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Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Review

With the Xbox One and PS4 well over a year old there is still a distinct lack of must have fighters to own, on the horizon we have the new Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat X, but what will satisfy our blood lust till then? Step in a new(ish) challenger, Dead or Alive 5: Last Round.

Let me get the bad out of the way first, I will not try and hold in my initial disappointment of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round as no matter how good and enjoyable it is, this game is now a few years old now. It is a little disappointing to know that rather than an all new game we are getting an update, even with the lure of some beautifully upgraded visuals and "softer" models. I will also note that there has been an awful lot of confusion around the "free to play" Core Fighters version, what with its questionably high downloadable content prices and though this review is for the full retail version that supports a wealth of characters, modes, costumes and trophies there are still other DLC packs available for even more costumes so maybe we can expect a Dead or Alive 5: Last Round: Ultimate at some point. 

All that aside, irrespective of if you have played one of the versions of Dead or Alive 5 or are just looking for an exceptional fighting experience on your Xbox One or PS4, this is a great place to start.

For starters there is no denying just how stunning this game looks, with Team Ninja having spent probably a little too long on certain areas of the female characters to the point of them being comically independent enTITies, you would think by now the ladies of Dead or Alive would have purchased a decent sports bra. Aside from the obvious, the character animations across the board are fluid and for a change, in game visuals look a lot better than the cutscenes.

For the story it is the same as before, being set a couple of years after Dead or Alive 4 with DOATEC now being run by Helena who is looking to rebuild the Dead or Alive Tournament and the clone Alpha-152 still on the run. Through the story mode we are introduced to the many characters, each one making up a poor excuse just to beat up one another. Alongside the enjoyable story there is also a healthy selection of solo and tag modes including survival, time attacks and arcade modes and a solid online mode. 

Unlike most fighting games the controls in Dead or Alive are simple, offering a punch, kick, grab and guard with the combos and specials created with a combination of directions and buttons; but the real art is in the countering, with precise guards making fights on the harder difficulties essential. Even with a limited button input the sheer wealth of characters available make for a very eclectic mix of fighting styles with Last Round now hosting 34 fighters that include the return of boss Raidou and newcomer Honoka.

Like most fighting games there is an awful lot to unlock and in typical Dead or Alive style it involves a load of alternative costumes for the characters, some look really cool, others again looking good but not really appropriate attire for fighting in.

Though not necessarily a new game, the visual upgrades, new characters and stages and the solid and satisfying gameplay make Dead or Alive 5: Last Round a worthy addition to your new console collection.

As a final note PS3 and Xbox 360 Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate owners get a free update allowing them to play alongside Last Round owners though you still need to purchase new characters etc.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS4)


+ Looks and plays amazing.
+ 34 characters to choose from.


- Is still an update of a 2012 game.
- The additional DLC is an expensive minefield to negotiate.

Edited On 04 Mar, 2015

( 3 )
Zombieflamingo's avatar
Zombieflamingo 2 years ago
Personally going to wait for this to go below £15. I got 5 when it first came out and was disappointed how much was missing that was in 4.
Dead's avatar
Dead 2 years ago
Meh, DoA has gone well downhill since Itagaki jumped ship.
Zombieflamingo's avatar
Zombieflamingo 2 years ago
I agree, it annoys me the amount of DLC released for this as well, if it is a remastered version it should include all of the DLC that had been released before it was launched. They are not the only people guilty of this but the amount there is ridiculous.

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