By Josh Speer / June 20th, 2018
One of the fighters that stood out to me a bit from the pack at this year’s E3 was the latest in the Dead or Alive series, DOA 6. That was for a couple reasons. One, it was very flashy, aesthetically pleasing and furious. The other, less positive reason is how the series has decided to move away from the sexualized presentation of all the characters, both male and female. While I’m far from the loudest voice at oprainfall to complain about censorship, as a fan of the series, this decision still struck me as odd. So keep reading to see if it impacted my appreciation of the game.
I was able to play DOA 6 with my colleague Benny, and after a brief recap of the new features, we were off to the races. One new mechanic is the Fatal Rush system, where you can use one button to string together a flashy combination of 4 attacks. The catch is that if any of them is blocked, the whole thing falls apart. Initially, I was able to use the Fatal Rush as Kasumi to destroy Benny’s Helena. At least, until he remembered how effective her kicks were. Then the match started to tilt in his favor.
Another new mechanic that found its way to the series is the Break Gauge. Essentially this is a super meter that accumulates as you either deal or take damage in combat. Once it’s full enough, you can move into massively powerful Break Blows, or if you’re more of a tricky fighter, go for a Break Hold counter move. The controls are definitely streamlined, but that doesn’t make it feel too simple necessarily.
I found it funny that, in a game where the devs are moving away from sexualization of the characters, there’s a clothes ripping mechanic for when you take significant damage. That seems a bit contrary to me, even though the mechanic doesn’t expose a significant amount of skin. If anything, it just confused me. If you’re gonna move in one direction, move all the way in that direction, or that’s how I would approach it. That said, there’s a lot more that I enjoyed about playing DOA 6.
While the DOA title I played most was the delightful DOA Dimensions on my 3DS, I can see the appeal of this game. The DOA series is as much known for the fast and furious combat as the attractive characters, so maybe it’s not all bad that they’re moving in a direction to make it more of a cool tournament brawler. And I will say, despite not focusing on how appealing the characters are to the same degree, that’s not to say they’re suddenly all hideous. Kasumi is still as breathtaking as she is fierce, for example. The shiny graphics do a really good job of making the game look stunning and thoroughly believable. So long as this new stylistic focus doesn’t mean the game is suddenly set in a logical and non-fictional world, I think most fans will be okay with the changes.
DEAD OR ALIVE 6DOA 6E3 2018fighterKoei Tecmooprainfall