When Dead Or Alive 5 came out on consoles last year people were amazed at how well it turned out with Yosuke Hayashi at the helm for the first time. With a tighter combat system, fully-fledged story and solid online component, DoA 5 was a game to be reckoned with. Now it’s been ported to PlayStation Vita, does it still have what it takes to fight with the best of them, or does it suffer from first round fatigue?
Dead Or Alive 5 Plus has everything that its console sibling has to offer plus a new mode that incorporates the Vita’s touch screen in the strangest of ways. In terms of gameplay it feels exactly like the original, so you might as well go and read the review for that first. Done? Good. So, moving onto the new feature and the differences between the two games, the new mode in DoA 5 Plus is called Touch Fight and does what it says on the tin, allowing you to fight your opponents with the swipe of your finger.
Touch Fighting isn’t a poke fight like you might expect, but it’s pretty much just an exhibition match that allows you to select a fighter an opponent and then jams you into a first-person perspective letting you tap, swipe and pinch your opponent into submission. Swiping up launches your opponent into the air, allowing you to follow up with a volley of combos to really inflict the pain. Swiping down or to the side either kicks them down to the ground or kicks them to the left or right depending on how you swiped. Pinching causes you to grab, while placing two fingers down at once blocks or counters.
It’s fun, but it’s hard to really see anyone spending a lot of time with the mode – especially as it feels like it was tacked on before the games release. Every character feels the same as you tap and do combos on the screen and it lacks the series of fight progressions you work through in Arcade mode. After winning, or losing, you’ve got the option to replay the match or select new characters – repeating this ad nauseum is one way to experience a semi arcade experience I suppose. However, it’s reasonably cool to turn your Vita on its side letting you see a full body shot of your opponent – but that’s where the novelty ends really. It’s sad, too, because I think if the time needed was invested into it, maybe it could have been something really special.
The Vita version also allows you to play online against your friends, whether they be on Vita or PlayStation 3 – you can even see which system your friends or opponents are playing on. One downfall of this is that I noticed an inordinate amount of people on PS3 would leave to find another room once they noticed I was playing on a Vita. It also seemed odd that I couldn’t invite my friend on PS3 into a fight with me – a crushing downside, especially if you don’t own a PS3 and you bought this game to play cross platform.
Not that you had any doubt to question Team Ninja’s widely known prowess for creating exceptionally great looking titles, I just wanted to throw in that this is one beautiful game. The graphics have been toned down a little from the PS3 version, but that’s understandable and still doesn’t take anything away. Everything from the backgrounds to the character models look amazing. There was also not a drop of slowdown witnessed during my time with the title, which is impressive considering they didn’t take anything out . If you’re a Dead Or Alive fan, and have a Vita, you owe it to yourself to get Team Ninja’s latest outing.
Audio/Visual – 4/5: Great character models and spectacular stage locations, still one of the best looking fighting games to date.
Gameplay – 4/5: Fun, addictive, fast paced – just like its older sister, although not being able to invite my friend on PS3 was a bummer.
Innovation – 4.5/5: The interactive 3D stages still make the game feel like you’re watching a Michael Bay movie, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Value – 4.5/5: With characters, difficulties, and costumes to unlock you will find yourself spending hours trying to unlock everything.
Final Score – 4.5/5