YMMV: Dead or Alive

  • Accidental Innuendo: The two new gameplay mechanics in 5 are called "Power Blow" and "Critical Burst". Yeah...
    • In one of Honoka's win poses, she says: "Why am I so hot?" Uh... (In context, she is referring to how she might have an Evil Hand that is emanating an aura... but still.)
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Christie, a Psycho Lesbian for Helena or a Bad Ass Gay who fell In Love with the Mark? Or is she more Ambiguously Bi who is willing to go after Anything That Moves? (That and there is the occasional scene where she acts seductive toward Eliot namely whether if she only does it just to fluster the boy or if she really is quite the cougar.)
    • There is also Lei Fang on whether if she has a strong Belligerent Sexual Tension issue with Jann Lee or she genuinely is annoyed by his Jerk with a Heart of Gold nature and their rivalry is platonic at best. That and due to how Lei Fang can be with the other ladies especially Hitomi have given her plenty of Ambiguously Gay moments as well. So in other words while all the ladies in the series have been in Yuri pairings, Christie and Lei Fang (and to a much lesser extent Tina and Lisa) are considered to be biggest cases of Ambiguously Gay or Ambiguously Bi in the series.
      • And that's before the introduction of Mila in 5 who may just be an ascended fan-girl for Tina, or could have a celebrity crush on her.
  • Author's Saving Throw: As mentioned in Internet Backdraft below, updating the console versions of DOA5: Ultimate to DOA5: Last Round from the in-game menu at launch would erase the game's save file. To make up for the loss, Team Ninja updated the game with a patch that prevented the game from being updated through the menu, and included a cheat code that unlocked most of the game's locked content, with the exception of DLC. Some appreciated that something was done while others felt it was not enough.
  • Awesome Music: DOA2 had a pretty impressive soundtrack. Blazed Up Melpomene would be the best example.
    • Xtreme 2 had a collection of extremely catchy pop music, including the Baha Men rendition of Double Lovin' (more specifically, their cover of the Spencer Wiggins version of the classic Osmonds song).
  • Base Breaker:
    • Eliot. He may have been good gameplay-wise, but many people just don't like him. Possibly because his 4th costume in DOA4 looks like something by Square Enix at its worst. At the same time, many like Eliot because he isn't muscular and has a calm, nice personality.
    • Similarly, La Mariposa/Lisa also gets quite a bit of hate for her personality and fighting style.
      • That and on how Lisa was originally introduced as Tina Armstrong's gal pal/Heterosexual Life Partner in the original Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. However Lisa became an Ascended Extra in the Main Series by suddenly becoming a prominent scientist with DOATEC who played a fairly big role in the storyline. Some are glad about this development as Tecmo is taking the story a bit more seriously while others complain that it has caused retcons and other odd continuity issues in the story. So in other words some like the idea of Lisa becoming a more prominent character as a DOATEC scientist while others wished that she stayed as Tina's close friend instead. (That and on how after 4 Lisa's relationship with Tina has been substantially downplayed as while Lisa gets a bigger role in the storyline Tina's role is a lot smaller.)
    • Marie Rose is hated by some for looking underage in the cast full of busty ladies, and that her design is a very standard Elegant Gothic Lolita + Tsundere Twintails combo. Others love her because she is adorable and the idea of a little girl taking on opponents twice her size is both awesome and hilarious.
    • Nyotengu got a split reception too, due to her concept itself. Some people think it refreshes the character of Tengu, while other see it as a cheap attention-grabber and/or unnecessarily pandering.
    • Phase-4, hands down. Some people like her because of her fighting style, which looks awesome due to its Teleport Spam Up to Eleven. Others are annoyed that her character design is just a Kasumi clone. Again.
    • Honoka follows the trend. Having both Marie-Rose's face (as in, the same 3D model), being arguably an Expy of a character from an unrelated anime (with the same name to boot) and a fight style made out of movements from the rest of the roster, some people called "lazy" on Team Ninja. Others appreciate her, arguing that characters made of other character's moves is pretty common in Fighting Games, and the mix seems to be pretty well thought out. Also, as surprising as this sounds, she's the first female character in the series that embodies the Schoolgirl archetype.
    • Some fans dislike the inclusion of the Virtua Fighter guest characters and would rather they not have been included at all, or at least had more work done to them, due to having less fluid animations and using old voice clips. Jacky's addition in 5U just annoyed these fans even more. It gets ridiculous though when they start complaining about the VF characters' models and faces looking out of proportion. Any kind of comparison with the main DOA cast will show the differences are extremely minimal. On the other hand, the inclusion of said VF characters has also attracted more fans to the series, noting that it's one of the more logical ideas for a fighting game crossover. Team Ninja and AM2 are also on good terms with each other.
    • Dead Or Alive 4. Most competitive players hate the game and blame it for the stigma attached to competitive DOA, the more casual fans however love it due to its unique online mode and flashy aesthetics.
    • Series creator Tomonobu Itagaki himself is this. While there are some people who prefer his direction for the series, a good number of fans, especially from the tournament crowd, hate him with a passion. This is due to an incident prior to the release of DOA 4, where upon seeing videos of how DOA 3 was being played by high level players (emphasis on natural combos that couldn't be countered, frame trapping, etc.) he immediately changes alot of things about the game because they didn't fit with his vision of how. The resultant changes were felt by many to have made the game unviable for tournament play. His most recent, disparaging comments toward DOA 5, itself considered a favorite of the tournament crowd, have not helped this.
    • The inclusion of Spartan as an extra character in DOA 4. Some fans accused Team Ninja of selling out by having a character from what they claim is an overrated, already over-saturated franchise in a DOA game. Others don't mind and think it's a good precedent for having "guest" characters in future games. Besides, it's not like you're forced to play as Spartan.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Many have a hard time remembering that it's a Fighting Game series.
    • The first Xtreme Beach Volleyball got quite a few good reviews for being a pretty solid volleyball videogame.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In the final cutscene of Helena's DOA 4 story and Dimensions' storyline. Everything's going to hell. Then suddenly, there's this shot where some random woman who wasn't seen in any other part of the game is being shot in the head. Why it seems so out of place is because this was a cinematic cutscene, which none of the cinematic ones had any extras in up until this point. What made this shot even more jarring was that pretty much all other extras in the game are all blank-faced clones who all seem to shop from the same clothing store. Many character endings from the first four games could also qualify. Some even look completely out of character. Why does Kasumi dream of being a (naked) mermaid in what looks like a J-Pop music video?
  • Broken Base:
    • The fanbase is split into two main factions: Those that prefer the original fighting series, and those who prefer the soft-porn beach side-series. Similarly, the second faction is in itself split over whether or not to include an official nude option (which, aside from various hacks within those games and an April Fools Day joke from EGM, no such option actually exists).
    • There's a split based on the toned down fanservice (and breast sizes) in Dead Or Alive 5. Which got even bigger when the devs brought back the standard fanservice elements due to fan requests.
    • Though the Fanservice itself is a known divisive issue regarding the series, there have been plenty who call the series one of the most notorious cases of Best Known for the Fanservice ever and has even occasionally been accused of Sexism. However there are also plenty of folks who state that the Dead or Alive series is really not that much worse than just about any other series like Street Fighter, Fatal Fury and Soul Series and the like. In fact some even argue that the series is actually a bit too tame to be M-Rated as the M-rated Dead or Alive games are barely anymore explicit than the earlier T-Rated games. So in other words it does raise the question on whether if Tecmo can actually play up the Fanservice more and still maintain an M Rating or would it be for the best if they did not.
    • The less obvious but arguably most important split is about the counter system:
      • Detractors, who tend to be elitist competitive players, believe this system is the real reason why the series never got the same amount of respect as Street Fighter or Tekken (after all, when you get down to it, Fanservice is very high in practically every single popular Fighting Game franchise). They think it kills off any sort of offense in the game since everything can be countered. Worst case scenario, they say it completely breaks the gameplay, and makes it shallow and cheap. Defenders, on the other hand, consider it way deeper than its detractors give it credit for, in a "easy to learn, hard to master" way. Plus, it gives the combat an unique fast pace and sense of unpredictability that no other fighting franchise has. Specially since, in practice, countering everything is next to impossible. Plus, the changes that were made in DOA4 prevent people from abusing the most common counters. You really need to study your opponent's moves in order to counter more than a couple of them per round, so if you loose due to receiving too many counters, either your rival earned it, or you deserve it for using the same moves again and again.
      • Any good 4 did for the counter system was ruined by the ease of how they could be pulled off and how much offense was at a disadvantage in that game.
      • Among people who like the system you have a similar split between people who prefer the system in games 2 and 3, since counters were easier to execute. However, considering Team Ninja wanted to put that system back in 5, but decided not to after the reactions to the Alpha version, it seems this group is smaller and smaller.
    • Some fans don't like the story mode of Dimensions and DOA5 because of their clunky narrative and nonsensical plot. Others like them because they present a neat tutorial to get into the game mechanics little by little.
    • The up-and-sudden removal of Leon (and to a lesser extent, Ein and Tengu) in 5 caused quite a bit of controversy with fans. So much, that Team Ninja, who didn't even think the fans wanted him, put him back in DOA5: Ultimate.
    • More recently, the DOA5 tournament scene has moved to have the more Fanservice-y costumes banned from tournament play, which has divided the base in a few ways. Supporters say that it's an effort to avert Distracted by the Sexy, while detractors call it a petulant and ham-fisted attempt to win respect from the larger FGC. Not helping matters is the fact that the costume choices seem inconsistent: This costume is banned for being "too distracting", while this one is still considered tournament legal.
    • The PC release of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round. The initial announcement that a mainline DOA game was coming to the PC platform was met with positive reception...until the Steam Store page for the game went online and revealed the game would launch without online modes, and that online would be patched in within 3 months after the release. This has caused a three way split between those that are simply happy the game is coming to PC, those that think the PC version should be delayed until the online modes are ready, and those that think Team Ninja should put in the resources to have the PC version's online ready alongside the console versions' launch. The further delay of the PC version to a month after the console versions, with no guarantee that online would be ready in time for the later release date, did not help this situation.
      • And then things got a whole lot worse when it was revealed that the port's quality will fall somewhere between those of PS3/360 and PS4/One. Two notable features that it will be missing are the two new stages and the Soft Engine, both of which are exclusive to the current-gen consoles. Some fans are not bothered by this and are happy that a PC version is coming anyway, some decide to put their purchase on hold until something comes up, and others see this as another bad PC porting from a Japanese game developer and have either canceled their pre-orders or refused to buy it.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Expect to fight a lot of Hayabusas online, thanks in part to the popularity of the Ninja Gaiden series.
  • Clueless Aesop: Lei-Fangs ending in 4 has her being on a train in which her breasts were groped by a middle aged man in which she angrily kicked him off the train into the river as the crowd cheers her for that while she tries to cover up. Plenty have deemed it to be a Dude, Not Funny! case of Accidental Pervert (in which it can be seen as murder if your willing it ignore the old Soft Water rule) while some deem it to be lightly amusing and harmless there are those find it to be highly offensive. But one could easily see that ending as a well-intentioned though over the top Take That towards perverted men who feel up women in Japanese Subways. Even so people probably would've cringed a lot less if Lei Fang's DOA 4 ending wasn't such a blatant case of Accidental Pervert.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Marie Rose, the new character for the arcade version for DOA5: Ultimate, is getting some reception even before the arcades hit the stores. Hayashi has said that she is also coming to the console versions.
    • Leon as even though his plotline seems complete, he's appeared in various games as a bonus character and when he was cut from DOA5, the fans were not happy... until he returned in DOA5U.
    • Mila gets a lot of love from the fanbase for going completely against the grain for a female DOA fighter. To wit, she's cute and attractive without being hyper-sexualized or playing up any fetishes, has a hot-blooded but still humble personality, shows great sportsmanship, and her MMA-based fighting style is short on flashy and balletic moves, but it looks very damned painful and effective.
    • Hitomi is also popular with the fanbase since her debut in DOA3. Even series creator and former director Tomunobu Itagaki likes her.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Don't put a big chunk of Kasumi and Ayane's respective fan bases in the same room. Just sayin'.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: A lot of the fan base puts Kasumi and Ryu together over any canon love interest either of them have gotten.
    • Ayane and Eliot started to grow after Dimensions where Ayane helped Eliot (unintentionally) gain confidence as a fighter. It was then followed-up in Dead or Alive 5, where she shows to have more respect for him when they meet.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Mila has become very popular among Spaniard fans of the series. Not only because she's from Spain herself, but rather because she's the first Spanish character in a Fighting Game who looks the part WITHOUT falling into any Spanish stereotypes, Not Even Bothering with the Accent notwithstanding. (Not that it matters, since in Spain the vast majority of fighting gamers play with the Japanese dub, where realizing this is much more difficult, given how similar Japanese and Spanish phonetics are).
  • Growing the Beard: Dead or Alive: Dimensions and to a greater extent Dead or Alive 5 have been rather well received when it comes to gameplay and the story mode.
    • Part of the reason may be the involvement of Sega AM2, the developers of critically acclaimed fighting game series Virtua Fighter, who gave advice and guidance, as well as the inclusion of VF guest characters.
    • Before then, Dead or Alive 4 got a great deal of respect after Team Ninja fixed the online issues with a patch and people could see how polished and balanced the game really was. However, since this was several months after the game release, it didn't got as much attention as it could. The fact that Alpha-152 remained a pain in the ass didn't help either.
      • This was also before DOA4 was later shown to be rather problematic at high level play. So you could then say that it eventually shaved its beard away.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The crux of the series in later games is Kasumi fighting against Donovan. Now cut to Mass Effect 2 which has a side mission where...you help Kasumi against Donovan.
    • DOA1 was similar to Sega AM2's Virtua Fighter in its control setup, the inclusion of ring outs, and a Final Boss that had moves taken from other characters, but was more over-the-top and became even more over the years. Fast forward to DOA5: Last Round and its Senran Kagura DLC that includes destructive clothes. With Virtua Fighter comparisons in mind, it also begins to resemble another Sega AM2 fighting game series with similar controls, over-the-top physics and destructive clothes: Fighting Vipers.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: The new character Honoka. Since having the biggest bust in a series full of busty ladies, she's also, realistically, a bit more plump than the other female characters.
  • Internet Backdraft: The DLC costumes for DOA5. There are so many of them at this point that people joke that you could buy a brand new PlayStation 4 or Xbox One with the money necessary for buying all the bikinis and skimpy outfits. Fans aren't exactly fond of this development.
    • Taken Up to Eleven and beyond with the Halloween 2014 outfits, some of which are actually recycled designs. Once more the fans are annoyed about yet another DLC which costs way, way too much for what it offers.
    • The aforementioned PC version of Last Round. See Broken Base above.
    • Updating the console versions of DOA5: Ultimate to DOA5: Last Round from the in-game menu would result in the game's save file being erased. Although Team Ninja attempted to warn players of this through the game's website and social media outlets, for many it was too late, leading to demands of compensation such as free DLC. While DLC packs remained locked for purchase, Team Ninja still attempted to make up for it, as seen in Author's Saving Throw above.
  • Iron Woobie: Ayane. See her entry in said trope, and then add everything revealed in Dimensions, including her attempted suicide.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Kasumi, Ayane and, to a sightly lesser extent, Hitomi.
  • Les Yay:
  • LGBT Fanbase: G4TV.com has occasionally mentioned stories on how according to the G4 forums the Dead or Alive series does have a lesbian fanbase especially thanks to Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Really Tecmo, you expect us to believe that Hayate and Ayane really killed Kasumi? They must really need to make use of the clone, somehow...
  • Never Live It Down: People who are critical with Team Ninja usually only mention the Xtreme Beach Volleyball entries when they talk about the series or the studio, as if the fighting games didn't even exist (famous web shows like Extra Credits or Zero Punctuation have been guilty of this). And if they do mention them, they talk about the Jiggle Physics as if they were the only noteworthy thing about them. Because, you know, being a pretty awesome fighting series on its own merits means absolutely nothing next to the Fanservice.
    • The fanbase itself requested that the 5th game retain all the series' familiar fanservice elements (specifically, the characters' breast sizes of all things), after the devs had shown that they had planned to tone it down (so that the game would be taken more seriously by critics and non-fans). Not only did this not help sway the popular opinion that the series is nothing but baseless pandering, but it also caused the fanbase to break even further.
    • From a competitive point of view, the series has has difficulty shedding the stigma of Dead Or Alive 4 for being an overly defensive game that penalized attacking with powerful counters.
  • Older Than They Think: Some internet posters think Jann Lee's yellow tracksuit is a Shout-Out to Kill Bill, but it was actually first worn by Bruce Lee in Game of Death which Kill Bill was referencing. Which makes sense, since Jann Lee is a Bruce Lee Clone.
  • Polished Port: The PS Vita port of DOA5. It actually got better reviews than the console versions because it was able to run at a steady 60fps while maintaining good visuals within the handheld's limited hardware. This has been compared to other (ported) fighting games like Mortal Kombat.
  • Saved by the Fans: The fanservice itself. The original plan for DOA5 was to tone down the fanservice in hopes of that the fighting community would finally take the game seriously. However, numerous fans requested bigger breasts and Team Ninja subsequently brought it back, full force.
    • Leon also came back in the Updated Re-release thanks to the fans who complained about his absence in the original game.
  • Theiss Titillation Theory: Some of the girls' outfits are skimpy enough that there's no way they could actually fight in them and not have a wardrobe malfunction. But no matter how bad you want it to, it will never happen.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: There are fans who believe that many characters have the potential of having quite some depth, or at the very least of having meaningful development. But Team Ninja never takes advantage of them, and the Fanservice definitely doesn't help.
    • The four ninja main characters are by far the most prominent. Kasumi, Ayane and Hayate have all the ingredients for compelling drama, with them being split between their love as a family, their sense of duty and Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right, with Hayabusa being a good outside observer who can give a more unbiased perspective. The story of the series does deal with these themes, but it never goes deep enough to make it meaningful.
    • Helena is another great example. She's a young woman who is determined to atone for the sins of his father's company, trying to fulfill its original well-intentioned vision while fighting the corruption at its core created by Donovan. However, she sees herself forced to use means that puts her pretty close to Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
    • Tina Armstrong is a somewhat minor but noticeable example as while she normally is a secondary character in the series from the start. However some may find it a bit jarring on how while Tina's close friend Lisa Hamilton became a much more prominent character over the course of the series but Tina's role got a bit smaller in the process (In which after 4 Lisa's friendship with Tina has been considerably downplayed. In which some even wonder if Mila was created so she can be Tina's new Heterosexual Life Partner since Lisa ends up playing a considerably different role by then.)
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: For a time Kasumi's backstory of being a runaway Ninja who left her village to seek revenger for her then-crippled brother Hayate and is hunted by the people of her village has been considered to be this. While this subplot was played up in 2, it became a fairly minor detail in 3 and the Dead or Alive Xtreme subseries kind of ruin the credibility of the subplot and making it rather pointless. (You know for someone who is suppose to be on the run 24/7 Kasumi is awfully willing to be out in public.) There were even accusations that Tecmo doesn't really know what to do with the Dead or Alive story anymore and is not taking it seriously enough. But fortunately this subplot does get played up a bit more in Dimensions and 5 in which 5 even implies that there will even be some resolution in Kasumi's situation with her home village after all.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: A number of people thought that Eliot was a girl when he first debuted in 4.
  • Wangst: Ayane's Interrupted Suicide in Dimensions. She tries to take her own life only because Hayate got mad at her?! Really?! OK, Hayate overreacted too when he slapped her just because she made a bad comment about Kasumi, but still!
  • Win Back the Crowd: Thus far, the response of 5 is very positive and seems to be garnering fans who realize about this being more than a Fanservice fighting game.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Even without going to the fanservice outfits for the female characters, there are some... questionable costumes, specially for male characters. Bayman in a fully equipped scuba diver suit, anyone? And let's not even begin with Eliot in 4 or Zack in, well, any of the games.