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Dead or Alive 5 Plus Review

The Vita seems to have become the new home for portable fighting games recently. Much of this is no doubt due to its beautiful OLED screen and its fantastic controls. It's also a fairly easy system for developers to port to, as we have seen with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter X Tekken and now the excellent Dead or Alive 5 Plus.

The Vita version of Dead or Alive 5 is essentially the same as the PS3 version, albeit with the addition of a new Touch Fight mode and cross-play, allowing you fight against opponents on PS3 and vice versa. Touch Fight mode sees you take control of your fights from a first person viewpoint. In this respect, you tap the screen with your finger to perform a combo, while flicking in various directions will perform all manner of other moves. You can also tap with two fingers to perform a hold if your opponent is guarding, while pinching the screen will allow you to perform a throw. In a strange twist, you can even turn the Vita on its side, giving you a portrait view of the fight, although here the screen performs in much the same way. The Touch Fight mode is certainly a step away from the norm as far as fighters on the Vita go, although it is nice to see the developer try something new.

Elsewhere in the Vita version Dead or Alive 5 Plus has the usual strong selection of modes for solo, local versus and online fights. Time attack, survival and a solid training mode complement the long story mode.

The main story mode mirrors that of the PS3 version. Based two years after Dead or Alive 4 and the destruction of the Tri-Tower, opera singer Helena has taken control of DOATEC and is now looking to prove it is no longer the ruthless corporation it once was by restarting the Dead or Alive Tournament and calling in the help of DJ and fighter Zack to travel the world recruiting potential contenders. Running alongside this story we also have Kasumi's clone and DOATEC's ultimate weapon Alpha still at large, leaving Kasumi on yet another quest to find it, her sister Ayane hot on her heels as she still believes she betrayed her clan. The story also introduces each of the characters with its own unique brand of comedy, including favourites like Bass, Bayman and Christie plus newcomers Rig and Mila and also a few familiar faces from Virtua Fighter games like Akira. With each fight there are also bonus missions that acts almost like a tutorial, tasking you with pulling of specific moves as you battle solo, in tag teams or even one against two until you reach the finals of the Dead or Alive Tournament.

Outside of the story mode you'll have plenty of opportunity to test your fighting skills thanks to the inclusion of a comprehensive training mode which includes the ability to test your skills in free training, command training (which allows you to test our various moves for each character) and then there is the combo challenges, which help you to test our what you have learned so far.

Once you are confident in your skills you can then head online and take on the world, thanks to the aforementioned cross play. Online mode consists of quick access matches and ranked matches, as well as an online Dojo in which you can practice with friends. Once you jump online you can choose which region you would like to fight someone from, as well as the number of rounds you would like to fight for.

As with most fighters now there is an element of destruction when it comes to the fighting arenas, although more so with Dead or Alive 5 as many of the levels having Danger Zones which will boost damage taken if you throw or punch an enemy against it. Most of the arenas also have multi-tiered levels, unlocked if you hurl a contender at the right part of the arena, with the game then moving to a brief cut scene - showing clips such as the fighter falling down some stairs or getting knocked off a crane, which results in lots of damage and a new area to fight in.

Dead or Alive 5 Plus on PS Vita is not too different from its PS3 counterpart, with the main difference being the addition of the touch controls and it's 'quite out there' FPS fighting mode. That being said, this is as near to a perfect port as you'll get and Dead or Alive fans will love it just as much as the console version, perhaps even more so since these kick ass fighters will now fit in their pocket.

(Version Tested: PS Vita)


- Looks wonderful
- Fast paced fighting on the go
- Packed full of game modes


- Touch fighting feels gimmicky

Edited On 19 Mar, 2013

( 8 )
Johno Muller's avatar
Johno Muller 4 years ago
I have only one issue with portable fighting games, when the reactive difficulty goes above my level of skill, £30 controller is much better than a £200 Vita to replace.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Can't argue with your logic
Loli-Nox-Tan 4 years ago
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
Yeah, the touch portions of MK9 feel gimmicky too. It's a downside, but i guess devs feel the need to utilise the tools that are there. I am loving fighting games on my Vita, and I'll be purchasing this, just to try and show that there is definitely a need for more. Fingers crossed for an Injustice port! Great review Joe (?) cheers
Pyroloveridge's avatar
Pyroloveridge 4 years ago
Still unable to lay down the cash for a Vita, i may do at some point. i only go on holiday once a year so the cost of a Vita isn't worth it for the amount of time I'll be able to play it. Besides i DoA has never been the best fighter either so this isn't tempting me much. Maybe also as I am mainly an Xbox player too, if MS brought out a portable i would probably get it
troublemaker's avatar
i played DOA5 because it was free on PS+. It was a lot better than I remembered. It's one of those games that takes getting used to because you can't Hadooken people from across the screen. It took me ages to pluck up the courage to grab a vita, it was worth it eventually. I got a decent bundle deal, i play it when the adverts are on on tv and it's a quiet evening. If i have nights where I can't sleep it goes upstairs with me and a little LBPVita (excellent game BTW) will knock me right out
troublemaker 4 years ago
Johno Muller's avatar
Wednesday is becoming Vita at work day, usually quiet at work and PS+ gives me plenty of free titles.
Johno Muller 4 years ago
Anonymous user's avatar
Could just get one of these, haha: http://youtu.be/-G-fgQOZBqM
Chris 4 years ago
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 4 years ago
It's on the PS+ as a freebie atm and there's nothing new on the Vita version save for a gimmicky touch screen mode? Yeah. No.

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