Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (PC) Review

By Athanasios 02.04.2015

Review for Dead or Alive 5 Last Round on PC

Many have overlooked what may possibly be one of the best 3D fighting series ever made; maybe because of its scantily clad cast or terms like 'Breast Physics'. Those who have looked past the ample cleavages and plethora of sexy outfits, though, discovered a fast-paced brawler with a unique battle system that was both accessible for newcomers, as well as deep enough for genre veterans to enjoy. Dead or Alive 5 Last Round is the latest - and last? - "update" of what may very well be the definite Dead or Alive, thus, the news that this will be the franchise's first entry into the PC world was nothing short of wonderful. Unfortunately, the final product is another addition to the long history of bad console conversions, by missing on a couple of key elements, and being partly inferior to the Xbox One/PS4 versions that were previously reviewed here.

Before delving deeper into the intricacies of Last Round, here's a brief description of the fifth Dead or Alive. Underneath the schoolgirl mini-skirts, tiny swimwear, and gravity-defying bouncing funbags, lies a great, adrenaline-pumping fighting title, whose core feature is a rock-paper-scissors system, where standard strikes beat throws, which cancel holds, which in turn counter strikes. Gameplay-wise there is a higher focus in common sense and skill, rather than key or pattern memorisation, something that makes everything easier for greenhorns to learn, but at the same time extremely tough to master. A diverse roster of characters ensures that anyone can find a personal favourite, with a cast that includes characters from the Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, and Virtua Fighter series.

Everything, from the typical Versus, Arcade, Time Attack, and Survival modes - which can be played both Solo and Tag - to the seven-vs.-seven Team Fight are nothing less than highly entertaining - and the same goes for the three, and very helpful, ways that a player can train. There is also a Story mode, which is… bad. Its B-Movie-like script and canned performances, that are something like a mix between a porn flick and a soap opera, would be great if DoA5 had actually embraced its silliness instead of trying to be serious… failing miserably in the process. Enough with all these, though; time to take a look at the things that Last Round adds into the mix.

Screenshot for Dead or Alive 5 Last Round on PC

Apart from DoA5's Critical Burst and Power Blow, plus Ultimate's Power Launcher, there are no new special moves introduced in this update, but at least all techniques have been fine-tuned in order to fix a couple of balance issues - an improvement that is likely to go unnoticed by anyone but the pros, unlike the addition of two new characters to the already impressive amount of available fighters. Raidou, who comes straight from Dead or Alive, is something like a mix between a slow heavy-hitter and a medium-speed Ninja. Honoka, which is the second teen besides Marie Rose, mixes moves from many other characters, making her feel a bit like an unoriginal semi-clone who exists solely because of the Lolita-loving demographic yet, quite surprisingly, she is very enjoyable to play with (now try reading the last sentence without feeling weird…).

Something feels like it's missing, though. What exactly? For starters, the multiplayer, which is one of the most important functions of any competitive videogame, has been disabled with no explanation as to why given by the developer, apart from a short note that promises a patch that will enable it in about three months' time. Also, two new levels have been included in every console version, which were both much more interactive than the vanilla and Ultimate ones, yet they have, once again, been excluded from the PC port. Was there a lack of programmers? Time? Money? Motivation? They have added more than 400 costumes - which were previously DLC-only - therefore, why couldn't they also keep the new stages?

Screenshot for Dead or Alive 5 Last Round on PC

On an audiovisual level, things get a bit more complicated. PC users will get to experience a truly beautiful game in resolutions that range from 1024 x 768 to HD and 4K, along with a platform-exclusive anti-aliasing. Is everything hunky-dory, though? Unfortunately not, since, once again, Team Ninja decided that it would be a good idea to use the Xbox One/PS4 shadows, but remove the skin texture-improving Soft Engine, and keep the particle effects from the PS3.

Sound-wise things take a turn for the better, since DoA5's humdrum OST can be completely replaced with the far better tunes from DoA to DoA4, or even with some nice remixes, with the additional function of setting each stage and character's custom theme. The only flaw here is the somewhat buggy voiceovers, which can get distorted and make the cute and curvy blonde on the screen sound like a slow-motion Satan with a bad throat infection, but luckily this was only encountered in the already atrocious Story mode.

Screenshot for Dead or Alive 5 Last Round on PC

A thing that many people with high-end PCs will find a bit strange is that this is a bit of a system hog, but fortunately it's not something severe, like a sudden frame-rate drop or anything, yet it can be distracting from time to time, especially on a system that can run Crysis 3 much more fluidly, and without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, there aren't enough graphic settings to mess around with, something that every self-respecting PC port requires. Even worse, there is no keyboard customisation option, not to mention that gamepad support has seen much better days, since many of the available - and common - devices are not fully customisable, some create game crashes, and some simply refuse to work - maybe they have different tastes in gaming, who knows…

There's a final nail in this digital coffin, though. Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters, which enabled console owners to experience Last Round through a wonderful - especially in the case of the PS4 - free-to-play service, is - guess what? - missing here, which is a shame since it would enable far more people to access it… Then again, if a company doesn't care about its product, why should anybody else? In conclusion: while this is certainly not the worst port this side of the solar system, far more effort should be put to it, not only because this is actually the first Dead or Alive for the PC, but, most importantly, because it's a great game.

Screenshot for Dead or Alive 5 Last Round on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round is a magnificent 3D fighter that anyone who loves this type of game should play, at least once. It's very accessible to newcomers, but it also has an insane amount of depth and content to satisfy even the most demanding player. Unfortunately, Team Ninja chose to disrespect its newest creation and mar its reputation by offering to the PC gaming community a port that is not only very problematic, but also inferior to the current-gen console versions - and while there is hope for it to get improved via future patches, it's impossible to not stop for a second and simply wonder, "What were they thinking?"

Developer

Team Ninja

Publisher

Koei Tecmo

Genre

Fighting

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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