Dead or Alive Last Round

IMG_3122 Rating: M for Mature

 Consoles: Xbox One and PlayStation 4

 Cost: $40

Dead Or Alive, the long-running beat ‘em up franchise has hit the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for the first time, allowing you to take on family and friends in virtual battles. But is there still life in these old bones or is this game dead on arrival?

What’s your style?

The first things you will notice upon booting up this game are all the types of modes available to play: story mode, versus, tag battle, survival, online play and many more. However, before you can start fighting you will need to choose your character, but this is no easy task. There are now 34 fighters to pick from, each with their own unique fighting style and unlockable costumes. These include buff wrestlers, super-fast ninjas and mixed martial arts experts. Stars from other video games, such as Virtua Fighter and Soul Calibur also make an appearance to challenge one another. You are sure to have some epic fights with a roster this diverse.

Rock, paper, scissors

The best way to describe the fast paced action in Dead Or Alive is rock, paper or scissors. Just like in the age-old game, Last Round sees you using some skill, guesswork and luck to beat your opponents into submission. There are three types of attacks: striking, countering and grabbing. You must guess which of these assaults your foe is about to attack you with and respond with the appropriate move. Although this sounds simple, don’t be fooled. There are countless combos to be memorized and character specific moves that make the rock, paper or scissors mechanic incredibly hard to master.

 On The Move

The legion of fighters and distinctive play style are not the only things that make this game stand out. Many of the areas in which you fight are destructible and exploreable. For instance, you and a friend begin the battle in an underground cave and within seconds your sneaky buddy throws and underhanded punch, sending you shooting through the air. When you land you hit a large raft that starts drifting down a body of water, nonetheless the bout continues. You both proceed to pummel away at each other as water thrashes around the two warriors. Other examples include breaking through walls and floors, falling from cliffs and even being hit by circus animals. Be sure that where the fight begins will not necessarily be where it ends up when the letters K.O come over the TV screen.

A Slap In The Face

It can be fun laying some virtual cheap shots down on the computer AI, but consumers should be aware that the game might throw some back, although not in the way you may think. At the main menu you will surely notice a large prompt, offering whoever is playing to purchase new costumes for the in game cast. What’s the big deal I hear you ask? Well no matter how many times you click the offer, the box in which it appears will never go away, so after spending money on the game you have to deal with a constant advertisement for cyber costumes, and this is not the only time outfits can be a problem. Many of the costumes for the female combatants in Dead Or Alive are less than tasteful. Instead of the game developers showing some imagination and dressing the fighters in creative garb, they opted for the cheap route and placed them in skimpy bikinis and lingerie. This lowers the whole tone of the game and could certainly cause some players to look elsewhere for their hand-to-hand combat experience.

If you can get pass the blatant advertising and shameless dependence on sex appeal, then there is a deep beat ‘em up experience to delve into and plenty of fun to be had in Dead Or Alive Last Round.

By Dean Moses