The long awaited fifth installment of the Dead or Alive series, released in 2012 - seven whole years after Dead or Alive 4.
Nearly all the fighters of the previous game (except Leon) were back, as well as two newcomers named Rig and Mila. The game had a deep graphic upgrade from DOA4 (not surprisingly, since it had been 7 years since then) and an aesthetic redesign that showed more realistic characters, with smaller and less anime-like eyes, the same to what was shown in Ninja Gaiden 3. Special mention to the girls, who have more realistically proportionate bodies, although the Jiggle Physics were still in full display. In collaboration with Sega, Dead or Alive 5 also features Guest Fighters from the Virtua Fighter series. Akira Yuki, Sarah Bryant, and Pai Chan are the chosen Virtua Fighter representatives to Dead or Alive 5. The games were released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, plus a port to the Play Station Vita half a year later.
The game's playable roster includes:
- From Dead or Alive: Kasumi, Zack, Tina Armstrong, Lei Fang, Jann Lee, Gen Fu, Ryu Hayabusa, Bayman, Bass Armstrong, Ayane
- From Dead or Alive 2: Helena Douglas
- From Dead or Alive 3: Hitomi, Christie, Brad Wong, Hayate
- From Dead or Alive 4: Kokoro, Eliot, Lisa Hamilton/La Mariposa, Alpha-152 note
- New characters in Dead or Alive 5: Rig, Mila, False Kasuminote
- Guest Characters: Akira Yuki, Sarah Bryant, Pai Chan
In May 2013, Team Ninja announced an Updated Re-release of DOA5 for PS3 and 360: Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate. The game includes new stages and characters and rebalancing. The game was released on Fall of 2013.
Characters added in Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate:
- From Dead or Alive 2: Leon, Einnote
- New characters in Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate: Momijinote , Rachelnote
- New characters in Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate: Arcade: Marie Rose, Phase-4, Nyotengu
- Guest Characters: Jacky Bryant
In August 2014, Team Ninja announced the game would be ported to Playstation 4 and Xbox One as Dead or Alive 5: Last Round. Last Round would include the three new fighters introduced in the arcade port (which had been Downloadable Content in console versions of DOA5U), as well as two additional characters, two new stages, new costumes and customization options included in the package. Last Round will also get a release for 360 and PS3 as a downloadable add-on for current Ultimate owners. A trailer released on December 4, 2014 also revealed Last Round would get a PC release via Steam. The console versions of Last Round released on February 17, 2015, with the PC version released on March 30.
Characters added in Dead or Alive 5: Last Round:
- From Dead or Alive: Raidou
- New characters in Dead or Alive 5: Last Round: Honoka
- Guest Characters: Naotora Iinote , Mai Shiranui
Dead or Alive 5 provides the following tropes:
- Anti-Frustration Features: Dead Or Alive 5 allows you to tone down the fanservice elements, including Jiggle Physics.
- Arcade Game: Ultimate is the first game to have an arcade release since DOA2.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Nearly every special tag entrance and victory pose.
- The entire storyline involving the false Kasumi. It seems like every character knows Kasumi is a clone except the clone herself and you, the player.
- You think Leifang is going to fight Jann Lee on the subway train — they get into their fighting stances, the health bars appear, the announcer says "Get ready, FIGHT!" — and then the train crashes. The subway train is not a playable stage in any mode of the game, which is probably for the best since it would be a very confined space to fight in.
- Big Bad: Victor Donovan, overlapping with The Ghost and Greater-Scope Villain. He's still the man behind the events, but it's still unseen.
- Bloodless Carnage: This isn't a Ninja Gaiden game — there's no visible blood when Hayate and Ayane kill the False Kasumi. She Disappears into Light afterwards.
- Bust-Contrast Duo: In the "updates", some of the new characters are the duo of Marie Rose and Honoka, both close friends and rivals. Marie Rose is the shortest of the fighters in the game (and maybe the whole franchise) and uses her charms as a petite girl for her own advantage. Honoka instead is an Innocent Fanservice Girl who's very ditzy but with a great fighting potential. Marie Rose possesses the smallest bust out of all the female characters in the series, a direct contrast to Honoka who possesses the largest bust (even rivaling westerner characters such as Helena and Christie), which was even the subject of a pun in their Japanese tag team intro.
- Callback: With the Deception costume set, many of the characters get new outfits based on one of the characters from the most recent entry. Ayane's costume, of Millenia from Deception 2, isn't new, being a remastered version of one of her costumes from Dead Or Alive 2, part of a crossover with the earlier instalment.
- Camera Screw: If you use the "Action" camera mode and trigger a stage effect (like dislodging the raft on "Flow"), the camera will pull out from the fight and show more of what's happening in the background as the battle continues. For serious players this can be distracting so using the "Classic" camera option will keep the focus squarely on the fighters even if something is happening in the background.
- Canon Immigrant: Momiji, who comes from Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and later Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Rachel from the first game of the modern Ninja Gaiden trilogy.
- In a way, Naotora Ii, who comes from Samurai Warriors 4, in Last Round.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Leon disappeared without a trace in the original game. He eventually returned in Ultimate as a bonus character, which makes sense since his role in the story ended with 3 (he was also a bonus character in 4).
- Circus Episode: This installment of Dead or Alive features three stages set in a circus: Coming Soon, The Show, and The Tiger Show. Leifang practices Tightrope Walking during a cutscene, and The Show's Danger Zone turns a fighter into a Human Cannonball.
- Clothing Damage: This can happen during combat for some costume sets on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions of Last Round, such as the Senran Kagura, Deception and Tamiki Wakaki costumes.
- Co-Dragons: Christie and Rig to Victor Donovan.
- Confusion Fu: Brad Wong, the practicioner of Drunken Boxing.
- Criss-Cross Attack: Hayate's "Power Blow", he strikes his opponent a couple times then finishing them off.
- Crossover: A minor example, but some of the DLC in Last Round are inspired by other franchises, such as a stage and costumes based on Attack on Titan, and costumes based on Fairy Tail.
- Desperation Attack: The Power Blow, a move that, if it connects, unleashes a cinematic combo and ends with the player aiming where they want to launch their opponent, like into a stage hazard. However, Power Blows can only be used when your fighter has less than half of their health remaining.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The "lose" animations of some of the girls involve them lying on the ground writhing while panting heavily. Most notable is that of Momiji.
- Downloadable Content: There are a massive number of costumes available for purchase, and some free stages as well. Ultimate and Last Round also have extra characters available for purchase.
- Earn Your Fun:
- DOA5 challenges the hardcore among the hardcore players if they want to unlock 3 extremely skimpy swimsuits for Tina, Christie and Lisa; the game features a whopping total of 8 levels of difficulty: Rookie, Easy, Normal, Hard, Champ, True Fighter, Master and Legend, with the last three being unlocked after the preceding difficulty is beaten; rest assured that your average player can’t go through Hard without losing continues, if you want those Rare Swimsuits you must mow through Legend – 4 difficulties beyond Hard – without losing a single continue on Arcade for Tina’s, Time Attack for Christie’s and on Survival for Lisa’s. Simply put it’s a nightmare to get these pieces of clothing for the girls, the computer on Legend is on an whole new level of reading and countering any attack the player tries to connect, just beating this mode is a nerve-cracking task, but beating it without losing continues is absurd, and that’s not enough, even though the task on Arcade and Time Attack is already beyond insane to complete, at the end of the day is just 8 Stages each, on Survival though, it’s 100 Stages, a-freaking-hundred quasi-unbeatable opponents to defeat with one small recovering life bar, so yeah, even some of the most hardcore players stop at Tina and Christie’s swimsuits. Luckily it can be avoided - all you have to do is fight 200 online matches.
- Downplayed in the Ultimate and Last Round releases; there they can be unlocked just by clearing Arcade/Time Attack/Survival on any difficulty. The difficulty levels have been toned down as well.
- Excuse Plot: Averted. As in previous titles, a handful of the cast—the ninjas and DOATEC characters—are wrapped up in the central plot, but rather than being relegated to a Random Events Plot that just so happens to end up in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the side cast are all placed in a Tournament Arc to keep them occupied.
- Fanservice: It could hardly be called a true DOA game without it. Originally defied in early promotional materials (with attempts to emphasize that the fighting was the focus) but thanks to longtime series fans, it was later played straight and even perhaps exaggerated compared to earlier Dead or Alive games.
- Fight for the Last Bite: In the story mode, when the part of Elliot and Brad Wong is shown, they talk about training for the fifth Dead or Alive Tournament when they're eating. That, until there's a last piece of dinner. Then, the talk ends and they start to fight for that last piece.
- Fire Means Chaos: The "Scramble" stage starts atop a skyscraper currently under construction in the middle of Tokyo at night. After performing a Cliffhanger attack and with both fighters going to the ground, part of the structure falls over a tanker truck that explodes and then the stage goes all surrounded by flames and with Tokyo inhabitants disrray and with the traffic stopped (fighters can be thrown to some cars surrounding the scene that will explode by other structures to get more damage).
- Guest Fighter: Akira Yuki, Pai Chan, and Sarah Bryant from the Virtua Fighter series. Jacky Bryant joins them in DOA5: Ultimate, while Koei's Naotora Ii and SNK's Mai Shiranui join the fight in Last Round as DLC.
- Halfway Plot Switch: The Story mode begins with Bayman being attacked by Phase 4 in a Middle Eastern warzone, and Kasumi, Ayane, Hayate and Ryu going on the hunt for Alpha-152. The plot then follows the rest of the characters entering the Dead or Alive 5 Tournament, before returning to the ninjas vs. clones storyline at the end.
- Identity Amnesia: Rig. Subverted. He knows who he is, but he's faking it to move on with his father's plans
- Irony: Mai Shiranui is the original "bouncy" video game character, yet her bounciness is toned down in this game, in a series known for unrealistically bouncy physics.
- It's a Small World, After All: All the fighters seem to run into each other in completely obscure corners of the world (whether it be New York, the South American jungle, or Antarctica) and they recognize each other as well with no introductions needed.
- Meaningful Name: Victor Donovan's secret organization is named MIST. Mist is also the english translation of Kasumi's name, hinting at the fact that they're still creating clones of her as human weapons.
- Mega-Corp: DOATEC, though it's going in a new direction under Helena.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Orangutans? In South America?
- Modesty Towel: Last Round has this as a costume option for Ayane, Helena, Naotora, Nyotengu, Rachel and Tina.
- Nipple and Dimed: Played straight with the girls, for obvious reasons. Certain glitches that made some of the girls' clothing disappear underwater show that they have Barbie Doll Anatomy as well.
- Old Save Bonus: If you have save data from a previous version, you can transfer it to the new version and retain titles, unlocked costumes, and more.
- Only Six Faces: Averted. Each female character's face is quite distinguished this time around.
- Although Last Round newcomer Honoka is using Marie Rose's face model. However this may have a deeper meaning than simply just cashing in on existing assets.
- Panty Fighter: True to its roots, there are plenty of panty shots to be found.
- Perpetually Shiny Bodies: Averted. The fighters sweat and get dirty, though this can be toggled off in the options menu.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: In the lyrics of "Showdown" — "And if a tournament's on Friday, call me Freddy."
- Pose of Supplication: A few characters assume this when defeated, notably Rig and Zack. When defeated, Rig appears to be begging for mercy by assuming a shameful pose where he is on all fours with his head lowered and his rear protruding upward.◊ Similarly, upon defeated, Zack comically slumps forward in a humiliating pose where he falls on his knees, bends foward and face plants, while shoving his butt up. ◊
- Revenue-Enhancing Devices: You can fight people who have purchased costumes you haven't, but in order to see those costumes, free costume catalogs have to be downloaded. You need the catalogs to see them even after purchase.
- Sexy Soaked Shirt: Can be seen on characters who get wet, although subject to Nipple and Dimed.
- Shirtless Scene: All of the male characters have at least one shirtless costume.
- The Stinger: The ending of DOA5 reveals that Rig is Victor Donovan's son and together they had plotted the events of the story.
- Stripperiffic: Tina, Christie and La Mariposa in general, especially their special swimsuits and most of the female DLC outfits.
- Superhero: The theme of the Fighter Force DLC for Last Round, which provides half the cast with either hero or villain costumes. The trailer even plays it up as a ripped-from-the-comics epic.
- Those Two Guys: Eliot and Brad Wong share most of their scenes together in 5's story.
- Same can be said about Lei Fang and Hitomi.
- Virtual Paper Doll: There are hundreds of outfits available as DLC, with more being released every month.
- We Don't Suck Anymore: The ad Tagline for Dead or Alive 5 is "I'm a Fighter", which ties in with Team Ninja's campaign to get the Fighting Game Community to take DOA seriously and not for it to be seen as a purely casual Fanservice-fest. In some ways, this succeeded (the fighting gameplay has been recognized as deeper and more strategic than the series has possibly seen in its entire history with improved wall, movement, combo, and environmental interaction mechanics) and in other ways they may have undermined that (there is a very large catalog of Downloadable Content costumes and they are almost entirely for their female characters, new features like sweat and dirt adhesion also give the game several fanservice qualities it never had before 5).
- World of Buxom: Less so. There is still boatloads of Fanservice, but there appears to be a slightly larger, more realistic variety of breast sizes.