Friday, 1 November 2013

The ultimate fight

Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate

More is usually better, but I'm having a hard time to justify the endless stream of versions from some of Japan's most famous and popular fighting series. Tekken and Street Fighter have in recent years had so many instalments and upgrades, especially Street Fighter 4, that I have kind of lost track. Virtua Fighter and Dead or Alive haven't really opted for doing this, but last years version of Dead or Alive has just been released in a new form. The Ultimate version. Is it the ultimate version though?

The forest stage from DoA3 looks nice with it's autmun colours!
DoA veteran Kasumi takes on the new Mojimi character from Ninja Gaiden.
Kokoro, new for the original DoA5, looking a bit like Tifa from Final Fantasy 7!

Firstly, DoA5 has, since it's release last year, seen numerous DLC add-on packs up for purchase. Mostly in form of costumes for the characters. Some of these (note, some) have been added to the Ultimate disc. The rest you still have to buy. Luckily purchases from the original DoA5 carry over to this one. As do unlocks and story progress. I would have preferred to see all DoA5 downloads on a full collection disc, but I guess they want to make more money and new costume packs are on the way.

Ultimate has been somewhat generous in the amount of stages and there are quite a few new ones added to this version. Some are classics from DoA3 for example. I like the aircraft carrier, forest (set in pretty autumn colours) and desert wasteland stages especially. If there is something the DoA series has kept; it's quality in huge and multilevelled stages. An idea introduced way back in DoA2. The stages are full of details and areas to unlock as a fight continues after falling from ledges or crashing through walls! The really badly textured grounds and environments remain however. It's a huge contrast to the fantastic character models, that still look stunning a year after release!
"fantastic character models, thar still look stunning a year after release"
Talking about the characters, there are five new ones added in this version. Bringing the total roster of fighters up to 29. It's an impressive number, partially thanks to bringing in Virtua Fighter characters and for example Rachel and Momiji from the Ninja Gaiden games. Rachel slips quite typically into the Dead or Alive roster, proportional and clothing wise, though that isn't strange as she's a typical Tecmo girl design. I would have maybe liked a character customization option this time around, small alterations in the costumes are still hidden button commands. It would be nice to configure and save a character with clothes, accessories and colour options of your own choice.

Rachel from Ninja Gaiden is added to DoA5's character roster.
Taking a punch!
Bonus items to pick up during survival are back from DoA4 and add a little extra to the mode.

DoA5:U is a difficult game to review, so I'll have to give the game two separate scores. One is for people that already own DoA5, like me, the other for those who still haven't purchased the last game. I felt the upgrade to this version wasn't really worth the asking price and so I give the game a 5/10. It's a upgrade for fans and collectors only really. This game should have been a total collection of all DoA5 DLC and with much more features added in my opinion. New people to the series, however, who simply begin with DoA5 at this Ultimate version should consider it a 8/10, the same as I gave the original game! If you are thinking of jumping into the franchise, definitely go for this version rather than the original DoA5!


 (if you haven't played DoA5) 

(if you own DoA5)

For a more detailed review, check out my review of the original version of DoA5 here: