It’s been nearly five months since the release of Dead or Alive 6. Five months full of solid fighting with few distractions outside of some crossover characters and pirate and wedding costumes. Enough of that. Bring on the swimsuits.
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This week saw the release of Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters, the free-to-play version of Team Ninja’s latest fighter. It’s the full game minus story mode, with only four of the 26 currently playable characters. The idea is that players download the free version, then purchase additional fighters and story mode a la carte. That’s a silly idea.
Despite several years of being best-known for its sexiness, Dead or Alive has always been a genuinely good fighting game franchise. With a focus on bringing new players into the fold and downplaying its more provocative features, Dead or Alive 6 serves as a strong reminder of the solid gameplay that has always remained at its core.
There’s a hefty amount of solo content in Dead or Alive 6, including an expansive branching story mode that should keep players occupied for hours. But it’s the new DOA Quest mode, with its goal-oriented battles and costume unlocks, that’s captured my attention. It’s a series of bite-sized missions that I could play through all day.
Evo Japan 2019 kicked off festivities last night in Fukuoka, ushering in a second year of the Evolution Championship Series spin-off event. The broadcast day opened with a special Dead or Alive 6 exhibition, followed by a stage show that apparently got too risqué for the Evo organisers, who later issued an apology.
With 2019 arriving in just a few weeks, it's time to start looking ahead to next year.
Things kick off soon with the launch of a long-awaited sequel, Kingdom Hearts 3, in January. Some major games are expected in 2019: The Last of Us: Part II on PlayStation 4 and a brand new Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch are the early highlights.
Despite offering a unique take on 3D fighting focused on counters and holds, the Dead or Alive franchise has never quite taken off within the fighting game community. It has a small but dedicated fanbase, but the game also struggles with public perception as the genre's "boobie fighter" (probably thanks to old but memorable commercials featuring slack-jawed dudes checking out the game's female fighters). The game has never quite shaken off that reputation, meaning most folks assume Dead or Alive is all about titillation rather than hardcore competition.