Dead Or Alive 5: Last Round Review
Words: Simon Miller
Dead Or Alive 5: Last Round is the fighting game for people who are terrified of fighting games. While Team Ninja’s latest does itself no favours thanks to its obsession with a ridiculously exaggerated version of the female form, the core principles in place means it remains incredibly accessible for people who may feel a little intimidated by other standouts within the genre.
Dead Or Alive’s greatest asset is its solid foundation. While there are plenty of design choices aimed at giving beginners a rush of satisfaction that makes them want to dive in further – at first even smashing one button a few times will result in a combo – those that do dedicate more time to it will find there’s plenty of fighting depth here. More complicated sequences; off-beat rhythm combinations; the constant desire to successfully ‘stun’ your opponent in order to maximise damage. There may be a very familiar formula in place here, but it’s one that still manages to entertain.
There’s a good chance you’re aware of this, however, and are more interested in understanding what Last Round brings to the Xbox One. Unfortunately, the answer is ‘not much’. As the name suggests, this is a coming together of all the Dead Or Alive 5 content already out there including characters, costumes, hairstyles and modes. There are some exclusive items included such as two new faces to the roster – Honoka and Raidou – but the former especially doesn’t feel as integrated or as well thought-out as you may have hoped. An addition for addition’s sake seems to be more than an appropriate way to describe it.
While there’s a slight increase in visual sheen, as there should be, it’s nothing to write home about, with the main issues stemming from the odd technical problem you may encounter. Playing online especially seems to be a lottery in terms of the experience you’ll receive, a huge shame given that this is, more than likely, going to be where Last Round shows off its longevity.
The usual questionable attire aside, Dead Or Alive 5 remains a fast, slick beat-’em-up with the added bonus of being incredibly accessible and fun. It’s doubtful you’ll need this if you’ve already invested in other iterations with a ‘5’ slapped on the end – this is neither a serious departure nor a huge offering of new content. For anyone who’s not taken the plunge, however, this is the version you need.