Eric Kelly On September 19, 2013 at 9:19 am

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate - Power Launcher_01Dead or Alive as a series had a considerable following and despite the lack of series creator Itagaki’s influence it’s actually significantly improved as a series. More of a port of Dead or Alive 5 Plus, this enhanced edition for home consoles decided to add even more features to draw players back in. Throw in all the DLC costumes and extra characters and modes and you got a practically a new game when all is said and done.

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate is still pretty much the same game from last year, but there are a staggering number of changes to justify this new edition as a standalone product. The game has many gameplay and system tweaks, rebalanced characters, nearly all of the DLC costumes, un-lockables, new character’s, and new game modes. Story mode remains unchanged, but it’s worth noting for those unfamiliar with the original release that it is structured like Dead or Alive Dimensions. The story is broken up into chapters where you play as each character that is relevant to the game’s main scenario, playing battles with other character’s as the plot moves along. It’s nice to see that Team Ninja at least attempted to make a coherent storyline that satisfactorily ties all the characters together without making what-if scenarios and joke endings. It also has a couple of funny scenes to lighten the mood every now and then.

Unlike DOA Dimensions, DOA5U has it’s tutorial section set aside from its story mode, where you learn the basics of how to play, and after that you can hit up the training modes, many of which are new. There is also the free training mode, where you are free to practice combos against a bot.

Other modes include Combo Challenge, where you seek to learn and practice many combo attacks. Survival Mode, Time Attack, and Tag Team are all self-explanatory. During any one of these modes you can receive Throwdown Challenges from other online players. During training, a little icon will show up and you can hit the back or select buttons to accept them where you will be thrown into a ranked match. As for the online play, the game has single/tag team, ranked, and tournament modes. You can create or join a lobby or even spectate other player’s matches. The online in this version has better net-code to allow for smoother experiences, but it’s not
quite the level of quality seen in games that use GGPO net-code.

The game has quite the admirable level of quality in its dubbed voice cast, featuring many VA’s the player might be familiar with. The cast helps bring a little more personality to the characters. As far as the music goes, it’s nice but not really memorable, existing to serve a purpose which it accomplishes quite well.

The visuals, at least from close up, show their age and the models don’t sync quite well with the voice acting in either language. The game still does look quite nice all things considered. The game also went so far as to have selectable breast physics that go from being off, Natural, classic DOA, or the ridiculous OMG modes where they bounce all the time. One thing weird though about the natural setting is that while it tries it’s best to replicate real world physics of breast movement; it’s still kinda unnatural and bizarre looking. Outside of these nitpicks, the game is quite the treat for fighting game enthusiasts or DOA fans alike, and if you haven’t yet played DOA5, this would be the version to get.


A rebalanced edition of DOA5 that contains nearly all of the costume DLC from the original game. Decent story mode.


The engine is surely showing it’s age, but it still looks nice and the frames per second are smooth, online play is still a bit laggy.


Points to the game for the catchy soundtrack, points against for the painful voice acting.


Great fighter that still has a good grasp of it’s mechanics.

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