Remember the Vita port of Dead or Alive 5 that I reviewed and absolutely loved? Well, now I get to give it another run on consoles, with some neat tweaks, fixes and additions. All is pretty much the same, and all is still pretty much as awesome. The big change here, however, is that there is no a free alternative to Team NINJA’s DOA5. Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate: Core Fighters is a free to play game that includes a bare minimum character roster, with additional characters available for download. The F2P game also removes the game’s story element, although players can purchase that separately for $14.99. The story mode is the same story mode from previous versions, albeit still very confusing. Trophies, however, are disabled with the F2P version of the game. Other than that, all multiplayer modes are playable, and then some. Pick the fighter that best suits you, purchase him, and play the free version if it betters suits your personal taste or to save some money.
However, the real root of this comes from the complete Ultimate package. DOA5: Ultimate fixes a lot of issues seen in the recent releases of the game, including those in DOA5+. Ultimate also throws in every in-depth tutorial and training mode added to the Plus version of the game, allowing console players to completely test and master their skills. Tutorial allows players to learn different moves and strategies for players to master the basic and expert skills required to perfect the game’s unique fighting style. Combo Challenges are, as expected, challenges that tests players in mastering long, extensive combos of certain characters. Both of these provide in-depth ways to prepare players for the challenge online and is even a fun challenge for those simply looking to complete the game to its maximum potential.
Fixing bugs and adding previously released modes isn’t all Team NINJA did to make sure the Ultimate edition of their hit game is truly ultimate. One big game changer added to the game is the Power Launcher. This allows players to launch opponents in the air, and continue to strike them with advanced combos that master players will surely be able to take advantage of. Certain characters that were seen in previous versions were also updated for this new move to make it better suitable for players to utilize these air combos.
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.
The game still looks incredibly beautiful, with the unique character designs and environments standing out even more on the big screen, compared to on the Vita’s screen. And yes, you can still change the amount of jiggle the female character’s…female parts jiggle. Unlockable costumes were bumped up higher, packing over 200 unique costumes for the – also bumped – roster of 29 characters. Throw in the downloadable costumes, and the possibilities are endless. Also worth noting that any costumes purchased are easily transferable to Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate, as well as any progress made from the original PS3 version of the game.
Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate is the perfect package for those just entering into the DOA craze, and may even find a way to satisfy the hardcore audience who have been playing the game since its initial release. However, it goes without saying that for $39.99, players get a nice bang for their buck. The game does far more than make minor tweaks and add some new characters into the picture. Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate brings in massive tweaks to the multiplayer, focusing on the Tag Team element specifically, establishes a major increase to the costume number, bumps up the roster, adds a new gameplay element, and Team NINJA was even kind enough to provide players with a free to play alternative. Safe to say, Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate is certainly worth the $39.99 asking price.
[Note: Review based on free retail version of Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate provided for review by Tecmo Koei]