Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Review

Blood, Sweat, Softness.

It seems that Tecmo Koei are re-assuring fans of the series that yes – this is the final reiteration of Dead or Alive 5, calling it the ‘Last Round’. The fifth game first appeared on the Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2012 and throughout the years has made an appearance on the PS Vita as well as making its way back to the last generation consoles ‘again’ with DOA 5: Ultimate.

I was really hoping Tecmo will move on with a sixth instalment in the series, but DOA hasn’t really had much innovation throughout its lifetime, with small visual and ‘physics’ touch ups and a slew of new characters as it went on. So why change something that works fine?

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is a compilation of everything that came out with the game so far. For newcomers looking for a new fighter, Dead or Alive doesn’t disappoint with its gameplay providing some of the slickest combat. Team Ninja’s formula with DOA has been impeccable from the start and newcomers can easily transition into its mechanics without a massive difficulty curve found in other ‘competitive’ style fighters.

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For existing players, the only new things in Last Round is two characters, two levels and more character customisation options. One of the two characters added to Last Round is a returning fighter named Raidou from the original Dead or Alive. You also get Honoka, a Japanese ‘student’ school girl who seems too kawaii to be a fighter. This brings the character count to 34, so there’s plenty of fighters to play around with and master.

As the game makes its move to the current gen line-up of consoles, the developers have upgraded the graphics, featuring native 1080p, 60FPS, the latter being particularly important in a fighting game. The attention to detail and physics for each characters were well thought out with dirt, snow and so on catching on their bodies and clothing as you fight. Sweat also makes a comeback and of course that Soft Engine showcasing…softness. Wink Wink.

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While local play always runs without any complications with fighters, the servers could never seem to function or work properly online. This has always been the case with my experience with Dead or Alive in the past. The lag, the disconnections etc. I just don’t bother. If you have a 2nd controller, couch co-op fights with this type of game will always impress.

Last Round is a good package for hardcore Dead or Alive fanatics and newcomers to the series but if you’re expecting a complete overhaul then it may not be the right purchase for you. While it presents some new additions, it’s essentially a re-release for the current gen consoles. Which is not a bad thing because who wouldn’t want next-gen physics and sweat, right?

Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Koei Tecmo 
Platforms: PS3, PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

A review copy of the game was provided by the publisher.

Founder and Creator of Respawn Ninja. News Editor and covers shooter esports such as Call of Duty, CSGO and Rainbow Six Siege.

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