There hasn't been a new entry in the Dead or Alive series since 2012 so let's see how well the cast has been training.
I'm a huge Dead or Alive fan; not for the boobs but because it's the most action-packed and visceral fighting series that I've ever played. Well, except for maybe Bushido Blade but you unfortunately don't see that around anymore. Anyway, Dead or Alive 6 continues the tradition of offering tight fighting gameplay and it's as exciting as ever. This time around, 2 new characters join the fight: the electrifying NiCO and a brawler named Diego. Both characters make fantastic additions to the launch roster of 26 characters and they have very distinct fighting styles. I particularly enjoyed NiCO's quick combos and electric special effects.
Of course, Dead or Alive 6 wouldn't be a fitting sequel if it didn't mix up the gameplay in a fresh and exciting way. Thankfully, there's a new Break Gauge which you gradually fill as you fight that you can use to unleash powerful attacks and once it's full, you'll have a chance to perform a devastating Break Blow move that results in an awesome attack animation. This system makes a perfect addition to the fast-paced core fighting where you'll perform quick combos, reverse and hold incoming attacks, and throw your opponent around.
Dead or Alive 6 is the first true current gen installment in the long-running series and it shows. The visuals from the well-animated fighters to the lively and detailed stages with crowds cheering you on look incredible. Plus, I found the soundtrack to be simply awesome. I also enjoyed the fact that the characters are voiced in English which isn't always the case in the Dead or Alive series.
Back to the stages; I always find the arenas in Dead or Alive games to stand out as memorable complete with interactive elements and multiple tiers and the ones in Dead or Alive 6 are no exception. You'll find yourself on an abandoned ship that's being attacked by a giant octopus, in a Jurassic Park style jungle, and fighting on city streets and in gorgeous Asian scenery. That being said, I wish there were more stages to fight within as there are only 14 and a few of them are fairly generic like the simplistic training area.
Speaking of training, Dead or Alive 6 features multiple modes where you can hone your skills. Aside from the obvious Free Training mode, there's also a lengthy interactive Tutorial as well as Command Training and Combo Challenge for each character. Trying to master those will require very nimble thumbs which I apparently don't have. However, the coolest training mode is DOA Quest which is an extensive list of challenges where you can earn in-game currency and aim to collect all the stars. It's very rewarding stuff.
Dead or Alive 6 contains plenty of other modes to fight within, too. For starters, it has a whole Story mode where you complete battles within a giant grid to unlock more battles. This may sound cool but the cutscenes are almost unwatchable with their poorly dubbed voices and cheesy situations that made me cringe. Plus, having to wait for it to load as you jump between short battles is a pain. Anyway, there are also Versus, Arcade, Time Attack, and Survival modes as well as ranked Online matches which play very smoothly. You can also choose hairstyles and glasses for the characters as well as browse through a museum which is a nice addition.
Even with all of these modes, I can't help but miss team matches and tag battles. I remember having a blast with tag team matches in Dead or Alive 2 with its special team-based throws and win poses so the fact that there is no such mode here is rather disappointing. Also, playing against a friend with a team full of your favourite characters is a ton of fun but you can only play one on one here.
Dead or Alive 6 improves on the franchise's core fighting system while retaining its tight action-packed gameplay. Although it could definitely use more content, what's here makes for a more than promising start.
- + Tight familiar fighting gameplay with a very cool Break Gauge system
- + Awesome graphics and stages
- + Lots of fun modes to hone your skills in
- - Missing team and tag battles
- - Although cool, there aren't many stages
- - Story mode is disappointing