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Review: Dead or Alive 6 (PC)By Ofisil At 01.03.2019 09:01

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There's only one big flaw here. This could easily be named Dead or Alive 5.5. The changes, both in terms of audio-visuals and actual gameplay, are mostly minor, to the point that, apart from those who love the franchise to death, very few will find a reason to spent money to get this - especially since, like all fighting game series, this will probably succumb to the nasty habit of reappearing in a "new" and "enhanced" version, forcing fans to open their wallets one more painful time, not to mention the tons of pricey cosmetic DLC that will surely appear after a while. The good news is that, minor or not, the changes actually work in Dead or Alive 6's favor.

Starting with the graphics engine, while the leap isn't that large, and although this still remains somewhat system hog-ish, and for no serious reason, to be honest, it definitely looks better than before. Some characters might initially be a bit too plastic-y, but after a round in the arena, they will start sweating, their clothes will get damaged, and their faces will get dirty and bruised, something that will decrease their uncannily perfection, and, actually manage to make them look even more stunning, with the best example being the series' mascot, Kasumi. Wait, though. Where's her trademark, and very revealing outfit?

Oh, yeah. Dead or Alive 6 has decreased the naughtiness… or maybe not. Why? Because: Honoka's enormous bouncing tatas? Check. Helena's deep cleavage, and sexy thighs? Check. Awkwardly lewd lolitas? Check. All sorts of sexy outfits, including the aforementioned missing one? Check. Tough men, with soft hearts, and no shirts? Check, and check. In other words, aside from a lack of swimsuits, and a few pair of breasts that are... hmm, 5% smaller or something, the supposed decrease in sexualisation was nothing more than a publicity stunt, similar to the 'Breast Physics' of the original Dead or Alive.

Does all this matter? Not one bit. What does is the only thing that ever did, the fun factor, and, luckily this is tons of fun. As mentioned before, the changes aren't exactly groundbreaking. There are no rough edges anymore, though. What started as a very easy fighter to get into, is now the absolute easiest. From punches, kicks, and holds, to throws, combos, and more specialised techniques, few will have any problems with pulling off moves, if any. Just note that, although this is very friendly toward button-mashers, it still needs work if one expects to get good at it. Dead or Alive 6 is impressively approachable, not oversimplified.

The only "big" addition? The series now has a special gauge of its own, the 'Break Gauge,' which, as expected, fills when damaging the opponent or getting hit yourself, opening the path for a few neat tricks that make use of the brand new 'S' button. Pressing the R1/RB on the gamepad unleashes a strong hit (with a nice, "oomph" sound), with the player being able to chain four of these together. By using 'S' with a full Break Gauge, you can do a hard-hitting Break Blow (complete with a cool, slow-mo effect, while the camera zooms at the enemy's smashed face), or "eat" just one half in order to do a Break Hold; essentially a hold that can handle all kinds of attacks.

The important thing about all these Break-type abilities, is that, while insanely easy to pull off, those expecting to just spam the 'S' button for some easy win are in for a rude awakening, as, first, both the 'S' attacks and Break Blows are easy to avoid, and, secondly, not timing a Break Hold correctly means "bye-bye 50% of the gauge." In other words, using all these against a skilled opponent won't be as easy as using them against the CPU, so casuals better stick to practicing their holds, footsies, and juggling skills, and avoid relying on the Break Gauge very often, as it's something that can leave them open for some well-deserved punishment.

Still, it's no lie that the lack of any significant upgrades is somewhat hard to stomach. From game modes to move sets, nothing feels as it has really changed. Aside from the typical modes, (story mode included for all three of you that are into that), there's DOA Quest, which is basically a series of simple objectives that require doing a few specific moves before winning a match - a helpful alternative to the Tutorial mode, where extra costumes can also be acquired (an excruciatingly slow process), but many missions tend to drag on for way too long, and, frankly, this isn't that great of a mode to begin with.

Despite all these issues, this is a big recommendation, especially if willing to wait a while for a decent price drop, or the inevitable all-DLC-included pack. The action is fast and enjoyable, and the stages are much more dynamic, with lots of breakable objects and danger zones - some, like when you get pushed back by the crowd, fit like a glove to the game's style, while others, like how a Kraken grabs and hurls you around, are completely ridiculous. As for the available roster, it's a more-than-decently sized and varied, and although the street fighting Diego, and the electricity mage NiCO, are not as strikingly original, they are fine additions that many are bound to love.

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Final Score
[i]Dead or Alive 6[/i] isn't the Christ's-Second-Coming equivalent of fighting game sequels. This is mostly an upgraded version of [i]Dead or Alive 5[/i], and not exactly a heavily upgraded one. Having said that, even those few improvements manage to make this the best, and most visually appealing instalment so far - boobies, or no boobies.



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