Dead or Alive Summary
Dead or Alive is a 3D fighting game developed by Tecmo ( later Koei Tecmo) in 1996. DOA was created by Tomonobu Itagaki and Katsunori Ehara, this game was inspired by Virtual Fighter along with Fatal Fury. Itagaki wanted to create a game that’s aggressive and combative along with being playability value. Tomonobu was dissatisfied with modern fighting games that was presented. Itagaki wanted to cater to arcade market due to Mortal Kombat success in North America. His thoughts, in a interview stated “some people like graphics, animation and flashy character design”. His vision for DOA is to become mainstream like Sushi which Itagaki stated. Itagaki wanted DOA to have a identity on it own for example fanservice. He made a wage to the head or Tecmo Junji Nakarmura to create a game that will have community player base.
During the development of Dead or Alive series, the gameplay is similar to Virtua Fighter. The gameplay mechanics consist of punch, kick, throw and counter (which was added that VF didn’t have). First Dead or Alive (1996) game had ring outs and hazard stages. As far story goes, it’s a typical fighting tournament called “Dead or Alive World Combat Championship” created by DOATEC (Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee) to see who is the strongest. Each characters have their own agenda such as main protagonist Kasumi, a runaway ninja joins the tournament to get revenge against Raidou. Others DOA fighters from around the world want fame, fortune and seeking truth. The sequel Dead Or Alive 2 , founder of DOATEC Fame Douglas was murdered and need a new leader.
DOATEC kidnapped Kasumi and Hayate (causing him to lost his memories and named Ein). The company started to create clones of Kasumi and used as a bio weapon called” Alpha”. Alpha will be introduce in DOA 4 later, DOATEC host the second tournament where the winner have to fight Tengu. In, DOA 3 storyline Victor Donovan (main antagonist of the series) produce a powerful fighter called Omega Project. That fighter was need Genra who was Ayane’s master, who memory was wipe by DOATEC. DOTEC host a third tournament that will test Genra abilities and more powerful than Raido and Tengu. DOA 3, create a powerful Kasumi clone Alpha which stated in second game. Helena Douglas was aware of DOATEC tactics and relinquish her president title to Zack (who saves her life).
In DOA 5, DOATEC is newly formed and Helana and Zack is hosting fifth tournament. However Victor Donovan called a new organization called “MIST” to continue Alpha Project just like fourth game. Kasumi, Ayame, Ryu and Hayate stops DOATEC and Alpha Project. Rig (new character of DOA 5) finds out Donovan was his dad and Helena joins up with four ninjas. In DOA 6, Mugen Tenshin and DOATEC discovers a fighter named Honoka (who got similar power of Raidou). Sixth tournament has started and Rig (from DOA 5) still finding out his memories. Ayame and Honoka is kidnapped by MIST and finds out about Raidou revival is a undead cyber demon. Kasumi and Hayate defeats Raidou and there is a subplot about NICO trying to revive Helena mother.
In Dead or Alive, there are over 20 characters with different fighting styles and playstyles. You have your ninjas like Ayame, Ryu, Hayate and Kasumi. Wrestler or grapplers like Tina and Bass Armstrong. Funky Muay Thai, Zack who is the funniest characters in the game and was on my top 5 African American black characters in video games. We our martial arts character Jan Lee, LeiFang, Gen-Fu and many more. Due to the successful of the first game more character appeared like Opera Singer Helena, cold-blood assassin
Christie and a maid servant Marie Rose. Fun fact: Ninja Gaiden is canon with Dead or Alive series. Itagaki inspirations make a appearance such as Virtua Fighter and Fatal Fury characters. Moving to mechanics I have mention early, second game was refined such as multi-layer stages. Multi-layer stages is knocking opponents to the next part of the level.
Which is the most interesting mechanic in the game, than tag team was introduced. DOA 3 and 4 kept the same mechanics from second game until fifth game rolls out. Dead or Alive 5 introduce sweating and Power Blows (which you knock opponents into any direction of the stage. There is Critical system which players can perform combos and stun opponents. Sixth game, added blood Fatal Rush which is a easy combo for beginners along with Break Gauge (similar to counter). The game has spin-off like Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation which features Volley, Rock Climbing and many more. This game has more fanservice than main game, you can choose outfits, interact and give them gifts. There is a gravure mode which was presented in DOA 5 as well. The most notable of DOA is jiggle physics which can be turn off and on by user’s preference.
Debating whether or not Dead or Alive is a good fighting game is understatement. Yes DOA is cater to hardcore or causal fighting game fans out there. Some might want to see hot chicks fighting in skimpy outfits. I remember getting into Dead or Alive 2 back in Sega Dreamcast and was interested by storying telling. The character was speaking Japanese but I got pass it and just enjoy gameplay. Later on, brought OG Xbox on my birthday with DOA 3 than fast forward to sixth game. I was little disappointed in sixth game but still was fun indeed.
Well after Itagaki departure, I don’t know what is the future of DOA. Well there is a Dead of Alive live action movie and wasn’t very good at all. I have to admit Tina was a bombhell but there were other who caught my eye like Monica or Sayuri. Some people don’t like DOA due to counter system.
I have a confession that I was a counter spammer and learn that hard way. Well Dead or Alive has some controversy for example, portrayal of sexualization of women in video games at Western countries. The game as banned in some countries around world and a incident what happen at EVO 2019. I understand some people are sensitive on how woman are portray in gaming. You have a choice not to buy or play it. Some people have waifus and husbandos in video games and there is nothing wrong with that.
Indeed Dead or Alive has fanservice yes but still a casual fighting game for all. Buy Dead or Alive Ultimate 1 and 2 on Xbox Series X, Third game is available on Xbox Series X/360. Fourth game is available on Xbox 360 probably backwards compatible. Dead or Alive Last Round is available on Xbox One/360, PlayStation 4/5 and Stream.
Sixth game is available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation on Amazon. DOA Xtreme Venus Vacation is available now on Nintendo Switch, Steam and PlayStation 4/Vita. What are thoughts on DOA series as a whole in the comment below? Make sure to share this blogpost with any DOA fan out there. If you want more updates on the website, follow me on social media and Discord (linktree). Thanks for talking the time to read my blogpost. Have a bless and safe day, tune into the next blogpost by your truly. One question is will it be Dead or Alive 7 in the near future?