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DOA5 hands-on showcases much more than jiggling breasts

on 29 August 2012

Dead or Alive’s female characters are simply stunning to look at, but there’s much more to Team Ninja’s brawler than just curves, jiggling breasts and fluttering eye-lashes.

In our behind-the-scenes look at Dead or Alive 5, in the company of series producer Yosuke Hayashi, we also got a taste of an exciting bout between two female characters, executing a satisfying flurry of attacks, combos, holds and throws as Christie, the cold-blooded martial arts specialist took on the sexy Helena Douglas in a battle to the death.

Though the traditional tournament formula of the Dead Or Alive series has barely changed since its inception, DOA5 brings the fight into the modern day era with some visually arresting moves and interactive environments. Each location smashes and crumbles as you kick, punch and toss your opponent into objects, while environmental hazards are indicated by a glowing area, which will be the spot that most opponents are likely to try and push you towards to trigger the most satisfying of attacks.


These environment interactions proved to change the shape of the battle and kept the action unpredictable with a combination of traditional DOA blows, grapples and counters mixed up with powerful smashes and a heavy dose of cinematic flair. Throwing an opponent into an object can trigger an event, such as a big explosion or something more dynamic such as a truck that runs them over. The latter was executed with the new Power Blow which can knock opponents off the stage and trigger a cinematic event. This was extremely entertaining to sit back and watch and an integral part of the battle as it involved thinking tactically about your position in the arena and watching out for those particularly dangerous blows; and then moving quickly to intercept or counter.

The control scheme was immediately accessible with the four face buttons used to kick, punch, throw and counter-hold, yet a combination of inputs and d-pad directions displayed the depth of combat available for veterans and those who hope to rise to the top of the leaderboards. Thankfully, an in-depth training mode gives all players the chance to learn those more complicated manoeuvres before they step into what will undoubtedly be an ultra-competitive online arena.

The animations were super slick and the two girls looked great on screen, particularly when embracing in a rather sexy head-lock with their silky thighs. "DOA5 is a fighting game for this generation," said Hayashi. Though the producer believes that this latest instalment boasts the “cutest chicks in videogames” he also believes that it has the gameplay to match its glittering roster.

Though we only got to fight one bout in DOA5 it was a lot of fun and we’re excited to see more, particularly the range of eye-watering moves from the bevvy of skimpily-clad chicks. Our fight was not only a feast for the eyes, but the control scheme was intuitive and didn’t seem too difficult to get to grips with the basics of attacking, defending, throwing and executing a Power Blow. With some advanced training under our belt, maybe even we’ll stand a chance in the online arena when DOA5 launches on September 25, 2012.