What can I say about Dead or Alive 6. I didn't realise how much I loved this game until comparing it to DOA 5 Last Round.
The game is the newest entry in the Dead or Alive Franchise, a 3D fighter with roots on the Sony Playstation.
When booting this game the first time during the installation I was shocked by how clean the UI is. It's simple and easy to understand. Upon starting the game you are greeted with a simple tutorial walking you through the new game mechanics that replace the power blows.
The Fatal Rush system is accompanied by a power meter that fills when you land or take hits. Using R1 4 times in sequence allows you to use your Fatal Rush move. Think of it similar to the X-ray moves in mortal Kombat but without the graphic violence.
Much like X-Rays you can waste this move if timed incorrectly and can be countered. Honestly I prefer this system over the old power blows. Power blows were intended to give those at a disadvantage a leg up. In reality they were difficult to pull off in a match against players and often it didn't serve its purpose of leveling the playing field.
DOA visually looks great. Stages use bright and vibrant colours that don't make you feel like you are in a bar fight. Costumes look awesome, stages feel great especially with the ability to turn of danger zones like electric fences/barriers. I don't like I'm being punished for anyone's stage choices, I love them all, with my favourite being "chamber of potential".
The music for this stage is low tone sexy, giving off a vibe of confidence. Hearing it play makes me want to improve my performance in matches.
I'm not sure if you've noticed it but the characters idle fighting stances are moving in sync with the music. So it looks like they are dancing to the beat. This is more visible with ninja characters like Kasumi, Hayabusa and Ayane.
DOA has a range of tracks both new and old , older tracks have been remixed. New tracks get the Musou treatment, with music that sounds like it's coming from Warriors Orochi or Samurai Warriors. I'm talking about you colloseum!
The Character select screen was a shock to me, With its metal track making me feel that each match is a fight to the death. What I love about the character select screen is layout, the character info cards and the fighting info underneath the character. This small UI changes I feel are well suited to new players who haven't played DOA before or any fighting game for that matter.
Let's talk about the elephant in the room ... Sex. Many of you are wondering is the game Sexy? Does it retain the insane boob physics from previous games?
Well yes and no. Of course breast motion return however it's toned down alot. Breast motion can't be changed by the player and Boob Jiggle using the PS4 motion controllers has been removed. Probably in an attempt to draw more players in for the tournament scene. In the past DOA wasn't really taken seriously in the Pro Scene because of the hyper sexualised characters and their boobs flying about.
Now the game is sexy but in a more subtle way. Clothes are partially destructible, meaning at time you may see some skin or Kasumi's ankle for like a frame. The sweat that drips off a character after a long fight or the way that the sweat beads refract light and make the chatacter's skin glow, is sexy enough. I've noticed this particularly with Characters like Diego.
The game does have sexy costumes that can be unlocked through playing DOA Quest/Online and then spending Player Points.
These points are gained through playing, I hope Koei doesn't decide to introduce microtransactions because that would annoy me and alot of other players.
This system of costume parts is a bit frustrating as you gain a set amount of costume parts in DOA Quest, about 200-300 points upon completing all objectives in a match. And you gain around 20 points per online match. What annoys me more is the fact that even if you complete all Quest missions you will only have enough points to unlock half of the costumes.
Costume parts you unlock are at random.Which means you could be grinding and you don't know who or what costume you could get.
I feel that Team ninja should have opted for a system where you can unlock costumes through character leveling. The player leveling system is there and honestly having people unlock costumes through that will allow people to experience a range of fighting styles. It also gives players a sense of pride online if they got a certain costume.
Ofcourse Team Ninja has opted for the Costume grind because they want to get more people into the Quest Mode and Online matchmaking. It's worth pointing out that DLC costumes can be accessed upon purchase, and even if you finish Quest mode you won't get enough costume parts to unlock all costumes.
DOA 6 is missing a few bits and bobs, like Tag Teams. Tag Teams for me are a core part of any 3D Fighter and it's a shame it's missing. I assume this is because of the Special/Power Blow mechanic. In previous game the power blow was activated at 50% when you hold R1, tag outs were mapped to the same button and were carried out via a tap of R1.
The R1 button in DOA 6 is used alot for specials, and so I see why they thought tag couldn't work, however there are other buttons on controllers and button combinations. They could have made the taunt a button combination, instead of dedicating a whole button to it.
Losing poses are ommited from the game as well as the ability to in-depth on the zoom after a match, the game wants you to leave that screen as quick as possible and on to the next match.
A few Characters also are missing from this game, like Gen Fu, Ein, Leon as well with characters from other game franchises. The first 3 I've mentioned are original characters who have their moveset cloned over the history of the franchise. There isn't a need to have 2 karate characters with almost 1:1 moveset. I just hope that Gen Fu isn't dead that would be sad.
The other characters like Pai and Sarah, we won't see again as they were a sega property. Momiji and Rachel we might see in the form of future DLC maybe 2-3 years down the line, although I hope we don't get Rachel with her limited moveset.
What about Natora Ii? I doubt we will see her again unless there is a new Samurai Warriors game in the works. More likely, we may see a Dynasty Warriors Character join the roster for the 20th anniversary of Shin Sangoku Musou next year. The best fit for me would be Huang Gai, as his attacks are wrestling moves. Or maybe we might see Guan Ying Ping or Wang Yuanji join as they are very popular. We might even have a new DW10 Character shown off in DOA similar to how we got Zhou Cang in warriors all-stars.
The last thing I want to mention is the lack of a proper photo mode. DOA 6 uses the limited photo mode straight from DOA 5. It would have been nice to see them rip the wonderful photo mode from Dynasty Warriors 9. In addition to that I was very disappointed at how we had to wait almost a month after launch to get lobbies, you would assume a fighting game would have online multiplayer as a priority, but's fixed now.
For all this and more I've got to give DOA 6 , 8/10 . One of the best 3D fighters I've played in my life and it's my favourite fighting game of all time.
+ Awesome Redesigned Character Models/Costumes
+Vibrant colourful Stages
+ Excellent varied Soundtrack
+ Clean, Simple to understand UI
- Removal of Tag Team Fights
- Heavy Grind for random Costume parts
- Lack of Proper Photo Mode
- Always-online DRM
This review covers the PS4 version of Dead Or Alive 6 (Digital Deluxe Edition). DOA6 is available now on PS4, Xbox One and Steam. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Koei Tecmo for providing me with the opportunity to play this game and write this review.