Hello Dead or Alive, welcome back into my life. We first encountered each other back in my PS2 days. I was young and impressionable, and you had the largest assets of any game to date. Your high res polygons had me entranced from the moment I put my disc into your dark slot.
What’s that you say, you’re on my Vita? You can be by my side at any time and we can engage in fisticuffs in public? Well then, let’s see what 10 years has done to you, I’ll pick you up at 7:00
The first date:
You’re absolutely stunning. You look as good on my Vita screen as you do on the PS3. Voluptuous as always, I see that most of your DLC consists of clothing packs for the female characters. Well played Team Ninja, well played. I see that you’re still a simple minded game, using the triangle system of strikes, throws, and holds. Rock, Paper, Scissors isn’t cutting it in this day and age honey. You’re not as complicated as Virtua Fighter, but don’t go off the deep end like your cousin Tekken. I like that you emphasise defense as much as offense, but anticipating attacks feels more like guesswork.
So what’s new in your life? You have some environmental effects? Instead of frustrating ring outs you have characters take damage when they fall to another level? Hanging onto the edge is pretty awesome, I like cliffhangers. Power Blows you say? Whoa, whoa, it’s only the first date...but being able to send people flying through levels and into destructible objects is a nice addition to the franchise. I haven’t seen you in a decade, how am I supposed to learn all of this? The added move lists are a great addition to your repertoire but that extensive tutorial mode sounds like something I should take a look at in private.
The second date:
After spending a considerable amount of time in your tutorial room, I think I can take things to the next level. Let’s get past the mechanics and features and get right into the campaign. How much have you had to drink? I can’t tell what is real and what isn’t anymore. Hopping across characters every couple fights is a great way for you to introduce me to your friends but I can’t keep track of anything going on. Maybe that’s how you have been all along. Really though, how can anyone take you seriously when you are dancing around like that. You have some really weird stories to tell and I may have to wait for you to sober up before we can continue this.
(After a few more drinks) Well at this point all I am doing is mashing buttons to try and get to the next story piece. I’m barely listening and all I see are people trying to either kill or seduce each other. Feels about right for a DOA game.
The third date:
Things are getting pretty serious now, and you’re ready to show me all of your new modes?
I’ve been through your convoluted nonsensical story and that was alright for a bit, but I really want to get serious. Let’s see here, you have a decent online mode. I can connect and fight with people very quickly. I had a little bit of slowdown, but that is to be expected when I was playing over a wireless connection. Great to be able to play well with others, and I had fun against people my own skill level. You opened up to me a bit in the tutorial, but what’s this, a photo mode? Okay, I understand that you want to show off your beautiful assets but I’m not sure I want to show all of these to my friends. There’s more? A Vita-specific touch fight mode where I play in first person. That seems a little odd for a fighting game, but now I can REALLY get a good look at those characters, you know... so I can study their fighting styles. I think we should probably get out of public because I’m starting to feel a little creepy staring at you all night.
So we’ve been steady for a while here, but you’re really starting to get difficult. I can’t even beat a computer opponent on Normal, and you’re telling me there are five more levels. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. The online was good, but when I get spammed with the same moves over and over it starts to wear on me. I mean, you look amazing but I don’t know if this is going to work out. You’re great to have around, but I just feel like I am mashing your buttons all the time and really not able to advance using these tiny controls on my Vita. You’re still the same Dead or Alive I knew complete with all your crazy antics and jiggle physics, but I can’t take you seriously. You’re a great port and a competent fighter but I’ll probably only call you when I want to mess around but I don’t know if it is a great idea to go steady. Talk to you later DOA5+, it’s been a slice.3.5