Graphics:
9.0
Gameplay:
8.1
Sound:
8.3
Control:
8.0
Replay Value:
8.5
Overall Rating:
7.5
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Koei Tecmo
Developer:
Team Ninja
Number Of Players:
1-2
Genre:
Fighting
Release Date:
February 17, 2015


When Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate launched back in 2013, I thought we were done with this particular installment. However, I was wrong. Team Ninja has opted to bring the solid fighter to new consoles and as such, they’ve once again updated and renamed the game: Now it’s Dead or Alive 5: Last Round and despite being a pretty clear cash grab – at least in part – it remains a wildly entertaining, well-rounded fighter with plenty of new content. Unfortunately, the new content is underwhelming and long-time followers might be better off waiting for the next real installment.

The graphics really are better than ever, though, and they do cement the best possible version yet of DoA5. Fantastic animations, coupled with wonderfully smooth curves and detailing, make Last Round a visual feast for the eyes (and the libido, in some cases). This really is the best-looking DoA iteration yet; even the lighting appears to be better than it was in Ultimate . Super fluid, highly sexualized visuals have always been a staple of this series; the developers simply bring that winning formula to a new level. Even the new outfits are exceedingly well designed and I’ve always appreciated the graphical ebb and flow that never skips a beat.

The sound is equally impressive, thanks to a good soundtrack and those patented effects. I dunno; I just always thought the combat effects in DoA were a little different than those in any other fighter. There’s something about this cartoon-y yet effective audio presentation that always made me smile. Sure, the voices are borderline painful but this is a fighting game…the voices are always amateur-ville. It actually wouldn’t feel like DoA if we had professional actors in there. Anyway, from a technical standpoint, everything about Last Round excels. There’s nothing too new here, despite that aforementioned visual touch-up, but we didn’t have much to complain about in the first place, right?

Yeah, this is DoA. There’s no doubt about that. It’s just not the advanced, next-level DoA we expect to see with the official sixth installment. The physics and mechanics are about the same, the characters and arenas are familiar, and the stories are – as always – just plain silly. We do get plenty of costumes, however, which is a bonus for those who like to play dress-up. You can change the hairstyles of your favorite characters, for instance, and you can even toss on a few accessories. The cool part is that these costumes actually get dirty during a match; another example of the game’s visual prowess. If the arena is especially filthy and the match is lengthy, expect your costume to bear the scars of war.

Now, one could argue about the “bouncy” nature of DoA forever. Seriously, this is a debate that doesn’t really have an end. Those who are offended will always be offended and Team Ninja sticks to their “it’s just fantasy” explanation, which of course is accurate. Let’s not forget that men are abnormally proportioned in such games as well. At any rate, I think it’s important to note that the “bounciness” of the ladies in Last Round is actually quite authentic. Well, it’s authentic if we accept that such women could possibly exist, and they’d actually be able to pull off such moves in high heels. At least their chests aren’t exaggerated; they’re not bouncing off the freakin’ screen, as they’ve been known to do.