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Dead or Alive 5: Last Round (PS4) Review

/ Feb 26th, 2015 No Comments

One of the most divisive fighting game series makes its way onto the new-gen consoles with Dead or Alive 5: Last Round. Often criticized for its oversexualized female cast and “fan service” costumes, Dead or Alive contains one of the most approachable, unique and entertaining fighting systems around. With new fighters, stages and a ton of previous DLC packaged in, Last Round is one of the best packages available on new-gen consoles for fighting game fans.

Let’s Get This Party Started

Graphics receive a boost in fidelity using Team Ninja’s new Soft Engine, which results in better skin textures and lighting. Character models, which look amazing, still retain a bit of the previous generation feel. Still, Dead or Alive 5 is a beautiful game. Textures are reworked and are slightly sharper, and the boost in resolution paired with a steady framerate makes it that much better. Don’t expect it to look worlds apart from the previous iteration, but it’s nice to have another fighter with this much content on new systems.

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round New Characters

Updated character models still look a little a last-gen.

Gameplay remains largely untouched from Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, the updated version of DOA5 on previous generation consoles. For those unfamiliar with how the DOA fighting system works, you have a mix of punches, kicks, grabs and holds, which all work to counter one another. The traditional rock, paper, scissors system is still well intact and has been tweaked to be better balanced even with the increased roster. New fighters Honoka and Raidou bring their own personalities into the mix, but their fighting styles are less original than the other characters that were introduced in DOA5 and Ultimate.

Who Do You Think I Am?

Honoka plays as a “greatest hits” album of the best signature moves from the other fighters on the roster. She takes a little from other fighters and it’s a lot of fun to play her without any foreknowledge of what button combinations do which moves. It’s a joy to hear her scream like Jann Lee while going into Dragon Stance or recognize Brad Wong’s drunken boxing from a girl in cow overalls.

Raidou plays as a heavier ninja, a sort of mix of Hayate’s acrobatic Mugen Tenshin with Bayman’s heavy Sambo fighting style. With more of a focus on strong direct strikes, he can punish even the fastest of fighters. Knowledge is the best weapon with Raidou, which makes it harder for new fighters to use him right away.

New fighters Raidou and Honoka

New fighters Raidou and Honoka

New stages The Crimson and The Danger Zone return from past games with better graphics and richer detail. Both are a nice addition, but a wholly unique stage would have been preferred. Still, more content is a hard thing to complain about. Stages in Dead or Alive have always been interesting with their interaction, and these are no different.

The first drawback is that the game is less than stable, as some glitches appear more often than not when playing online. Some glitches hang on menus and force a restart in order to keep playing, while others completely shut the game down. With future patches, it’s hard to imagine these issues remaining in the coming weeks. The game still offers players a rich fighting experience to sink their teeth into for a decent price with tons of content to unlock before trying their skill online. Returning fighters will have a harder time dealing with the freezing, as their game time will almost exclusively be online.

Another issue is that of fighting stick support as there is a lack of hardware on the market, which means most will have to do with the standard controller. It’s not a problem that affects many, but a problem nonetheless.

This is Mugen Tenshin!

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round may turn off some people with its quirky characters and focus on mammaries, but wrapped in this $39.99 package, it is an insane amount of costumes, characters and stages to keep even casual fighters entertained for a good long time. With a fighting system that is easy to wrap one’s head around and as deep as any other fighting game, Last Round is a package well worth the time and money. Some of the shortcomings hinder the online experience, but should be smoothed out with time. Still, there has never been more DOA in one game than this, and that’s a great thing.


Chance Asue

Chance Asue

Associate Editor & Multimedia Specialist at Gaming Illustrated
Chance Asue is a self-taught computer builder and hardware junkie. His favorite game franchises include Pokemon, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. He is Gaming Illustrated's Multimedia Specialist and reviews the latest hardware tech.
Chance Asue

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Gaming Illustrated RATING



The most approachable and entertaining fighting game out there, hands down, with a ton of options.


A great update to one of the best fighters from last generation with even greater detail, but can't quite shake the feeling it could look better.


Music and sound issues remain from the previous versions, with some annoying music loops and compressed audio samples.


It's crazy but not entirely in the good way. The fighters that have been added since the original release are not integrated.

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