Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Reviews

84,755 (45,245)
TA Score for this game: 1,595
Posted on 14 September 13 at 17:56
This review has 18 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
DOA5: Ultimate includes 5 new characters - Rachel and Momiji from Ninja Gaiden, Ein and Leon from past DOA games, and Jacky from Virtua Fighter - along with all of the returning cast from vanilla DOA5. All of the characters are unlocked from the start in DOA5U so you can jump in and play with your favorites right away. Ultimate also includes a handful of new stage as well. The on-disc costume count has also doubled from vanilla DOA5 to more than 200. All of the DLC costumes for vanilla work with DOA5U, which means there is already $40+ worth of DLC available for the game already.
As far as game play is concerned Ultimate adds one new feature alongside a laundry list of tweaks. The new power launcher is similar to the power blow. This move can only be used once per round and only once the player is below 50% health. It doesn’t add a whole lot to the already diverse mix of styles, but it is great for getting an unexpected juggle in.

The real update is the addition of new modes and features. The story mode returns untouched, but Team Ninja went out of their way to bring in a ton of other new features. Online now has ranked tag matches with up to four players. Survival mode also received upgrades in the form of items that give players points or health depending on what it is, much like previous games.

Training has also been greatly enhanced with an extensive, 40+ stage tutorial that teaches all the layers of Dead or Alive. I only appreciated the series more after going through this and learning how much timing and frames really play a part in the mechanics. There is also a new combo challenge for each character that teaches all of their unique strings. Each challenge is extensive, and completing them all could take me years.
Online play deserves a special mention for a couple of reasons. First, players from DOA5 vanilla and DOA5U can't play against each other. Gameplay tweaks in Ultimate, among other changes, made is so the two games are too different to be compatible. This means that the potential player pool is pretty small in DOA5U and could potentially stay that way unless a lot of current DOA5 players jump to Ultimate. This brings me to my second point, which is that finding a ranked match in matchmaking takes absolutely forever. You can play lobby matches just fine, but finding a ranked match takes 20+ minutes. Our recommendation is to play single-player with the Online Throwdown option turned on so other people can challenge you. Once you do get into a match, the game is remarkably smooth. We have no complaints about lag here.
DOA seems simple on the surface, but uses a lot of stagger and stun mechanics that leave players who try to play it like every other fighting game (hold block until the opponent's combo is over and then use that opening for your attack) will struggle with it against the A.I. or against skilled players. Dodging attacks and countering attacks are the way you play defense here, not just blocking, and it takes practice to learn how to use them well.
The graphics are similar to those of past entries in the series. The character models look smooth for the most part with fluid strikes and the traditional physics on the female characters as the game is known for. Unfortunately, during the story mode, all of the characters retain a blank expression which pulls away from emotional moments (moments of fear, for example) during cutscenes. However, character models aside, the backdrops to arenas and cutscenes during story mode seem rather inconsistent. In one cutscene during story mode while the camera hovered over a ship at sea, the graphics on the ship were well presented whereas the graphics on the water seemed a bit muddled. However, the same boat and water in a later cutscene seemed slightly more defined. The same could be said for wall textures that seem sloppily produced when the camera gets a little closer.

There were a few graphical hiccups that were unexplained, but not enough to take away from the cutscenes. Two examples are Brad Wong’s necklace spinning uncontrollably when he was laying down passed out, and Rig’s suspenders flapping up then down once while he was just sitting at the bar. There was a time or two during one cutscene where the framerate dropped, but it wasn’t enough that it takes away from the scene itself or what’s being said.
The background music is unmemorable to say the least. During my few runs through arcade mode, I put the music volume on the highest setting and I can’t say I remember any of the music tracks in the background aside from the music for The Show stage. Then again, it’s hard to forget or ignore circus music. I do, however, recall certain sound effects to give the arena life. The soldiers yelling in the Hot Zone stage and an alarm blaring in the background of the Fuel stage are a few examples.
In the end, Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate is a worthwhile re-release. The new fighters, stages, and content spice things up considerably, making the overall package much more enjoyable than the original. Factor in improved online netcode and the decision to double-dip becomes an easy one. PlayStation 3 players on-the-fence about picking up a retail copy can download Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate: Core Fighters; a micro-transaction-based, free-to-play version with four characters and online play.
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate delivers fun for players of all skill levels.
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yu SUZUKI dono
31,642 (16,535)
yu SUZUKI dono
TA Score for this game: 1,595
Posted on 23 October 13 at 08:20
This review has 11 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Team Ninja, the developer of Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, have brought forth a game that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. Whether you’re a player who likes to knuckle down and master a character’s art of fighting or if you just enjoy picking up a controller for a few casual bouts, Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate can fuel both desires.

DOA5U brings five new characters into the fray. Some return from previous entries while avid followers of Team Ninja’s exploits will notice the inclusion of 2 new characters from the Ninja Gaiden universe. Ein and Leon make the cut this time around while Jacky brings the returning roster back to 3. The last two characters are Momiji and Rachel — each complimenting their slow and steady or fast and fluid combat styles.

By adding five new characters into the game, they now have their own combos along with special moves that truly separate them from the rest of the cast. This helps make them feel completely different and add a new challenge to the game since you will have to learn most of their moves to be able to counter them or use them in online matches.

The new characters aren’t the only ones showing off some new moves as the original DoA 5 roster also return with some new tricks. Those of you who pride yourselves in ample combo juggling should also get some worth from the single-use ‘Power Launcher’ skill — the perfect way to blast your opponent into the sky and rain hell on them as they fall.

Next up we have the addition of tutorials and the combo challenge. These are a fantastic addition to the game and are especially useful for people new to the DOA series such as myself. The tutorial provided a great introduction to the basics of the game, without which I would have been struggling to learn how to play, be it in the story or in online multiplayer, and that isn’t always the most fun or ideal way to learn. It started with the basics, such as how to move, what buttons are linked to what moves and steadily got more complicated until you are introduced to more or less all there is to learn. Although as with any fighting game, by learning how to play your barely even scratching the surface of becoming a good player.

The combo challenge is a great step up from the tutorial for new players as well as a good refresher for experienced players. In this mode you are shown a button combo on screen and you have to perform the move to advance to the next one. This is a great way to learn the combo’s of your favourite characters and without it I would have been left button bashing in proper fights in an effort to do anything other than a straight kick or punch to my opponents. I felt that without this mode to practice I would have struggled to adapt to DOA‘s particular style as it feels vastly different from my usual fighting games like Tekken and Street Fighter and so I am glad they decided to add it to the game.
There is a new move called the Power Launcher which – similar to the Power Blow of DOA5 – can only be used when the player’s character’s health falls below 50%. This move launches opposing players into the air allowing better players to begin a combo and keep their opponent juggled for huge damage. On top of this, returning characters have been given new combos which can make the Power Launcher even more effective. As well as these gameplay tweaks, some major changes have been made to the tag team gameplay in the form of a limitation to the amount of health that can be recovered by a tagged out player and a new move called Force Out which knocks a character out of the ring and forces the opponent to use their other fighter alone for a limited time. There are also several new tag poses – if the correct character pairs are chosen – and new tag throws as well.

Arcade mode allows the player to unlock costumes, titles, and a score ranking reminiscent of being in an actual arcade. However, there is little else to the arcade mode. It ends rather abruptly as there is no ladder to show your progress. The Normal difficulty is fairly easy to deal with. Hard mode and higher difficulties present more of a challenge. I do feel it is important to note, however, that the difference between normal and hard difficulties can feel a bit drastic for players who aren’t higher skilled in fighting games.

Survival mode is exactly as it sounds; fight your way through your opponents back to back on a single bar of health. Both arcade and survival mode can be played solo or in tag mode where you handle 2 fighters. Tag mode presents the option of switching out one character to let them regenerate some health while you continue to rumble with your secondary character. Team Battle is a mode where you have two teams of 7 vs 7 in a fight to defeat all 7 of your opponents to be victorious. When one character gets knocked out, the next jumps in immediately afterwards so you
have to be on your toes.

The online portion of Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate were also tweaked to max potential, adding some coveted features as well as fixing the smaller portions, such as net code. It is definitely a lot easier to find an online game this time around, as opposed to DOA5+. Granted, this could be because of the fact that I was playing on a handheld system, it was always hard for me to get into a game quickly. The game’s tag team portion was also touched up on rather nicely. For starters, 2v2 tag team battles now exist online. New moves – such as the Tag Force, which knocks a player out of the match for a time slot – and stances all make this mode feel incredibly fresh and can be a blast to play.

Overall, Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate is a solid update to an already great fighting game, and it’s easy to recommend to those who missed the game’s previous outings. The new modes, characters, outfits, and stages breathe new life into the game, and its budget pricing makes picking it up a no-brainer for fans of the genre
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192,060 (100,611)
TA Score for this game: 1,595
Posted on 15 September 13 at 15:23, Edited on 18 October 13 at 14:41
This review has 8 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
This is my 6th review on the site and I'll be keeping with the simplicity of separating the sections into Pros and Cons. Since the online population for this game is still very low, I'll not be mentioning the online enhancements for the game. Instead I'll be saying how this game is an improvement over the original DOA5 and practically every other DOA game made to date. If I've missed anything comment and I'll add it in. Please do not dislike because of your own opinion without writing a review, unless you care to state why you disliked and back it up.

Now then.

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate is a simple yet complex fighting game. It's one of the few truly easy to play but hard to master fighting games out there. The combat in DOA revolves around a "triangle system" where punches beat grabs but lose to parries. (strike >throw > hold)
The fighting in DOA5U is the same as it was in 5 aside of a few new inputs and the addition of the dodge. You can now weave in and out to avoid certain attacks and counter them coming out of the dodge. It's fast, responsive, and fluid just like a fighting game should be. This is one game that doesn't suffer from Next Genitis. (Degrading with the jump to now current gen consoles)

The game has amazing graphics that has seen many of the character appearances overhauled into a somewhat more realistic look. Character's bodies are proportioned differently unlike in previous games. You can more easily tell the height and weight difference of characters this time around. Characters like Hitomi have more slender and lean bodies than say Helena or Tina. There are also the dirt, water, and sweat mechanics which adds to the realism. Fighting on the beach in the sand will result in your character getting dirtier if they're knocked down, but fighting in water will cause thin clothes to be partially transparent. Sweat runs down characters realistically the longer a fight drags out, and if desired, these can all be turned off in the options.

The overall sound in this game is great. The voice actors are top of the line such as Yuri Lowenthal. (Sasuke Uchiha and tons of other people in games or anime) There are also Japanese voice overs which can be selected at will. The sound effects for the fighting and environmental noises are top notch as well. Everything sounds how it should to fit the action packed atmosphere of the game.


Loads of new stuff

Quality English Voices
DOA5 was the first game in the series to bring back English voice acting on console since DOA2 Ultimate on the original Xbox. Unlike DOA2, the voice acting on 5 is actually good and doesn't sound dubbed.

Team Battle Mode
For those who have been with the DOA Franchise since the beginning you might remember the Team Battle Mode. In team battle you can select up to 7 fighters per player and put them up against each other in the order that you selected them. it varies from tag battle in that you aren't able to switch at will or use team based attacks. This mode is a great way to experience multiple characters in a short amount of time for newcomers, and a great way to master your favorites for those veteran players. Both players don't have to select the same amount of characters so a skilled player can be evenly challenged by a beginner if they outnumber them.

Tutorial Mode
Tutorial Mode is exactly what it sounds like. You are given a massive amount of lessons starting with the basics of how to play the game. Each lesson teaches you something new and feels like a natural progression from the last one. This is good if you've never played a DOA title before.

Command Training Mode
Originally in DOA5 you could always activate Command training where you go through each of your fighter's moves in order. While not particularly confusing, this has now been made into a submode for training and it makes the Free Training pause menu a bit cleaner.

Combo Challenge Mode
Combo challenges are a new set of move challenges to train new players to create "free form combos" as opposed to only using the attacks provided on the command list. It tests even the most advanced players and has difficulty ratings as you progress through them all. You can freely choose which challenge you want to practice on and every character has about 20 of them.

Throwback Soundtrack
The DOA series has always had some pretty amazing songs in each game. For the first time you are able to use music from all of the games starting with DOA2. These tracks can be set to specific characters and stages including the menu and online lobbies. To make things easier, tracks from the specific games are color coded so you can quickly find your favorites.

5 Added Characters
Ein from DOA2 returns and is as starter friendly as ever. He's a Karate user and plays similar to Hitomi.

Leon from DOA2 returns as well. His fighting style revolves around hard hitting attacks and combo grabs. He plays similarly to Bayman but focuses more on grabs than holds.

Rachel from Ninja Gaiden is a new fighter who feels very close to Spartan 458 from DOA4. She has heavy blows and an impressive grapple game.

Momiji from Ninja Gaiden is another newcomer. Her fighting style is very technical and focuses on stringing together ground to air combos.

Jacky from Virtua Fighter is the new character Virtua Fighter. He is Sarah's brother and a Jeet Kune Do fighter like Jann Lee.

5 New Stages
The Forest from DOA3 was recreated and is perfect for visually appealing fights. The fighting area is one of the largest in the game.

Lost World from DOA3 returns as an infinite falling level with a medium sized fighting arena. The level design is beautiful and one of the brighter stages in the game.

Haunted Lorelei from DOA3 has been recreated with two unique haunted designs. It brings back the muli-tiered design that the game was currently lacking.

The Desert Wasteland from Ninja Gaiden is brought in as a large level with scattered obstacles.

Sky City Tokyo from Ninja Gaiden is a new Tag Team level that features a unique danger zone and a medium sized open box shaped arena.

Aircraft Carrier is another Ninja Gaiden Tag Team level with a larger battle arena than most.

New Features and Tweaks
All characters have been given one new special move called a Power Launcher. Power Launchers are slow, chargeable attacks that send the opponent high into the air. They are made to start long combos and can only be used once per round per character.

Aside of Power Launchers every character has a few new attacks, victory poses, and many even have new taunts.

Tag Attacks have been assigned to a different input allowing you to retain your neutral grab even during tag battles which can come in handy to prevent accidental switching out.

Extras such as breast physics, titles, and more have seen much work. You can unlock different breast physics such as DOA which causes them to function as they did in previous titles and there is also OMG which makes them bounce uncontrollably from even the slightest movements in a comical manner. There are also over 800 Titles to collect.

Data carries over from DOA5 so if you unlocked many of the titles and costumes on there then you'll already have them unlocked when you start Ultimate.

Free DLC
The majority of the DLC from DOA5 is included in Ultimate and can be unlocked just from playing the game normally. The amount of costumes is more than double from 5 and most of the female characters have well over 10 costumes. This alone amounts to between 20- 40$ if purchased on DOA5.

Extra Content
A new stage was released along with a full pack of Halloween costumes featuring a unique outfit for every character. The stage is free while the costume pack is not. It's not often that a game offers free levels, so I find it quite refreshing that DOA has done that.

Dumbed Down Achievements
The achievements in DOA5U are extremely easy to obtain. Within just 4 hours I already have over 800 gamerscore. You no longer need to go through every mode on the hardest difficulty and can simply play through them once on Solo and tag each. Survival mode only requires you to beat 10 opponents, and story only requires you watch the first cutscene to get a Theater based achievement. All of the achievements that took long to get on 5 have been removed likely because anyone making the change from 5 to 5U wouldn't be willing to unlock them all again. This is good for most players because playing 1000 matches is no small feat. It has been reduced down to 100 which can actually be done in a day if you're persistent. There are a few hard ones in there but nothing a veteran of the series can't handle with a few tries.


Ein and Leon's lack of costumes is very disappointing. They both get 3 costumes while every other character can unlock many more. (The Halloween DLC makes this 4)

No new entry sayings for Solo fights. Even though victories were added they somehow neglected to add multiple entry sayings. In previous DOA titles you could expect to hear "Hello" or "Are you ready to lose?" from Leifang instead of the same thing every match. It's very minor and only takes away from the game if you never change characters.

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