E3 2012: DOA 5 Hands-On Preview

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by Nic Gerbode, staff writer, Inside AX – Anime Expo

source: http://teamninja-studio.com/doa5/us/top.html

Dead Or Alive 5 was brought to E3 this year, and you can bet your breast physics I was able to get my hands on it. The game that is, not the-

Anyways, I’ve been a DOA fan ever since I owned an Xbox. DOAs 1-4 I’ve played, then played, and then played again, until I was up there with the ‘A’ ranks on Xbox Live. I say ‘A’ rank, because a white guy can only accomplish so much. I excelled with Kasumi and Christie, and they were both playable at Tecmo’s E3 exhibit, along with I believe 10 other familiar characters. Hayabusa, Hitomi, Tina, Hayate, Lei Fang, Kokoro, and more were all selectable, playable characters in the demo, each with variable costumes to boot.

I was blown away by the graphical improvements of this game. The characters no longer looked like PVC figures with ridiculously large boobs. They’re still sizable, don’t get discouraged! The goods are still intact! They’re just much more believable now, is all. But characters have a realness to them; the eyes are a little smaller, their skin is more detailed, their hair flows smoother. They look a lot better. Clothes have also received a little more detail, as well as the environments you fight in.

Levels are still multi-tiered, meaning players can fall off roof tops, hit explosive canisters, get hit by cars, even demolish buildings! DOA’s known for keeping you on your toes, and making sure you’re paying attention to more than just the fight, and with this installment, they’ve upped the ante.

Now, even though I am hysterically excited for this game, there are a few cons I noticed with it that I really hope they fix before the game’s release. First off, the load times are ri-friggin’-diculous! I noticed this at the character selection screen, when it took 20 seconds to load my character before selecting her, another 20 seconds after selecting her, and another 30 seconds after choosing her costume, and then another 2 minutes for the level to load when my opponent and I were done! This is unacceptable Team Ninja! I understand the improvements have a cost but I expect this from a game like Crysis, not a fighting game!

Secondly, while I am very glad that the characters skins have improved, I still wish I could play a fighting game that has real-time damage to the fighters. Bruises, cuts, abrasions, dirt, blood, that kind of thing! Dead Or Alive could really mix it up by incorporating this stuff, and make it feel more gritty, and real. But this is a very minor gripe, and something I generally wish would be the case for most of today’s popular fighting games. So, yeah, Team Ninja, just stick with the load times for now. Write this one down for DOA 6 though!

My final word on the game is it’s great! I’m a huge DOA fan, and while Tomonobu Itagaki is sadly out of the picture, Team Ninja did a great job sticking with what the series was all about: fast, responsive, graceful combat. I’m definitely adding DOA 5 to my “Must Buy” list. Look forward to it on Xbox 360 and PS3 this Fall!

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