I have been a fan of portable fighters ever since I was a kid playing the Tiger Direct handhelds, and Mortal Kombat on the Sega Game Gear. Fighting games in my opinion are some of the best games to make portable. Quick Pick up and go entertainment. I have seen my fair share of good and bad portable fighters. I have also seen my share of good and bad ports to handhelds. How does Dead or Alive 5 Plus do with its move to Playstation’s Portable system? We find out as I review Dead or Alive 5 Plus for the Playstation Vita.
The presentation in Dead or Alive is outstanding. Very little separates this from its console counterpart. All the music found in the console version is still in tack. You have Hiphop, rock, and pop all to get you in the fighting mood. The graphics hugely impressed me as they are almost exactly identical to the console version. With just a little pixelation here and there, and being more polished on consoles not much separates its. Everything you would come to expect from a DOA game is here in this portable Version. Lots of fighters with multiple costumes, interactive stages, and of course boob jiggle physics. DOA 5 Plus is a benchmark for making a console game portable.
The controls are simple and easy to understand. Everything is the same as the console version with the exception of two buttons. So instead of bing able to map all the possible button presses to a single button you will be left with having to enter the main combination of two of your choice. I keep the tag option which is hold, punch, and kick as is. The taunt is left unmapped as well. While it is a difference from the console version it’s not anything to make the controls less understandable. Just a minor convenience for the console controller having extra buttons.
The gameplay in DOA 5 Plus is some of my favorite in fighting games. Simple to understand fighting system for beginners to understand, while also having complex moves that will take experience and practice to master. This system I speak of is the Triangle System. The Triangle system is strike, throw, hold. Strikes take priority over throws, holds take priority over strikes, and throws take priority over holds. Simple enough for a beginner to understand and get the hang of while more experienced players with each characters move sets can take this system and make it more complex.
There are many game modes to fill your time as well. You have your Standard story mode, where you take on roles of different characters and learn their part in the tournament. Fight mode where you can take on the computer or human players. Also in this mode is arcade where you pick a character and fight through the DOA roster. Time Attack, where you fight to see how fast you can finish the game. Survival Mode where you fight as many opponents as you can before you are taken out.
Next Mode is training Plus. In this section you have various modes to let you hone your skills. Free training which is just like it sounds you practice what you want. Command Training, where you practice the move sets for each character. Tutorial where you just learn how to fight. Combo Challenge where you try to complete each characters combos.
You have online mode. In this section you can play against people on the playstation network or locally via Adhoc. In the corners will be either a vita icon or controller icon to distinguish which system the player is playing on.
You have the Extras menu and in this menu you can be a spectator and watch saved replays or the computer fight it out. You can also watch character movies that you unlock during story mode. View your fight record, or change and view your titles you unlocked.
With the many game modes found in DOA5 plus Gameplay is something that you will have plenty of.
The Vita Factor
Coming to the playstation Vita is the new Touch mode. In this mode you will be placed in first person view and you will tap and swipe the screen to do various attacks. You have the option of playing in landscape or portrait orientation as well. While this mode is interesting I don’t see many spending too much time on this mode. It feels more like a gimmick and something that you just do to kill a min or two.
Also with the Vita version all the characters are unlocked from the start. While you still have costumes to unlock all the characters are available from the get go. This was something I was pleased to find out as I already have the game on the 360. I have grown fond of Pai and didn’t want to have to unlock her again.
If you own both the PS3 version of the game as well as Vita you can utilize the cross save feature and continue your game no matter where you are.
Also with the Vita you can play against PS3 users. This feature is a plus for me as it gives more people to compete against.
DOA 5 Plus is a jam packed game that delivers the console experience on the go. There is plenty to do and plenty to master in this game. If you already own a console version of the game then there might not be that much of a reason to pick this up. If you want to extend your console experience on the go then that would be the only reason to pick this up, as the vita specific features aren’t worth the price of admission if you already own the game. If you don’t already own the game and own a vita then I would go with this version. You will still get to play against your PSN friends, have all the characters unlocked from the start, as well as take advantage of the Vita specific features. This game is a testament to the console experience on the go and is a benchmark for other developers to follow. If you’re looking for a good fighter on your Vita then I highly recommend DOA 5 Plus.