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Dead or Alive 5 - Ultimate (PS3)
Dead or Alive 5 - Ultimate (PS3)
Price: 22.05

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New life in a not-so-old girl, 13 Sep 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate is a sequel of sorts to last years Dead or Alive 5, developed by Team Ninja (Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive) and published by TecmoKoei (Dynasty Warriors, Atelier etc). Lets be honest here, DoA5 has been out for less than a year (which admit-ably calls into question how ethical this 're-packaging' really is for some folk, not me however although that's a fair stance in my books) so there have been plenty or reviews and resources on the core game so I'll focus my review on changes & additions and what not.

So Whats New?:

5 new characters, 5 new stages (6 if you include Zack's island which came to the original post-release), new training modes, various new game-play modes, new music and um... well... bouncier chests (seriously theres now an option to set how much 'jiggle' breasts have ranging from 'off' to 'OMG' - the later being absolutely ridiculous, whether that's a brilliantly silly addition or highly offensive will depend on you as an individual of-course but c'mon, it IS DoA) Most of the new content is quite substantial, all 5 new stages either are quite vast and well drawn or have some very nice interactive elements, the 5 new fighters add some welcome diversity to the roster especially the two Ninja Gaiden lady's Momiji and Rachael. Oh and if you bought DLC for DoA5 it'll work with ultimate and some of you're stats & unlocked titles can carry over, theres also some new costumes and some upcoming DLC - which will be, wait for it, more bikinis... like we don't have enough of those - no mankinis on the horizon I'm afraid for those wondering.

One of the big new features is a character combo mode within training, which tries to teach you impressive combos for each character, which sounds good but the instructions are noon-existent and its up to you to figure out, usually its very doable... well not necessarily with the dualshocks unreliable triggers and the game apparent inability to read diagonal directions... yeah I'm going to blame the game for that, totally NOTHING to do with my rubbish hand-eye coordination! Theres now also quite a big emphasis on tag modes, including survival tag which is pretty good, speaking of survival random health/score items now drop when you K.O a foe to make you're life that bit easier. Finally theres a tag team mode where you can pit a team off up to 7 fighters against seven foes, its especially fun to pick a character you despise and have 7 of you're favorite (Hitomi in my case) beat down on them... take that Helena! oh oh and Brad! . . . and Alpha, Jann Lee too... trust me if you haven't already you'll learn to have a grudge against a sizable portion of the roster sooner or later.

Story/Characters:

Its all the same, there are ZERO changes to the story mode despite 5 new characters and stages, there are also no trophies tied to story mode so it very much feels like Team Ninja realized the not-so-great feedback to the story and decided it should sit at the back - personally I quite liked this mode in the original but obviously there was zero incentive to play so I didn't really. The new characters therefor have zero personality unless you've seen them in one of their other games so if you're new to DoA you may struggle to invest in them, although I'm afraid to say for those in that basket this release seems to cater exclusively to those who bought DoA5 and multiple other Team Ninja games.

Gameplay:

By and large the fighting is all the same, with some new & removed moves here and there and a new launcher attack, like a power blow but with vertical movement although neither the AI nor folks online seem to use it much so I presume its pretty useless, looks good though. The new stages however offer much more substantial additions including one with a massive statue that you can interact with by slamming folks into and my new favorite a desert with hilly terrain and various crumbling pillars - which I thought I'd dislike as its from Ninja Gaiden 3, a game I merely 'liked... sort off'. Other new stages include high cliffs which you can fall down to an infinite number of other cliff tops, an autumn forest with uneven terrain and trees littered about and big wide stage on a military ship.

Graphics:

DoA5 was a pretty game with some low-res textures to somewhat blemish it, Ultimate seems to actually look slightly better - switching between the two games both textures and lighting have improved, characters now actually have knees and elbows now - I know right?. However its the new stages that steal the show, they clearly have much higher resolution textures and are more expansive and detailed by-and-large (the Tokyo stage not withstanding as the stature is very low-res, just ported straight from Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2) with the desert stage having truly outstanding lighting and the forest & cliffs having some mighty impressive texture work and a sense of scale in the laters case. All menus etc have the same style and visuals as before and the frame rate seems to keep up just as well, I was quite impressed with the visuals I have to say - I didn't expect any real improvements.

Sound:

As good as before... naw who'm I kidding, its much better, DoA5 had a 'good' soundtrack I felt but having various tunes from previous games helps improve things immensely (especially DoA2's) and being able to change character and stage music is a blessing - mostly for you poor old folk who suffered through the originals survival mode and got pretty fed up of the background music, you can make sure you never EVER hear it EVER again (not that I was ever that good mind). The voice acting is still solid, in both Japanese and English, I personally prefer the Japanese dub as its more believable with the female characters, the opposite is true with the blokes - although I have to say FAR more effort seems to go into the females in this game, I wonder why? The sound effects and background noise are still very good and heavy, everything you do feels like it has a lot of heft mostly thanks to the brutal sound effects and on a minor pointer the audio quality while talking to you're mates over the network is very crisp and clear.

Re-playability:

This is where I feel this game is sorely let down, if you played DoA5 theres not a whole lot new you can do, but it is half the price - if you're new to DoA this is a decent place to start but be warned, the folk online on average seem considerably more skilled than DoA5. All of the trophies bar 3 fairly tough ones can be easily earned in 3 hours, no joke, add to that my total play time of 6 hours and I've seen everything just about and unlocked half the new costumes and you may even consider the low price point as not enough to justify purchase. However with a game like this its what you make of it that'll determine you're play-time, got some mates to play online with? - theres dozens of hours, sticking to single player? - 5 hours and you're done or if its your first time with any DoA5 the story may double that.

So thats DoA5 Ultimate in a (fairly long) nut shell, I'd recommend this game to just about anyone interest but it is one of those 'perhaps wait for it to drop to the early teens in price' kind off situations for those unsure/cautious. Also I hope I provided enough information for you to help make up you're mind but if I've been too brief theres some solid reviews on the original games page worth checking out, I also did one a year back on the collectors edition which should cover most of what I may have missed as I focused on the new additions/changes. So thanks for reading and maybe I'll see you online...

UPDATE: After playing this game a for a decent bit online trying out various options and going off other users online it seems the net-code in this game is (unbelievably) worse than in the original, Team Ninja are trying to resolve the issue but ranked matches that aren't tag mode are near enough broken at this point, I haven't had issues with invites but apparently other folks have so please bare this in mind.

PSN: HappyBottyBunny
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2013 12:47 AM BST


Dead or Alive 5: Prima's Official Game Guide (Prima Official Game Guides)
Dead or Alive 5: Prima's Official Game Guide (Prima Official Game Guides)
by Bryan Dawson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very compact and usefull guide but not entirely easy to use, 11 Oct 2012
UPDATE: Following the release of Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (PS3) with its extensive training mode and new characters/moves this guide is probably not the best suited for that game, just the original DoA5 - even with all the great advice online (GameFAQs in particular) this guide was a very worthy resource none the less.

A few nice touches come with this guide, not least a 16 month poster/calendar for the rest of this and next year, its just the reveal image of Kazumi in a swimsuit again (it IS Dead or Alive after all) Also there is some decent concept artwork laid throughout the guide, surprisingly some of it isn't even in the collectors editions official art book so its a nice touch, but baffling as that art book could have done with more.

Unlockables:

This guide details what unlockables there are and how to get them, its brief and it gets to the point so rather useful but its nothing that can't easily be found online. It doesn't go into detail regarding trophies though, but no guide ever seems to anyway.

Strategy:

This is one of two areas I find this guide falters slightly, it tells you what to do during story fights, it tells you what moves and good tactics for every character but it does not tell you HOW to do everything. You are told how to beat story missions but it only guides you in how to beat the bonus mission, not just to clear the fight which in some peoples cases (like mine 'cause I suck at this game) would be more relevant. Also during combat training in game you may come across a move you simply don't understand, unfortunately the guide never tells you how to pull of each characters difficult moves either, not even an appropriate combo for a critical burst followed by a power blow.

With all that said you will get detailed analysis on each characters fighting styles, strengths, weaknesses and whos good in whos hands (i.e. for me... no body) and having the move set to hand is great for a complete novice like myself. It also explains what the symbols mean in combat training, which is a GOD SEND as after 3 hours before I got the guide I still had no idea what a black arrow meant (its hold btw) Each course is also explained in detail and seems rather comprehensive, I didn't use this part as I prefer to explore but it takes up quite a few pages and shows level hazards and boundaries so is surely useful.

Layout:

Another of the guides slight faults lies here, as a whole the layout is very intuitive and well developed, I know exactly where to find unlockables, characters move sets, strategies etc but there is one fundamental flaw in the character move set. You can of course use the contents to find which page each characters set is on but of course its much quicker just to flick through and look at what name appears in the header/footer as in most guide, 'cept this guide doesn't have that so the only way to know which characters set you're on is by the odd artwork or the contents, by no means is this a deal breaker but it can make finding move sets a bit fiddly, especially during tag matches.

Contents:

Well its all here, you have move sets, stage strategies, training strategies, character strategies, unlockables, concept art and a pretty(read-revealing) calendar/poster so no complaint here. If you're looking for an attractive guide with popping colours and lots of quality screen shots a-la Dark Souls or Final Fantasy XIII-2 you'll be dissapointed but this guide is laid out much better than those two and gets straight to the point.

All in all I found this guide to be helpful and at times essential, but I couldn't help notice there was more than one occasion where it simply didn't have the information I needed (The final boss was ridiculously annoying- a good tip not in the guide would be to loose 5 times first as then it goes easy on you) Hopefully at this rate I *might* be able to land a punch online but for now I'll settle with actually being able to understand whats going on, so I hope this review helped in any way.


Dead or Alive 5 - Collector's Edition (PS3)
Dead or Alive 5 - Collector's Edition (PS3)
Offered by Go2Games
Price: 29.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger and bouncier in all the right places... I think?, 4 Oct 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Like the other review this is my first DoA title and I wasn't too sure what to expect after a horrendous time with Ninja Gaiden 3 and and development team that has often shown a lack of focus as of late (Team Ninja) Its fair to say this game has changed since the alpha demo that came with Ninja Gaiden 3 (one of those being the women's breasts are bigger and bouncier for some reason, don't ask how I know that)

The collectors edition itself is much like you'd expect from Tecmo, very high quality but rather pointless, like Ninja Gaiden 3s CE before it. The art book is between A5 and A4 in size, has well over 100 pages and is hardback, needless to say its very well made BUT the content may disappoint, its almost entirely complied of screen shots. Yes the graphics are nice but literally 7 or 8 pages of actual concept art is more than a little disappointing, the poster is nice and big, its just the standard cover with every character stuck on the side and comes folded. The soundtrack CD has a proper case (not a shabby paper slip) but seems rather fragile, the music itself is good but not amazing. The DLC costumes are... well... pleasant I guess, but I'm sure no-one buys DoA for scantly clad women, right? This of course is all packaged in a very slick metal case (which is pretty huge actually) so for the 60 or so asking price this seems like a good deal.

Onto the game itself, but first I should get something out of the way, something thats allways bugged me about reviews of DoA titles (despite this being my first) I'm not going to distance myself from this game and pretend that I'm a perfect good and moral person and constantly moan about this games sexualised content, what I mean is I'll be the first to admit the pretty women in this game were a draw to me and I won't preach otherwise, I mean, I am a guy after all. If you don't agree with me fine maybe this game isn't for you, or maybe its just my review, but thats the stance I'm going to take.

Graphics:

Very good, they look outstanding in motion but like the rest of the game feel a little ruched and dated. The textures in particular are often very flat and low res, audiences are cardboard cut outs and the polygon count never impresses in man made objects. That said the fighters look outstanding, however the women look notably better than the men, although I will say every single women has a very similar body figure as does every male fighter which may or may not float you're boat. Fighters even sweat and gather dirt which looks mighty impressive Ryu Hyabussa's armor and characters faces. The facial details border on the insane and costumes are varied and lively, the colorful backgrounds really add to the overall frantic pace. The games lighting is also spectacularly good and all at 720p 60fps, rest assured, this is a beautiful game with only the odd low res texture to blemish it. I actually haven't played online so I can't comment on performance there unfortunately and I did install the game, its about 2.8 gigs I believe.

Sound:

Theres both a Japanese and English dub, I prefer the Japanese but both are very good, although if you want Japanese you have to edit that in the settings every time you boot up the game, hardly ideal - UPDATE, via a post-release patch this is no longer the case. The music isn't very memorable 'cept for a few tunes but is very pleasant none the less, the sound effects sound brutal and heavy, even putting God of War to shame with its impact, this is a game that demands surround sound or at least some decent headphones as the sound quality is excellent. A couple of the games stand out moments are actually to do with the sound, when you hear 5 different animals howling and the wind through the trees in the jungle, or cars, people and buzzing electric generators atop a skyscraper y'know someone worked tirelessly to perfect the sound.

Story/Characters:

I havn't got too far into the story, and I'm one character short of the full roaster, but the story so far seems nonsensical but playful, cheeky and fun. The cut scenes are very well produced and unlike 99% of fighting game stories a.) it doesn't suck and b.) not everyone you happen to run into wants a fight (I know right?)... a good 60% do though. The charcters are as a whole very likable, but like the visuals, the women shine far brighter as many of the male characters feel very forced or far too similar to one another, Ryu Hyabusa is still awesome though (even after NG3s... story) The new characters are perhaps the best, the likes of Mila and Rig bring very unique fighting skills and are entertaining, my favourite charcter is defenetly Hitomi but each to his or her own.

Gameplay:

Being new to both DoA and fighters in general (I suck at them all) DoA is a breath of fresh air, the combat is fast, fluid, easy to grasp but hard to master, but most importantly, its a heap of fun. Seeing you're perfectly timed combo slam someone into a flying car or perfectly timing a counter is very highly rewarded in DoA 5 and immensely satisfying to pull off. Also most combos don't require excessively fast button pressing (some do) so even a novice like me can pull of the entire move-set of a chosen character, unlike in Blazblue where I struggle to even do a 3 button combo let alone a 5 button combo with analogue and height considerations. DoA 5 has plenty of modes to try: tag, story, versus, online, time attack, survival and training. I wish there was a tournament mode, or a board to clear like SoulCalibur 2, but you can't have it all I guess. I should also warn you that training isn't entirely helpful as it never exactly explains how to do anything nor what each symbol mean, but it gets the job done after mucking around for a bit. Like Call of Duty there are titles to earn by completing certain feats which adds heaps of replay, getting all 580-ish or so will be brutal, as you'll have to win 3000 matches with each character on top of everything else (fun?)

Re-playability:

Yes DoA has heaps of modes, both on and off-line, and the Platinum trophy will take a very long time to complete. A lot of the trophies will pop very quickly but some will be very grindy or very difficult, its not an easy Platinum rest assured.

Dead or Alive 5 so far checks all the boxes and with DLC content being released (not paid characters or stages mind = Yes!) its probably one of the most complete, competent and easily the most novice friendly fighter I've ever had the pleasure of playing and I hope that when I tackle the online mode I'll have just as much fun. So sorry if this review was long-winded but I hope it helps and I may see some of you online some time.

UPDATE: There is now an Ultimate version of this game avaliable Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (PS3) - also note that some DLC you can purchase in this game is already in Ultimate but that any content that isn't will carry over. Despite a newer game being released DoA5 still has a decent online community and the net-code is decent, more so if playing with friends on PSN than ranked matches (finally got those 1000 matches in) - you'll still spend about 5-10 minutes waiting for each match if you actively search for ranked matches so try waiting in training mode with invites on (2-3 minutes) or playing lobby matches if your having issues.

PSN: HappyBottyBunny


Agarest: Generations of War 2 - Collector's Edition (PS3)
Agarest: Generations of War 2 - Collector's Edition (PS3)
Offered by knowledgedepot
Price: 19.77

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great JRPG that feels just a little rushed and unfinished, 20 Sep 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Agarest GoW 2 is the latest title developed by Compile Heart to be localized and published in Europe by Ghostlight (Persona 3 portable, Agarest GoW Zero) , although the localization work was largely done by Aksys (Blazblue in the US)

The first thing you'll notice about this collectors edition is how how ridiculously well made and put together it is, if anyone can do extra goodies, it sure is Ghostlight. You will receive a hard cover A5 art book with has a lot of concept work (the good stuff) and is very well put together, the art cards (6 of them) are of good quality but not especially useful I guess. The A3 poster is nice, if a little small, and I can't help feel disappointed it isn't like the double sided poster from Agarest Zero, it also comes folded, not ideal of course. The case is very nice and rather than having a lid you can just slide the contents out and it all fits very nicely, unlike Agarest Zeros ludicrously tight fit. Now onto the game itself...

Graphics:

Its Compile Heart, so you can expect PSOne graphics with the odd HD artwork and texture and a chugging frame rate, this at times is an appallingly ugly game, but the art is nice (although it is no where near the standard set by Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2, also by the same developer) Sometimes though the visuals are pleasant enough, later in the game, and the world map has a nice pastel style, even if it looks like it was ripped from a PS2 game, character sprites are NOT HD, not matter how much Compile Heart wants you to believe they are, but there good enough.

Sound:

The music is inconsistent at best, but is mostly very good, battle themes are great but not as good as previous games in the series but thankfully the music in various menus has drastically improved. The only audio dub is Japanese, with English subs, most voice acting is solid but some characters speak too quietly and the music overpowers them.

Story/Characters:

A massive improvement over previous games by Compile Heart but not fantastic, the story is both personal and on a much grander scale and works well and the games pacing is surprisingly good throughout. The characters are very mixed, and this is what I found disappointing, none of them have much of a personality, they're given a stereotype and they stick with it... that's it. Agarest Zero had a few standout characters but I can think of only one for this game, Mervina, but she comes in to the mix late on.

Gameplay:

Long story short if you loved either Cross Edge or Agarest Gow/Zero, or both, you'll adore this game, the battle system is fantastic (perhaps a little too many separate systems making it somewhat confusing, even by the time you've Platinum-ed it) the world exploration adds a nice simple diversion and the visual novel elements are something I could get lost in for all eternity, rubbish characters not with standing. The mini-games (which are rather sexualised to say the least) are terrible though, all it basically translates to is button mashing and pot luck *sigh* and you need to do them to get the true ending, whats worse (or better) is that one of the 3 mini games is only possible to succeed in with PlayStation Move (Not something I have so I can't comment on whether these bouts of tedium are any better with Move, I doubt it though) I should also not that this game isn't for the faint of heart, it has numerous difficulty spikes (on normal at least) and can get repetitious leading to some frustrating moments, but these are far outweighed by moments of glee as you overkill a boss and know you're going to receive a very valuable item for doing so, or when you rack up huge combos into the hundreds.

Re-payability:

This is a long game, to complete it on the true end path on normal difficulty took me roughly 80 hours, a further 20 or so may be required to earn the Platinum trophy. there is new game plus and 3 difficulties plus upcoming DLC, so you are getting you're moneys worth here. Also for those wondering, the Platinum is very easy to obtain and can be done on any difficulty, just prepare for a long haul and follow a good guide.

So overall this is a very good game, I'll admit as a fan of anything Japanese I may have been a bit generous with the score, but to be honest I think anyone whos even considering buying this is in the same boat as me. I just hope that having a release so close to Tales of Graces f doesn't take away from this games success, as in my opinion its actually the better game... now wheres Agarest 3?
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2013 9:44 PM GMT


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