DEAD OR ALIVE 6 – PS4 – Exp Ops

Experience Opinions posts are where I have a look at a beta period of an up and coming title and let you know my views/opinions of what happened.

I must admit Dead or Alive 2 always was a soft spot for me. One of the best multiplayer fighters on the Sega Dreamcast back in the day and perfect for quick tournies. It has been a while since I’ve looked forward to a new Dead or Alive game with each title seemingly focusing more on the cheesecake and less on the brawl. With DOA6 taking a new step towards focusing on fighters it’s firmly back on the radar. Now the open beta is done and dusted it’s time to look back and say what it was all about. As it turns out DOA6 so far is all about super fast fun.

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Love or hate its system, DOA’s Punch, Kick, Throw, Guard/Counter system has always allowed for simple pick up and play. The classic controls are back but now with the addition of the Special button allowing for side attacks, Super blocks and Super attacks (using a 2 part meter). Adding in simple repeated button press combos, attacks that you can use to blast off armour, juggle attacks to keep people in the air and the wall damage aka the DANGER ZONE and you’ve a fighter that is just as accessible as the past but plenty to dig in and learn.

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I’m glad to report that even digging around in the character outfits that will be unlockable later on DOA6 is the least obviously sexualised entry expected. Its fighters do get sweaty, bloody and dirty but despite this we’re starting to get more of a Fight Night aesthetic than just dolls bouncing around getting wet. It does look like the original outfits are present and we’ll see how long the tone is kept to this level but so far so good! Visually DOA6 is amazing so far and I mentioned it before but I’m really loving the designs, the default styles are cracking. It’s also worth noting that dressing characters with glasses is always a cool little extra.

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The online netcode was a complete mixed bag and having a look online it seems this wasn’t just my experience. It wasn’t completely unplayable or broken, most fights functioned fine but I found that occasionally either a fight would lag badly or the game would lock up entirely. It seemed to be related to cheating, people dropping out as I won. One moment sticks with me where I was victorious against a C rank player and just as the WIN popped up the game locked up (I’m convinced the laggy git jumped out exploiting a bug) Otherwise very fun!

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It’s a shame that it was another beta test that didn’t allow for local play more than a simple training tutorial but it did allow for a tinkering in the options and a little customisation. Audio being switchable between the dub and Japanese is always welcome with the music and sounds being very recognisable DOA (that boosh noise between menus for one). The dialogue lines before and after fights are your usual affair so far with gems such as “Brother why?” and “curse you” It bodes well for the full game and lets hope the story mode is just as ludicrous as DOA5.

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The combat is insanely fast and relies heavily on rhythm to time your throws and counters. Sure it’s still punch, punch, punch and hope not to get countered but the flow of the battles has been improved. I particularly enjoy Diaos smash punch when you use his super. You hit someone into the danger wall and oouuuff they felt that! There’s considerably less “counter counter counter counter” with the system so far and a lot more standing back and seeing what works. We’ll see how long that sticks online but even at my lowly E ranking it was enjoyable.

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But what about the characters available so far? Well, Kasumi is fast and frantic as always. I rarely use her in DOA and tend to gravitate to Jann Lee and Lei Fang but in the beginning of the beta she was my go to. Hayabusa feels like Hayabusa. A ninja garden full of flowers of death. I did start to use Diego a lot more towards the end of the beta just to try something new and although the character design reminds me a lot of Chad from Bleach he’s more like Mila from DOA, relying on boxing and heavy hitters to get the job done. Hayate is very kick heavy like the Ken alternate to Hayabusa and lastly Ayane gets amazing purple ninja blades. What more can you ask for?

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Overall from what I’ve played so far DOA6 is just frantic fun. It’s a bit like Guilty Gear Xrd in pacing, Blazblue Cross Tag Battle in its accessibility and Tekken 7 in its zoning. All of these brilliant ideas all blended into a lush 3D makeover. I’ve gone from a firm “wait and see” approach to “wow” over the course of this beta. I’m looking forward to seeing more! *of the fighting not any venus costumes.

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