Dead or Alive 6 Review – Punch, Punch, Kick, Kick

Dead or Alive 6

The story is nonsense. The acting is atrocious. The clothing is impractical. The breasts are enormous.

But the fighting, the fighting is so, SO GOOD!

For the past week or so I’ve been playing so much Dead or Alive 6. I’ve played against friends, family and against the AI and while I’m somewhat improved from when I started, I’m still trash. But that’s ok, Dead or Alive 6 is easily one of the most approachable fighting games I’ve ever played. 

Part of my trouble is trying to unlearn the Street FighterMortal Kombat and Soul Calibur styles of fighting I’ve learned over many, many years. I’m not too sure why I missed DOA afor all these years, but it’s a real shame because if Dead or Alive 6 is a reflection on the series as a whole, then I’m betting the rest of the games are also fantastic.

Dead or Alive 6 Review

As I discovered I previewed Dead or Alive 6, the fighting uses what Team Ninja calls the Triangle System.

strikes beat throws, throws beat holds and holds beat strikes.

Keeping this in mind is essential when learning how combat works in Dead or Alive 6. It also makes it really simple to build complex and long combos just be experimenting with button presses. Thankfully, for noobs like me, there’s a fully featured and incredibly detailed tutorial mode. The tutorial walks you through absolutely everything that’s included in Dead or Alive 6. From the most basic and mundane like simple strikes, through to Fatal Stuns, Hold Breaks, Combo Throws and more. 

You can learn a lot about Dead or Alive 6 by experimenting, but getting the basic understanding of how and why certain inputs do what they do really helps the combat ‘click’ in your mind. At least it did for me.

Put Some Clothes On!

Now, being relatively new to the series, I’m not too sure what’s been added and what’s been removed. I do know, for those interested in fan service, there is an option in the menu to turn ‘Softness’ on or off. Softness seems to allude to whether or not the female fighters’ impossibly large breasts bounce. I barely noticed it because I was far more interested in learning how to fight, but yes, bouncing boobs are back in Dead or Alive 6

As are panty flashes, but really, the fighting is why you should be playing. Not the glimpses of white texture…

The Fatal Rush mechanic is new to Dead or Alive 6. It helps new players create a powerful combo with the simple press of a button, however, Team Ninja has included multiple ways to reverse and counterattack this, so players who not what they’re doing will be able to turn the tide of fatal rush pretty easily. In my research, I learned that juggling has always been a big part of DOA and it certainly still is in Dead or Alive 6

Learning to attack at the right height to launch your opponent into the air and keep them there while you rack up hits is essential for winning matches. The longer your opponent doesn’t have their feet on the ground, the more damage you’ll do without them having much recourse. Although, I’m still not very good so I often ended up wasting attacks while my enemy was prone on the ground. By the time they stood up, I was midway through a new attack and they were having their merry way kicking the crap out of me.

Another returning element is stage transitions. There are plenty in Dead or Alive 6 and I won’t spoil them here, but I will say the Kraken is my fave.


Aside from the tutorial for learning the ropes, Dead or Alive 6 also comes with the obligatory practice mode. Here, you can practice combos, work out special moves and learn how best to play with whichever character you choose. 

In fact, almost all of the modes in Dead or Alive 6, seem to have been designed to help players learn how to play. The story, while absolute nonsense, gives you time with pretty much every character and offers character specific tutorials as you play. DOA Quest is a mode that gives you set challenges to complete in a range of matches, using pre-selected characters. By playing through the story and DOA Quest, you’ll have a basic, but a decent understanding of the fighting and most of the characters.

There’s a lot to do to keep you occupied when playing Dead or Alive 6 and once you’ve played all that you can alone, you can always play local or online. As I’ve been playing pre-release I’ve not had a chance to test how well Dead or Alive 6 performs online. Hopefully, it can stand alongside the local play, because if it can, it’s certainly going to have a robust and active online community.

Aside from the fighting, players will also be able to unlock costumes, music, trivia and more in the DOA Central menu. There’s a tonne of stuff to unlock and it’s definitely going to take hardcore fans quite a while. 

I’ve been incredibly impressed every time I’ve had some time with Dead or Alive 6. It’s definitely one of the most accessible, yet deeply complex fighting games I’ve ever played and I can’t wait to keep playing, trying to get better and pulling off insane combos. 

DOA fans, I’m sure this one will be a winner in your eyes. And the same goes for fighting game fans. For everyone else, you could certainly do worse for a game to chuck on to unwind with and if you’re playing with friends even better.

Dead or Alive 6 is fantastic. 

Dead or Alive 6 was reviewed on PS4 using a digital code provided by the publisher.

PowerUp! Reviews

Game Title: Dead or Alive 6

  • 9.3/10
    The Triangle System is a simplistic way to create complex fighting - 9.3/10
  • 8.6/10
    Incredible Visuals - 8.6/10
  • 9.8/10
    Easy to learn, Difficult to Master - 9.8/10
  • 5/10
    Nonsense Story, Bouncing Breasts, Terrible Voice Acting - 5/10
  • 9.1/10
    Packed with Content - 9.1/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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