Dead or Alive 6 – Review
Follow Genre: Fighting
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Dead or Alive 6 – Review

Site Score
8.6
Good: Graphics, A lot of single player content, DOA Quest, Entry-level fighting game
Bad: Perhaps a bit too simple for those seeking complex move schemes, A lot of content behind a paywall
User Score
9.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

The Dead or Alive series came to life in 1996, meaning it’s already more than twenty years old. The original game was released in a generation where multiple fighting games from many different publishers battled to be the best, but now, only a handful of series remain, such as Street Fighter, Tekken, Super Smash Bros and of course, Dead or Alive. While this game may bear the number six as a suffix, it’s the umpteenth title in the fighter series, which also spawned a lot of spin-off titles over the years. While this series originally brought ‘jiggling boobs’ to the table when we still had to make do with more simplistic graphics, we are happy that this new installment has offered us a lot more in terms of gameplay.

Story

Dead or Alive 6 really seems to have it all. You’ll be playing with characters that are preparing for the next Dead or Alive tournament, but also have to deal with past issues, the truth of their origins, all while fighting legendary characters, wading through pirate ships in order to find a unique beverage but also stop a secret organization from their evil plans. Overall, we didn’t really know what the hell was going on, but things were still pleasant enough to plow through.

You’ll notice that the buildup of the story is extremely chaotic, and when you haven’t played any of the prior DOA games, it will be nonsensical at best. Nonetheless, the story mode is a great way to try out several different characters and see a few fun interactions between the game’s characters. Even if you have played the previous DOA game, you probably need to puzzle back the pieces of the previous game’s story, or simply look it up online in order to fully grasp what is going on.

While the DOA Quest mode doesn’t really have a story, the theme of having to restore a fighting simulator does have a hint of story value to it. Overall you’ll notice that DOA6 was made for single player purposes, rather than just be a multiplayer experience.

Graphics

Aside from providing us with jiggling boobs in the heat of combat, the Dead or Alive series has evolved a lot over the years. It’s clear that the characters don’t age as they do in the Street Fighter series, and it feels as if the character models of the older games have been updated to match this generation, making the game look quite spiffy. You’ll get treated to a good looking cast, with a lot of different costumes you can either unlock or purchase. The facial animations are decent, especially when performing special moves that zoom in on the face of the one being beaten to a pulp. Only the sync between the lips and the actual speech seem to be a bit off at times.

The arenas all look good and there is some interaction allowed with them, when knocking your opponent against specific items in the enclosed arena. Sometimes this will throw you in a new part of the ring, or simply trigger a short but good-looking cutscene. The arenas have been designed with care and feel more lively than certain other games on the market.

It has to be said that the cinematic quality in the story mode feels a bit less than the actual graphics used inside the arenas. Things still look decent, but a bit more empty in terms of environments.

Sound

The music in Dead or Alive 6 is quite upbeat and suits what you’re doing onscreen. The English voice acting is decent, but it sometimes lacks a bit of depth, which is not uncommon for fighting games. The biggest issue with the sound department is also a graphical one, namely the poor lip synching as we mentioned before. Overall the sound design suffices, but it will not shatter your eardrums at any point during the game.

Gameplay

Dead or Alive 6 is a fighting game that has a lower threshold than many other games in the genre. You’ll quickly notice that the game properly holds you by the hand by offering many tutorials and single player modes. You’ll be able to spend some time in the story and the DOA Quest mode. Overall things are straightforward and you’ll be playing in a matter of minutes.

A fun part about the Dead or Alive series has always been that the control scheme is quite simple. Again this is the case, and it allows newcomers to the genre to ease in, without having to memorize hard combos. Of course, the game has enough depth with blocking, throws, sidestepping and so on, making sure you can evolve and become somewhat of a pro when duking it out online or against other real players. The game does have an extensive single player experience though. You can play the story mode, or you can fight in the DOA Quest mode, which forces you to try many different characters and adhere to certain conditions. While winning the match will always earn you a star, you’ll have two extra objectives per level, ranging from getting a specific score, picking up items, to pulling off advanced moves or blocks. When earning all three stars per level, you have the chance to win new costumes. If  you have a difficulty with one of the objectives, a tutorial will promptly trigger, enabling you to learn something about the move/condition you’re struggling with. All of this allows the player to learn the ropes and try out different characters in a fun environment. It also shows that not every fighting game has to be a multiplayer experience with only a few bland single player options.

The game has a lot of unlockable content, but what you unlock is rather random, making it hard to aim for a specific outfit set for the character you like the most. Also announced are the many costumes you’ll have to pay for, which is actually a bit sad that the game doesn’t allow you to ‘grind’ for all the fun collectibles without having to spend real money.

Conclusion

While Dead or Alive may not always have gotten the credit it deserved, we can see why this franchise is still very much alive over two decades after the first game was released. Many fighting games often focus on a multiplayer experience, while this ‘sixth’ iteration of the Dead or Alive series puts a heavy focus on single player fun with its story and the DOA Quest mode. Of course, if you still prefer to battle it out with other players, there are sufficient online options. Completionists will also love the many costumes you’re able to collect, but of course, there is also content you’ll have to pay for.

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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Dead or Alive 6 - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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