More than just a pretty face.
We have little use for frame data, nor do we consider ourselves fighting masters, so Dead or Alive 5 Plus had to deliver the following: sexy ladies with enhanced breast physics, non-stop fighting action and smoother play than the 3DS DOA. The results are in, and it's check, check and check. Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja's latest PlayStation Vita release "kicks high," so to speak, with a quality port of the console version on Sony's impressive machine. Granted, it's the same game, more or less, but if this marks the first time you'll experience DOA5, we invite you to get jiggly with it.
Part of why this game shines is because it is so accessible. With multiple difficulties, a rock/paper/scissors fighting system and advanced data tracking, Dead or Alive 5 Plus should appeal to both novices and purists alike.
That aside, the experience is quite enjoyable. Team Ninja managed to shove the entire PS3 experience onto that tiny Vita game cart without sacrificing much in the way of detail and performance. You may see jagged edges around characters at times, but for the most part, the action remains fast-paced and fluid on the single-player front. Online, meanwhile, suffers from some lag, particularly during character selection. Fighting is a tad bit slower, but multiplayer makes the grade for the simple fact that you can challenge anyone (on both PS3 and Vita) from around the world.
Of course, if you enjoy the DOA universe, the popular cast of warriors make a triumphant return, including Kasumi, Helena, La Mariposa, Brad Wong and Hayabusa, each of which possess unique move lists and fighting styles. Animation wise, you can get crazy with the bouncy DOA mode that exaggerates that aforementioned part of the female anatomy or turn it off completely. You know, for the kids.
In addition, you can expect a plethora of arenas to battle in, the majority of which feature some sort of environmental interaction, from gas tanks exploding to throwing adversaries into flaming pots and sending them flying off an ice cliff. This over-the-top spectacle, a franchise staple, helps set this game apart from the competition.
As for new additions (hence the Plus in the game's title), we like the option to customize the background music, and the developers earn kudos for putting so many tracks into the game. On the negative side, Touch Fight mode is a big thumbs down. It's first person fighting that incorporates the Vita's touch screen and rear touch pad, so instead of pressing buttons, you tap and swipe. Much too fiddly to work properly, and you wind up watching the computer kick the crap out of your hapless hero or heroine. No thanks.
Thankfully, Tecmo Koei rises above that with an addictive beat-em-up that's bound to become a personal favorite, especially if you grew up playing the original on PSOne, moved on to DOA 2 on Dreamcast and the sequels that followed. Of course, if you're a newcomer, there's plenty to like about this pulverizing brawler.
Review code provided by Tecmo Koei.
What's Hot:Cross-platform multiplayer with PS3 users, simple-to-learn fighting mechanics, multiple arenas with semi-destructible environments, enhanced training modes, customizing music.
What's Not:Weird Touch Fight mode, lag during online multiplayer.