Dead or Alive 5

Dead or Alive 5 is clearly a direct response to the oft-pondered question, "Is gaming art?"

By casually asking the player to choose between absurdly revealing outfits and regularly revealing outfits, DOA 5's game designers force the player to reveal the true natures of his or her id state. The contemporary character-select screen, which has always tapped into our Jungian archetypes, suddenly takes on a decidedly more Freudian slant.


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The greatest statement Dead or Alive 5 makes about our corporeal existence is made through the title's core fighting mechanics themselves. The game lauds its system in its own tutorial segments, detailing a complex yet simple rock-paper-scissors ecosystem that urges the player to study move lists and animation frames. You might achieve the last of those existential achievements through practice, but don't forget to also train your face of defeat for when you pass a controller to your 10-year-old niece and lose to the button-mashing of….

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In stark contrast, the Oxford English Dictionary defines existentialism as the….

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Which brings me to Dead or Alive 5's self-described Danger Zones. These pre-programmed stage elements, a clear homage to Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey," are interrupted in the 30-second narrative….

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Score: 7.75 out of 10