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Dead or Alive 6, our review

The return of a legendary fighting game!

In the merciless world of fighting games, Dead or Alive has consistently proven to be a solid contender. Since its arcade debut in 1996, the series has made a name for itself thanks to striking graphics, fun and memorable characters (let's add sexy too) and intense fighting action. Now, Dead or Alive is in one of the busiest markets the genre has ever seen but has all the cards on its side to stand out from the rest. Although he stumbles slightly along the way with regards to story mode and online, DoA6 is the funniest and most accessible title in the successful fighting game series Koei Tecmo.



Normally, I don't like 3D fights, much prefer 2D ones, but unexpectedly I was magnetically drawn to the fun mechanics of Dead or Alive, starting with the fourth chapter. That said, I really didn't appreciate the developer's choice to periodically release an infinite number of expensive DLCs and the strange path taken by the saga with Alive Xtreme 3 that has not impressed me at all. On the other hand, since the announcement at the last E3, I have been waiting with trepidation for Dead or Alive 6, a title that promises to return to its origins with an eye towards the future.


More and more accessible!

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Dead or Alive 6 is a 3D fighting game based on a "triangular" combat system that encourages grappling, kicking back and offering that little bit more than other fighting games. Basic combat is fairly intuitive, with most of the combos that can be performed without major problems. I have always considered the Dead or Alive series to be very accessible, but I was surprised by the level of accessibility achieved, while maintaining the solid depth that characterizes the title.


Dead or Alive 6 features a surprisingly robust tutorial mode which encourages you to give your best even after resounding and painful defeats. Competitive players don't need much introduction, Dead or Alive is still flashy and fun to master. For newcomers, just know that the R1 key has been designated as the "Fatal Rush" button. Using this button, players can not only perform unique style auto-combos Dragon Ball FighterZ, but also perform kinematic fatal blows and fatal reversals that allow you to get out of complicated situations especially when the opponent on duty is more experienced than us.

DOA Quest and Story Mode!

Even if you are unfamiliar with 3D combat, Dead or Alive 6 is a very fun game to get in touch with. Outside of the Versus standard, players can test their skills in mode Arcade, Time Attack and Survival, which work as they should and are thinking specifically to test the peculiar characteristics of each individual character. Certainly the best modes the title has to offer are: DOA Quest and Story Mode. DOA Quest is pure fun and challenges players to get to know the entire Dead or Alive 6 roster well. At launch, this mode features around 100 Quests that boil down to simple battles with three unique challenges. This mode requires you to perform multiple complex moves in ever-changing fights with multiple characters.


By completing all the challenges required by a given mission, players can unlock a wide range of extras, namely new customization options, or at least the gold to purchase them. While Dead or Alive 6's customization doesn't have the depth of titles like Injustice 2, it still gives players the tools they need to make their favorite characters unique. DOA Quest was by far our favorite mode of Dead or Alive 6 and we sincerely hope that Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja will continue to support it with new missions throughout 2019. The story modes of the game, while well done, have some problems mainly. because of the way it is distilled to players. The developers decided to divide the story not only into several independent chapters, but also in stand-alone accessible scenes. With each chapter, you will be able to access some scenes in the story and unlock new ones after completing them. While Hayate, Kasumi, and Ayane's storyline is the simplest, the rest of Dead or Alive 6's story mode is haphazardly proposed, to say the least.


Sometimes each scene is connected to a certain character, sometimes it is not and it needs a more in-depth background to be better understood (not positioned correctly nor marked as such). Between each scene, there is a loading screen. Generally, loading times in Dead or Alive 6 are fast and not a problem; That said, paradoxically fast loading gets pretty annoying here. This structure also hindered the way the character plots could be presented. In particular, Diego's new story plays with some interesting themes as you need to decide between fights to support the mother or fall into the demands of Mila, Zach and Rig to fight in the main tournament. While the ending of its story is interesting, it doesn't tie into the main storyline and the way the story unfolds and unlocks kills any potential rhythm, if ever there was one.


The basics for a crazy, fun storyline are all there, but they aren't presented well enough to reach a noteworthy level. We are sure to be told a funny story, but unless you are a master of Dead or Alive lore or want to experience every combat designed by the developers, this mode will present itself as a flaw in an otherwise great fighting game.

Even more satisfying fights thanks to the Break Gauge

DoA6 offers solid and satisfying combat. New to the franchise is a Break Gauge (a mechanic that has been seen in many other fighting games) a bar that fills up as we inflict or receive damage through our hits. There are some new things you can do with the Gauge, thanks to a newly added "special" button that gives access to a new function: a lateral attack that can be performed by pressing up or down in tandem with the special button, will initiate a "Break Hold" in counterattack. Finally, you can perform a powerful “Break Blow” towards the opponent, by holding down the special button, or automatically at the end of a combination of four hits, when the Break Gauge is full. These Break Blows are incredibly flashy, doing serious damage both in terms of life bar and visually on the screen. The Break Gauge is a great addition to the game, as it is easy to understand and doesn't require a lot of dedication in learning it.


The series is also known for having beautiful combat arenas, and DoA6's lush battlefields may be some of the craziest in the fighting game world. They include a dilapidated theme park overrun by dinosaurs, a moss-encrusted warship assaulted by a rabid kraken, and a stage with a pile of vehicles that could explode when touched. These levels are littered with specific dangers that play an important role in terms of randomness during combat. In some cases, it is possible to create unique combinations with the help of danger zones, for example using a pterodactyl to soar and hit the opponent.

Most importantly, the combat feels pretty solid. Fluid animations and convincing movements offer that extra touch to an already solid fighting game. Each character offers something unique in terms of fighting style. And while we were not fully convinced by the designs of the two new characters (Diego is terribly generic, and NiCO, the blue-haired scientist, seems to belong to a completely different game), they both bring something in terms of combat ability and variety.

Online for review

Online play is a significant part of the success of any fighting game. At launch, Dead or Alive 6's multiplayer appears to be fairly stable; That said, it only consists of ranked matches and not much else with the promise of a future arrival of a Lobby mode.

The sound of Dead or Alive 6 convinced us. The sounds and impacts of the blows turn out to be very rewarding. The English (or Japanese if you prefer) dubbing is solid and never banal. As far as graphics are concerned, the character models are impressive and memorable, although there are games on the market that are much better in this respect.





Dead or Alive 6
8 / 10 Soultricks.com
Buy on Amazon.com
Available on PS4, XBOX One, PC
For
    - Graphically inspired
    Break Gauge system adds depth to combat
    - Fun and varied cast
    -Lots of fighting styles to experiment with
Cons
    -The new characters are quite insignificant from a design point of view
    -Presentation of the story mode too cluttered and disconnected
    - Lack of online mode
Summary
Fighting games have gotten faster and more accessible, and Dead or Alive 6, thankfully, follows the same trend. DoA6 has made great strides on current-gen consoles, but was held back by the awkward presentation of story mode and a poor online experience at launch. Despite some missteps, DoA6 is still a fun and addicting fighting game to play, with lots of personality and a strong visual style. If you are looking for a new fighting game or you simply want to enter this genre for the first time, DoA6 is definitely a great choice.
gameplay
Graphics
Sonoro
Longevity
Final judgement
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