The new installment in dead or alive builds on its predecessors. The game play is similar to the older games in the series, for instance, the triangle system, which is a rock-paper-scissor scenario where throws beat holds, holds beat strikes and strikes beat throws.
Consequently, to maximize damage you have to know which move to make as a counter to your opponents. However, despite first appearances, the battle game play is not that simple and players who wish to play on an advanced level will find the game play deep and satisfying.
Let’s go over the three types of moves:
Dead or Alive 5 Basic Moves – Strikes
Strikes are your basic damage dealers; they are used to initiate combos and to chain together multiple attacks. Strikes are further divided into three types, high, mid and low and these three types have their own strengths and weaknesses.
High strikes are the fastest to execute. However, they can be easily dodged because they do not hit low (crouched) opponents and even the small recovery time can be punished heavily with an easy low strike. The mid strikes are slower than high strikes but are the hardest to avoid because they cannot be blocked low at all and jumping doesn’t help either.
Finally, there are the low strikes which are around the same speed as mid strikes and sometimes slower; however, they can only be blocked low, which forces your opponent to crouch which in turn leaves them vulnerable to your mid strikes.
Furthermore, strikes can be avoided by sidestepping but this only works for non-tracking attacks, there are some tracking strikes, which will be sure hit your opponent regardless of them sidestepping. And if some strikes when landed correctly put your opponent in a critical stun where they cannot attack, block or move, but they can come back with a counter hold so be careful you don’t get caught off guard.
Make sure you know which strikes land critical hits; furthermore, you can critical hit every strike if it is a counter. Critical stuns allow you to chain huge combos and take out a huge chunk of your enemy’s life.
Usually critical stun ends when you reach the limit of 28 damage and your opponent is knocked back, however, you can exceed this limit with critical bursts which when landed before the limit is reached sends your opponent into another stun, which allows you to dish out even more damage. Strikes also have the ability to send your opponent flying, which allows you to deal damage to them while they are still airborne so be sure to know which of your strikes are launchers.
Dead or Alive 5 Basic Moves – Throws
Throws are really useful because they cannot be blocked, sidestepped and they also counter hold; the only drawback, however, is that they are easily countered by strikes.
What makes throws incredibly effective is the fact that they are quicker than even the fastest strikes. This means that throws cannot be blocked, and they are incredibly fast and this is their role in the game, guaranteed damage and usually a knockdown resulting in your Okizeme.
There are two types of throws, high throws and low throws. High throws don’t hit crouching targets and low throws don’t hit standing targets.
Command throws are usually slower than basic throws, but they are still faster than most strikes. Command throws are completely inescapable. Command throws with multiple inputs of the throw button at the right time chain together to form combo throws.
Combo throws can be avoided and even countered except the initiating throw, making it a risky maneuver against experienced players. Given the throws blinding speed and easy counter it is crucial to know the frame data for the moves.
Dead or Alive 5 Basic Moves – Holds
Holds have a short activation window, and you have to be able to guess whether your opponent’s next strike will be high, low or mid, making them incredibly difficult but if landed properly count as hi-counter and deal a decent chunk of damage.
There are two types of holds – basic holds and expert holds. Expert holds are very specific, i.e. high kick, low punches, etc. making them even harder and riskier to land, but their return is immense.
Furthermore, holds have an effect on your positioning, which means that if you land one right, you can get out of bad positioning and may even put your opponent at a disadvantage instead. Holds only counter strikes and only if your guess and the opponent’s move match so be careful when trying it, a throw might be a safer option to go for.
Dead or Alive Basic Moves – Power Blows
Power Blows are a brand-new type of move introduced for the first time ever in Dead or Alive 5. Power Blows can only be used once in a match and only if your health bar is below half (flashing red) but given their limited usability, they can turn an otherwise one-sided fight around to your advantage, or maybe to finish off an evenly matched player.
Power blows need to be charged up before executing, but it’s safe to do so when you create some distance between yourself and your enemy, however, the thing to watch out for is that your opponent doesn’t dodge it.
It does immense damage and sends your opponent flying, which means that you can position it to do even more damage, for example, throwing them into danger zones or near a cliffhanger. Each character has a unique power blow so be sure to know them. You can look it up along with other moves in the game.
Dead or Alive Basic Moves – Cliff Hangers and Danger Zones
Danger zones are quite simply special places in each stage that when you knock your opponent into will cause tons of damage. Danger zones are plentiful in the blockbuster stage. Blockbuster stages are filled with explosions and mayhem where you battle it out while the walls around you crumble and fall.
Cliffhangers also depend on each stage; they are available only in stages that have separate upper and lower levels. When you knock an opponent over the edge of one level, and your opponent successfully grabs onto the stage, you will initiate the cliffhanger where you have the chance to inflict massive damage on your opponent or do none at all.