Dead Or Alive 6 – Too little body to crush
Dead or Alive 6 smoothly serves newcomers and veterans, but rewards them sparingly. However, the typical visual style is never lost.
In the Dead or Alive 6 review Nathan goes into the fight against busty or body-building ninjas with full courage, but will he also be rewarded for his heroic deeds?
When you see ninjas with distinct cleavage animations fighting in a Japanese garden while a pterodactyl egg hatches in the background, you know you’re dealing with a new Dead or Alive. Developer Team Ninja intends to keep the recognizable elements of the series, but devises ways to smoothly introduce novices in Dead or Alive 6 to the series and serve the veterans at their beck and call. A new super meter and ready-made combo are the additions to the gameplay that fulfill both functions, and with success. However, what you get in return for all the blows you take is often too meager.
Break Gauge: that’s the name of the brand new super meter that you fill with a sharp punch. This is possible with Fatal Rush, a ready-made combo of up to four hits that you simply perform with the R1 button. If you have more experience, you can combine the Fatal Rush with other attacks. Once charged, you launch a Break Blow or Break Hold. The first one breaks any block of your opponent, the second one converts any attack into a strong counterattack. Break Blow, in particular, is a quick way for beginners to complete a combo with a super attack. Break Hold is a bit more complicated, however, because you have to time it perfectly. If not, you will lose the Break charge. Experts have more dexterity to execute the Break Hold anyway. But since the Break Blow is almost always doable and the gauge quickly fills up, the Break Gauge finds the ideal balance to challenge newcomers and veterans alike. Together with the Fatal Rush a successful addition.
Fatal Rush in turn responds more to the beginner’s wishes. That is a ready-made combo up to four hits that you simply perform with the R1 button. You also let it flow seamlessly into the Break Blow. If you have more experience, you can combine the Fatal Rush with other attacks. At first glance, Fatal Rush looks like a bite-sized chunk, but it is a useful element to add more variety to your attacks.
In the Main Story, each character has its own storyline of which you alternately unlock a chapter. That does create a messy structure, while the backgrounds of the fighters remain unclear according to tradition. In addition, the story sometimes causes curling moments, for example when Marie Rose pretends to be played innocent, or when a ninja looks down from a height for the umpteenth time. The Main Story is not a piece of cake, however: the difficulty only increases, with a final boss who is a really tough opponent. In its complexity, challenge and cheesy character, the Main Story mainly satisfies the veterans of the series.
Dead Or Alive 6 review – Old-timers Tina and Zack are still there.
Newcomers should therefore turn to DOA Quest. In it, you complete mini missions with specific commands, such as ‘Do 60 damage with 1 combo’ or ‘Do 1 ground attack’. It is an accessible mode to train certain skills, because if you have to stop two mid strikes, your opponent will also constantly perform mid strikes. In addition, it is the fastest way to collect Player Points and Pattern Parts for new costumes in the Wardrobe. DOA Quest is short, powerful and effective, or the perfect snack for the whimsicality of the Main Story.
On the other hand, it takes too long for the Player Points and Pattern Parts to be useful. Per completed Quest you usually get 300 or 400 Pattern Parts for a given costume that costs 1000. You exchange the Player Points for glasses, or eventually for a costume that has all its Pattern Parts. As a result, you do not determine which costumes you unlock first, nor which character you want to fully develop. The game puts unnecessary pressure on you to complete Quests and limits your freedom to do your own thing, which can quickly feel like grinding. Dead or Alive 6 thus undermines its own inviting character.
Dead Or Alive 6 review – ‘Environmental hazards’ are back.
That makes up for the game with its graphic style. While fighting, you will now see some blows in slow motion, and as the match progresses, your character will take more and more visible damage. In addition, you play in colorful and interactive environments: on the edge of it you do extra damage, such as with an electrified fence or a giant octopus that smashes your opponent. The fantasy side boosts the spectacle of your battles, while the sophisticated and realistic fighting styles keep things believable. Incidentally, Dead or Alive would not be itself if the breasts of the fighters do not often appear wobbly. Sexuality is, as previously promised, a little less explicit, so that part 6 successfully remains on the verge of tasteful balancing.
Team Ninja successfully appeals to beginners in many areas. Fatal Rush and Break Blow are easy to perform after the Break Gauge has quickly filled. DOA Quest alternates many small missions and is the ideal way to learn moves. In addition, the veterans find more to their liking in the whimsical structure of the Main Story and with the perfectly timed Break Hold. You get a little too little in return for all that effort, because the game does not allow you to choose costumes yourself and pushes you in the direction of grinding. Team Ninja does all that for you in a sleek, magical-realistic style, with the necessary sexy Dead or Alive winks. Dead or Alive 6 delivers spectacle and entertainment in an accessible way, without losing its recognisability.
For this Dead or Alive 6 review, Nathan played on the PC.