Dead Or Alive doesn't change much at heart from version 3 to 4 to 5. Its story mode is still the craziest Japanese soap opera ever (though has been given a thoughtful structural makeover this time around), the characters are still larger than life and the female characters' breasts still defy the laws of physics, even though the creators think otherwise and are keen to point out how the costumes now have some form of influence on the astonishing level of wobble that persists long after the characters have adopted their victory pose. But there are a lot of changes to the structure of the game that really do make this the best DOA yet and worth buying into again.
The graphics for a start are better than ever. The characters sweat, get dirt or snow on them, and the stages they fight in look better than ever - in fact they are occasionally distracting for all the RIGHT reasons. There are more than enough stages to keep you from thinking, "seen it, bored now" for a long-long while, and introductions of new moves, a brand new cliff-hanger feature, spectacular danger zone trigger animations and even a few new characters (well, new to me anyway (I think they're guesting from some other game)).
Online mode is merely adequate though, and whilst there are lobbies you can search and step into, matchmaking a simple or ranked game still takes a lot of patience as you wait for the server to hook you up with someone. There's no real excuse for that, and the whole online setup looks really stale and uninspired. Bizarrely, after fighting around 100 games online I found myself preferring to play the game offline against the computer, the novelty of beating or getting beat by a real person wearing off due to the long wait times and a lack of inspiration in the online modes available.