectful troll. I wonder who would point out your faulty ego for you, someone in your family should do it for you.

      You basically bring shame to all the “real” fighting fans out there, you are not a fighting fan, you are just a stupid sadistic fighting elitist troll.

    • point proven that fighting elitist like him are the ones ruining the fighting game socialising community.

      Raansu you are nothing more than a disrespectful troll. I wonder who would point out your faulty ego for you, someone in your family should do it for you.

      You basically bring shame to all the “real” fighting fans out there, you are not a fighting fan, you are just a stupid sadistic fighting elitist troll.

  3. Just ignore the comments, these people clearly take the game too seriously ;)

    what were the graphics like? were they smooth?
    I think I’m just so use to Itagaki’s touch that when I saw the new visuals, I can see KOEI’s fingerprints all over them… 

  4. No answers yet (still waiting and talking with Team Ninja and company). I DO have a small number of DoA5 Alpha codes (PS3), though. We’ll be giving them away soon, but I wanted to give you guys a heads-up first.

  5. I hope you don’t mind a little harsh criticism.

     Reading this, I can tell you’re more of a casual fan. You have no real high level interest in DOA. Saying DOA has stunning graphics is a piss poor reason for someone to be interested in the series, because DOAD has always had stunning graphics. DOA is slow and, heavy technical? It’s the most simple 3D fighting game that ever existed and, possibly the fastest or on par with the gameplay speed of SCV. 
     Secondly, as far as I now there is only one stage in demo which is multi-tiered. If you know there are two stages it would be wise to post how to access the second that

     As a journalist I know research is important aspect before writing. It seems like you just tried out the demo and, started writing what came to memory. If you’re not going to do the proper research before posting, don’t both writing it. It’s honestly a waste of time reading nothing new.

    • First of all, you are responding to a post that was made two months ago. The game was demoed in a very small environment with little hands on time.

      You’re right, I’m a casual fan. I tried to deliver as much information as I possibly could. 

      Also, as you will see, I took the criticism from others and opened up the floor to questions. Good news incoming: I JUST got the responses from Team Ninja and will be posting them this week.

      The thing about a hands-on preview is it’s just that. Hands on. I had limited amount of time, took as many detailed notes as I could, and reported as best I was able. 

      If you spend any time here, looking at my other coverage, especially when it comes to hands on previews, I am absolutely detailed in my work. I also, usually, have more than 10 minutes with a game.

      You want answers and detail? Come back later this week to hear directly from Team Ninja.

  6. I hope you don’t mind a little harsh criticism.

     Reading this, I can tell you’re more of a casual fan. You have no real high level interest in DOA. Saying DOA has stunning graphics is a piss poor reason for someone to be interested in the series, because DOAD has always had stunning graphics. DOA is slow and, heavy technical? It’s the most simple 3D fighting game that ever existed and, possibly the fastest or on par with the gameplay speed of SCV. 
     Secondly, as far as I now there is only one stage in demo which is multi-tiered. If you know there are two stages it would be wise to post how to access the second that

     As a journalist I know research is important aspect before writing. It seems like you just tried out the demo and, started writing what came to memory. If you’re not going to do the proper research before posting, don’t both writing it. It’s honestly a waste of time reading nothing new.

  7. Hey guys, thanks for your patience. I have great news! The answers to the questions are IN MY HANDS.

    I’m going to get them up later this week due to some other coverage going on (shooting for Thursday). I think you guys will be happy with the level of detail and directness of the responses (for the most part). Thanks so much for providing the questions. 

    It’s readers like you that make this all worthwhile.

  8. Hey guys, thanks for your patience. I have great news! The answers to the questions are IN MY HANDS.

    I’m going to get them up later this week due to some other coverage going on (shooting for Thursday). I think you guys will be happy with the level of detail and directness of the responses (for the most part). Thanks so much for providing the questions. 

    It’s readers like you that make this all worthwhile.

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